Paris under snow: 15 pictures that will make you fall in love with the city
Think Paris. Think blue skies, green promenades. Think men and women parading the latest colours of the season. Think glowing, warm sunsets.
The eternal city’s true magic lies not in summer, but in winter — and in the snow.
Did you know: When it was first erected in Paris in 1889, France’s leading artists and intellectuals hated the Eiffel Tower’s design. A group of 300, including Guy de Maupassant, wrote to the then Minister of Works, Charles Alphand, saying: “We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection … of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower.”
Did you know: The Pont Alexandre III was inaugurated one year after the erection of the Eiffel Tower, in 1900, and is widely regarded as the most ornate bridge in Paris. In the 1985 film, a View to Kill, Roger Moore’s James Bond screeches to a halt at the bridge in a hijacked Renault 11 taxi.
Speaking of taxis…
… if one day you find yourself in Paris, one thing you MUST do is take a ride in one these Citroen 2CVs. Quintessentially French, these vintage cars are the best way to take in the sights of the city. Watch time fly by as you motor along at your own pace.
As with any city which focuses on the quality, and not the pace, of life, cafes serve as the centre of social life in Paris. Visit the cafe in the picture, Les Deux Palais, for its coffee and croissants.
Did you know: The oldest cafe in Paris is Cafe Procope, established in 1686.
Did you know: The river Seine, which meanders right through the heart of Paris, houses hundreds of floating restaurants. While some are anchored, others offer diners a cruise on the river while they enjoy their gourmet meals.
The Seine is 776 km long and is a crucial commercial gateway in the Paris Basin. There are 37 bridges which span the Seine in Paris alone.
Did you know: After Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431, her ashes were thrown into the Seine.
While Paris is an extremely expensive city, it has surprisingly affordable souvenir shops. A 5-inch cast-iron replica of the Eiffel Tower costs not more than two euros.
Did you know: Paris is notorious for tourist scams, the most prevalent being the “Please help the needy” trick. Little children approach tourists demanding they donate money to the deaf and the blind. Needless to say, the ‘donations’ go nowhere.
Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris. The bridge was completed and inaugurated under the reign of Henry IV in 1607.
Did you know: Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned to death near the Pont Neuf, on the Île de la Cité, on March 18, 1314.
The Notre Dame is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris. It is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and is one of the most recognisable church buildings in the world.
Did you know: Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine’s coronation ceremony was held at Notre Dame in 1804.
The Louvre museum was originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II. In 2013, more than 10 million people visited the museum that houses the famous Mona Lisa.
Did you know: Napoleon Bonaparte temporarily renamed the museum after himself, until his defeat in 1814.
Architect IM Pei designed and built a glass pyramid as an entrance into the Louvre Museum 1989. Four years later, the Inverted Pyramid was completed.
Did you know: The Louvre was a clearinghouse for artwork stolen by Nazi soldiers during World War II. However, most of the museum was empty, after curators moved most of its collection to chateaus in the French countryside in anticipation of the German invasion.
The Tuileries Garden, created by Catherine de Medicis in 1564, was eventually opened to the public in 1667, and became a public park after the French Revolution.
Did you know: Professor Jacques Charles and the Robert brothers launched the world’s first manned hydrogen-filled balloon from the Champ de Mars on December 1, 1783.
France has produced some of the best footballers in world football — Zinedine Zidane, Just Fontaine, Thierry Henry, Michel Platini, Franck Ribery, Eric Cantona, Patrick Vieira — and these men playing football in the snow at the Jardin des Tuileries hope the scouts of Paris St Germain are watching.
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