Vendôme & The Seine

Notre Dame

One our second evening in paris, we strolled from the Tuileries Gardens to the Place Vendôme, into the Marais, then on to the Île de la Cité, where Notre Dame is located.

The Place Vendôme is the posh center of Paris and has been for hundreds of years. The octagonal square was laid out in the early 1700s, originally the site of the hotel of César, the Duke of Vendôme. Now, the Hotel Ritz, the Hotel Ritz, was founded here by César Ritz in 1898, whose name is known now more as an adjective derived from his hotel's high standards.

Two of the square's famous residents include Coco Chanel, who lived at the Ritz, and Frédéric Chopin, who died at number 12.

Place Vendôme

Place Vendôme

Vendôme Art

Vendôme Art

Vendôme Head

Vendôme Head

At the center of the square is the Vendôme column. First unveiled in 1810 by order of Napoleon, the column was vandalized and torn down several times, but was restored in 1874. A statue of Napoleon sits atop the column, and the bas-relief bronze wrapper depicts the victory at Austerlitz. The interior, spiral staircase is no longer open to the public.

We walked north to the Palais Garnier, home of the Opéra de Paris and probably the most famous opera house in the world. The building was opened in 1875 and is a transit center, where many Metro trains cross paths. If you take the Metro in Paris, you will transfer at Opéra at some point.

Paris Opera Palace

Paris Opera Palace

Paris Opera

Paris Opera

We found some food in the Marais and headed over to the inside-out Pompidou Center, the largest museum for modern art in Europe. I'm a fan of this intricate, fantasy architecture.

Place Pompidou

Place Pompidou

We continued to walk south to the Île de la Cité, one of two original islands in the Seine whose most famous resident is Notre Dame. It's a tiny island that's been settled for over 2,000 years, but began to resemble its modern appearance after the 10th century.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame Facade

Notre Dame Facade

Along the Seine

Along the Seine

Stairway to the Seine

Stairway to the Seine

It's getting late so we decided to jump on the Metro home. While it doesn't run all night, the Metro is safe, clean, and extremely efficient. I don't think we ever waited more than 2-3 minutes for a train.

Sleeping in the Metro

Sleeping in the Metro

Art Nouveau Metro

Art Nouveau Metro