Part 1 of our series of the World’s most beautiful cities takes us to Paris, France.
Think of a beautiful city and Paris automatically springs to mind. The architecture is extravagant, the style is classical and the people… let’s not mention the people. Spend a day walking around Paris and you’ll be left amazed with the level of detail of the architectural features. The Notre Dame cathedral takes detailed architecture to the extreme with it’s adornments of loads of gargoyles and statuettes poised all over the ancient church. How many gargoyles are there? you ask – an astounding 5000 of them! Not the prettiest of creatures but they do have charm.
The aerial view of Paris itself is quite amazing. It’s looks just as if Paris’ rooftops, gardens, squares and parks were painted onto a sheet of glass. An artist could have then tapped the glass with a hammer at various central locations of the city from which radiated cracks and splinters to form it’s intricate network of roads. The end result is a massive stained glass, leaded window or a perhaps a mosaic.
Walking through the streets of central Paris you’ll notice the uniformity of the buildings along your route. Groups of shops and apartments have similar ornately decorated façades, complimentary colour schemes and roof-lines of regular height. There are no “sore thumbs” sticking out in Paris as the city imposes strict rules as to what, where and how architects can build there.
There are two main reasons for why Paris can boast such fancy design features, eclectic architecture and an overall beautiful appearance. The first is that Paris has for centuries been a centre for the the ultra rich bourgeoisie. So much so that in 1853 any shabby looking districts were totally demolished to allow for new buildings and roads to be built in accordance with the strict but sexy design guidelines imposed by their urban development authorities.
The second reason is that for some reason Nazi Germany decided not to blitz the city of Paris during World War I or II. Perhaps Hitler just decided that Paris was too pretty to bomb.
The usual hit list of places to visit in Paris include Arc de Triumph, Eifell Tower, Notre Dame and La Louvre Museum where you can see the famous Mona Lisa flash her or his enigmatic smile. Also a trip to Paris would not be complete without stopping off at one of it’s famous Cafes for a coffee and crepes.
It is well know that Paris has a reputation of love, passion and romance associated with it. Why this is? I do not know, but take your girl to Paris for a couple of days or nights and let the town do do talking. I say no more.
Coming soon in the World’s Most Beautiful Cities…
Cape Town, South Africa
Santa Fe, USA