The heart of Paris is where you can find the Palais Royal, the Louvre, and several other tourist landmarks but district 1, as this region is called, is also home to many historical spots that have held great significance in French history.
There are a few landmarks in the 1st arrondissement which are not often visited by tourists because they are not as grand nor as flashy as the Louvre, the Palais Royal, and other landmarks; however, if you are someone who is easily drawn to artistic monuments that hold a special place in French culture and history, you will definitely find these stunning landmarks impressive.
This column is hard to miss since it stands out from the other monuments and statues that adorn the Vendome area. Although the Colonne Vendome you see in the first district is now a replica of the original column, its details, height, and look was closely copied from the original. The square where the column sits is also an interesting location to be in. It was built in 1699 as a testament to King Louis XIV’s success as an equestrian but was taken down numerous of times until the government finally installed a replica that depicts Napoleon’s exploits on its surface. Place Vendome is not only a park, it also serves as a museum and commercial district. Nearby, you can find shops, boutiques, restaurants and offices.
Église Saint-Eustache, like the Notre Dame Cathedral, is a church that boasts a unique Gothic facade and is one of Paris’ last surviving Gothic churches. You can find this church in Les Halles, near the Bourse de Commerce. It is well known throughout Paris and is difficult to miss.
Saint Chapelle is known throughout Paris as the church that boasts some of the world’s most beautiful stained-glass windows. The walls of Saint Chapelle seem to be giving you a stunning light show, especially when sunlight shines through the wide pained windows. Saint Chapelle was built primarily to serve as the resting place of many royal relics and at the same time, a church.
To get to Saint Chapelle, all you have to do is to make your way to 4 Blvd. du Palais and go through the gates of the Court of Justice. Naturally, you will have to go through a brief security check before you gain entry into the building.
A prison may not be considered romantic but the La Conciergerie is not just any prison– popular royals, like Marie Antoinette, were jailed here for allegedly committing crimes against the country. The medieval fortress is now a popular tourist landmark today and tours are available all year round. The prison is known for many things, but its stylish ceiling design is definitely the reason why La Conciergerie often is considered a highly-recommended tourist attraction.