Paris in Springtime

Ahhh Springtime in Paris has finally arrived! The birds a singing, skies are blue, the flowers are blooming, and everyone has relaxed from the dreariness of winter. Paris is one of those cities that is beautiful, but even more remarkable while in full bloom during springtime. The pictures prove it.

This Week in Pictures: Paris in January

Paris is a beautiful and charming city year around. Beautiful landscapes, lush gardens, historic and unique architecture, and fashionable residents! Winter weather sheds a whole new light on this picturesque city with often the addition of snow. We thought we’d share some snowy pictures with you that present the city in a quite and stunning different light.

Musee Grevin: History in Comical Wax Form

Yes, you definitely need to check out the Musee Grevin while in Paris because over 400 celebrity wax characters is something not to be passed up. The wax likenesses are absurdly accurate and lifelike, and who wouldn’t want to get an up close view of such greats like Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and much, much more?

We’ve got a little treat for you in this featured This Week in Pictures, though it’s nothing like seeing them in person. Enjoy!

Wax Celine Dion

 

Wax Albert Einstein

 

Wax Jackie Chan

 

Wax Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

Wax George Clooney

 

Wax Bruce Willis

 

Wax Harrison Ford

 

Wax Marilyn Monroe

 

Wax Ray Charles

 

 

 

 

 

The Gardens of Paris

Among the many beauties Paris has to offer are well crafted and gorgeous gardens scattered throughout the city. Take a tour with your significant other through the romantic Luxembourg Gardens, or stroll through the famous royal Versailles park, take a gander at the Tuileries Gardens while on your trip to the Louvre, among others. These gardens offer a breath of fresh air amongst the hustle and bustle of busy Paris.

Right outside the Louvre lies the Tuileries Gardens. Beautiful, well groomed, and bursting with color during spring time.

The Luxembourg Gardens are often crowded, as they are a Parisian favorite, however they are absolutely worth seeing - especially in front of the backdrop of Luxembourg Palace

Versailles Park is a sight to behold. Perhaps one of the most well layed out and extraordinary gardens Paris has to offer.

The stunning roses at the Bois de Boulogne garden are reason enough to visit

The Bois de Vincennes gardens have a wonderful French countryside sort of feel

Paris Catacombs: A Walk Through the Land of the Dead

Located just below the public square in Paris, Place Denfert-Rochereau, lie the remains of about 6 million people. Opened in the late 18th century, the remains are spread through a series of renovated tunnels and caverns that used to be Paris’ stone mines.

Paris’ graveyards and mass graves began overflowing and causing hazardous sanitary conditions, so in 1786 the transfer of all of Paris’ dead to the abandoned stone mines began, ultimately taking 2 years to complete. Initially, the bones were placed into a well in the area, and then were distributed throughout the mines by workers. For years the mines were simply used as a depository for the bones, with no organization or particular placement to them, however in 1810 Louis-Etienne Hericart de Thury began renovations to turn the depository into a mausoleum.

Besides housing long gone Parisian residents, the Catacombs have a history that is deeply intertwined into the history of France. For instance, the dead from the riots at Place de Greve, Hotel de Brienne, and Rue Meslee all found a resting place in the Catacombs. The French Resistance also used the tunnels during World War II and Nazi soldiers used the Catacombs as an underground bunker.

Today, the Catacombs are open to the public where you can wander the caverns and tunnels and bear witness to a history of Paris’ dead. In this week’s featured pictures we take you into the underground burial site beneath Paris.

The unassuming initial entry into the Catacombs

After following a long gravel corridor you reach the offical entry into the Catacombs

Interesting pattern of skulls make up this wall in the Catacombs

There is definitely no shortage of interesting artwork added to the Catacombs over the years. This picture shows a gargoyle carved into the wall by an urban caver, located in the off-limits area. Picture courtesy of Loupiote.Com

Massive amounts of skulls and assorted bones are strategically placed to form walls throughout the tunnels

A single cross surrounded by Paris' dead

Bones piled high on a tunnel floor

A tiny example of the large amount of interesting graffiti within the Catacombs

If you’re interested in seeing some video footage of the Catacombs:

Our Lady of Paris



Gracing the skies high above Paris, casting its enormous reflection in the ripples of the river Seine, stands the ominously beautiful Notre Dame cathedral. Notre Dame de Paris translates into Our Lady of Paris, and is one of the most magnificent examples of Gothic architecture in the world. With beautiful arched supports and gargoyles dotting the exterior, expertly crafted stained glass filtering in light, a rich history, and playing a starring role in Victor Hugo’s renowned book The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it’s no small wonder the cathedral holds a powerful draw for visitors the world over.

In this edition of This Week In Pictures, we take you inside the Notre Dame cathedral. Enjoy!

The Notre Dame, shown here resting on the river Seine

Rising high above Paris, the Notre Dame certainly demands attention.

Notice the curved support arches that give the Notre Dame an elegantly curved shape

One of the famous Notre Dame gargoyles looking out over the city

Intricate wood carvings tell a story inside the Notre Dame

Stunning and intricate columns and ceilings

Statues of Christian apostles adorning the stone walls of the cathedral

Stained glass featuring the Madonna

Gorgeous and intricate stained glass window

The cathedral looking elegant in the night sky

A Look at Monet

Claude Monet was the founder of the French Impressionist style of painting, and is probably one of the most recognizable and memorable painters in history. Born in Paris in 1840, Monet attended art school, studied under great artists, and then set to work identifying his own style – a style that would set him apart and define and inspire artists to this day. Today, we pay homage to this bold and talented artist by taking a look at some of his greatest works.

"Port-Goulphar, Belle-Ile Painting" - Translates to "Rocks at Port-Goulphar, Belle-Ile.

This next series of pictures is of various areas in Monet’s gardens in Giverny, which were precious to him and appeared in quite a few of his paintings.

Monet's "Weeping Willow", painted in 1918.

Monet's "Water Lily Pond and Weeping Willow", painted between 1916 and 1919

Monet's "Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies", painted 1899

Monet's "Nympheas", painted 1915

Monet was also fond of painting his wife and family. This theme is displayed in the paintings below.

Monet's "The Woman In the Green" was of his wife Camille, painted in 1866

Monet's "Jean Monet on His Hobby Horse", painted in 1872

Monet's "Woman With A Parasol", features wife, Camille", and son, Jean, painted 1875

Monet’s paintings were mostly of outdoor scenes. Take a look at some of his most well known below.

Monet's "Argenteuil", painted 1875

Monet's "Rue Montorgueil", painted 1878

Monet's "Street in Vétheuil in Winter", painted 1879

Odd French Foods

Paris is the mecca of fine dining, all star chefs, and fabulous cuisine. Parisian chefs are well known for bringing flair and creativity to their dishes, often pairing unique foods and flavors together to create something your taste buds have never tasted the likes of before. Something else these crafty Parisian chefs are known for is using ingredients not typically eaten to create one of a kind dishes, most of them taking an adventurous spirit to try. In today’s “This Week in Pictures” we’re taking a look at some foods only the bold try.

Smoked Ox Tongue, also known as "Langue Lucullus" can be found, stuffed, sliced and sauteed or grilled, or mixed in with pasta.

Veal Belly, or "Tripe", is considered French soul food. It can be cooked a number of ways, including being used in pastas, soups, or grilled/sauteed.

Just like we have our turkey fowl for most major holidays in the U.S., Parisians have Guinea Fowl, or "Pintade" served as a main course at many of their holiday celebrations.

The famed frogs legs, which really do taste like chicken by the way.

Probably the most well known odd food to come out of Parisian kitchens, Escargot can be gotten both in shell and out of shell. Usually they are served in a rich sauce, and most often are available as a starter dish.

A delicious and flavorful berry used in a lot of sauces and dishes in France.

When most of us think of the term "sweetbread", we mainly think of pastries or some sort of starchy concoction - but not the fine dining world! To them, sweetbread refers to a calf's pancreas.

This sea creature has a weird, rubbery texture and resembles the look of snails.

 

 

Paris Fashion Flashbacks

Paris is undoubtedly the fashion capital of the world, but has it always been? Looking back, France has always seemed to set the style trends – whether it was the class centered styles of the 1700’s or the more laid back styles of the 1800’s. This week we take a look back into history to see what those stylish Parisians were up to and how they influenced the fashion world throughout time.

1700’s

Derived from the French term for coat "manteau", the Mantua was considered high fashion for women in the 1700's, and was made from fine silks and fabrics.

 

The robe à l'anglaise was a closed-bodied gown and a less formal version of the mantua,

 

Mens fashion in the 1700's did not change much from the 1600's - everyday and formal attire typically consisted of a coat, waistcoat, breeches, buckled shoes, and a wig.

 

1800’s

Womens fashion in the 1800's resembled that of long and flowing Roman and Grecian style dresses. Though simpler in design, women expressed their individuality with unique pieces of jewelry and other accessories.

 

The 1800's saw the end of frill and lace in mens clothing, and most importantly the white wigs. Instead, trousers became popular, along with simple coats, and tall hats. Emphasis on tailor quality was placed on their clothing by allowing the clothing to be simpler, thus showing off expert stitching.

 

1900’s

In the early 1900's, womens fashion changed pretty drastically through the decades. One thing that stayed the same - more shoulders and legs were shown. Before we hit the 1980's and 1990's fashions we're all familiar with, one popular style introduced in the 20's was the "flapper" dress.

Mens suits in the 1920's more resembled the suits popular today. Wider trousers and double breasted vests were also popular.

During the wartime era of the 1940's, womens dress was of simpler design and fabric. Skirts and dresses worn generally coming to right below the knees.

Suits with wide shoulders, thick padding, and fedora style hats were a widely popular fashion for men in the 1940's.

In the 1950's, womens fashion was all about celebrating femininity - the skirts and dresses were a bit longer, but the shoulders, breasts, and arms were accentuated and tiny waists were shown off.

Fashion in the 1950's for men ranged from tailored suits, to trousers with button up shirts or sweaters, to the "greaser" style clothing which included jeans and leather jackets.

Dresses and skirts were shorter once again in the 1960's, but we also saw the popularity of pants being worn by women increase.

Fashion for men in the 1960's included tighter jeans, tighter shirts, and lots of bell bottoms.

The 1970's were all about pants, feathered hair, lounge suits, mini skirts, and platform shoes.

 

The "disco look" that was popular for men in the 1970's was definitely an unforgettable style - tight and flared pants and brightly colored shirts made up this fashion look.