Thursday, April 15, 2010

Walk 18: Grands Boulevards

The Grands Boulevards are home to Paris' largest department stores, Printemps, and Galeries Lafayette. I'm not much of a department store person, so I didn't stop in while doing the walk, but Richard recently dragged me to a fashion show on the seventh floor of Lafayette (remind me to tell you the American tourist escalator story) and I'll admit that I should have looked around ealier. It's a department store, yeah, but it's gorgeous. Vaulted ceiling gorgeous. And the roof is open to the public, and has an incredible view.

The Palais Garnier Opera house is incredible. Add this to the list of things I love about Paris: they cherish their art, and build structures, temples, worthy to house it.

It was closed to tours the day I went. And the next time I went. I think I'm going to try again today. They say it's worth it.

Napoleon's monument to his victory at Austerlitz, called the Place Vendome Column:

That's Napoleon on top, decked out in Roman costume, complete with laurel wreaths.

Statue of Joan of Arc on Rue Saint-Honoré.

It was on this same street that Joan of Arc was wounded in 1429, at age 16, while leading an attack against the English. She died just two years later, burned at the stake by the English, but remains one of the most deservedly famous heroines in France, having rallied the French to fight the English, ending the Hundred Years' War. Ooo ooo!

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