Top Ten Essential Architecture top ten Paris architecture  
     
  For a more complete list, see Paris Main List  
1 Eiffel Tower  
The Tower at sunrise.

architect

Gustave Eiffel

location

Avenue Gustave Eiffel, by the river Seine. Telephone 01-44-11-23-23 metro stations: (Trocadéro or Bir-Hakeim. RER: Champs-de-Mars - Tour-Eiffel (C) )

date

1887 to 1889

style

structural expressionist Victorian Industrial

construction

steel 300 m (985 ft) tall.

type

tower built for 1889 World Exposition Monument

The Eiffel Tower (French: Tour Eiffel) is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris. It is the tallest structure in Paris and among the most recognized symbols in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, it is a premier tourist destination.
The tower stands 300 m (986 ft) high, which is about 75 stories. Including the 24-m (72-ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1058 ft) high which is about 81 stories. At the time of its construction in 1889, the tower was the tallest structure in the world, a title it retained until 1930, when New York City's Chrysler Building (319 m/1046 ft tall) was completed (although the tower was still taller if the respective spires of the two structures were excluded). The tower is the second-highest structure in France, after the 350-m Allouis longwave transmitter, built in 1939. The Eiffel tower is the highest structure in Paris. The second-highest structure in Paris, and the fourth-highest in France, is the Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower), at 209 m. The Montparnasse Tower is also famous among architects for being one of the few tall structures in the world that is perfectly vertical.
 
     
2 Arc de Triomph  

architect

Jean Chalgrin (1739-1811)

location

stands in the centre of the Place de l'Étoile, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. metro station: Charles de Gaulle - Étoile. 

date

1806

style

NeoClassical version of ancient Roman architecture

construction

stone

type

Monument

The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris that stands in the centre of the Place de l'Étoile, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. It is the linchpin of the historic axis (L'Axe historique) leading from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace, a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route leading out of Paris. The monument's iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail and set the tone for public monuments with triumphant nationalistic messages until World War I.
 
     
3 Musée du Louvre  
I.M. Pei's Louvre Pyramid: one of the entrances to the galleries lies below the glass pyramid.

architect

original-Pierre Lescot and J. A. du Cerceau
second wing- Visconti and Hector Lefuel
pyramid- I. M. Pei

location

36, Quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France.

date

1546, 1876, 1989

style

original- Loire Chateau French Renaissance
current- Second Empire Baroque Revival

construction

stone

type

Palace, Gallery

getting there

get off at metro stations: Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre or Louvre Rivoli. 

The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre), in Paris, France, is one of the largest and most famous museums in the world. The building, a former royal palace, lies in the centre of Paris, between the Seine river and the Rue de Rivoli. Its central courtyard, now occupied by the Louvre Pyramid, lies in the axis of the Champs-Élysées, and thus forms the nucleus from which the Axe historique springs. Part of the royal Palace of the Louvre was first opened to the public as a museum on November 8, 1793, during the French Revolution.
 
     
4 Centre Pompidou  
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architect

Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano

location

Place Georges Pompendeau, telephone: 01-44-78-12-33. (get off at metro stations: Rambuteau or Les Halles. RER Châtelet - Les Halles) 

date

1972 to 1976

style

High-Tech Modern structural expressionist

construction

exoskeleton

type

Gallery

The Centre Georges Pompidou (constructed 1971–1977 and known as the Pompidou Centre in English) is a building in the Beaubourg area of the IVe arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles and the Marais. Designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, it houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information, a vast public library, and the Musée National d'Art Moderne. Because of its location, the Centre is known locally as Beaubourg.
 
     
5 Notre Dame Cathedral  
021B.jpg (69534 bytes)

architect

Maurice de Sully

location

Address: Parvis de Notre Dame. 75004 Paris, France.
Telephone: 43.26.07.39  (on the Ile de France)

date

1163 to 1250

style

Gothic

construction

cut stone. Road distances in France are measured from the "0 km" point on the square. 

type

Church

Notre Dame de Paris (French for "Our Lady of Paris", meaning the church in Paris dedicated to the Virgin Mary), often known simply as Notre Dame in English, is a gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. While a major tourist destination, it is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral (archbishop of Paris). Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered the finest example of French gothic architecture.
 
     
6 Musee d'Orsay  
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architect

Gae Aulenti 

location

1 rue de Bellechasse, Rue de Lille, 75343 telephone 45.49.48.14. (near Musée d'Orsay RER line C station)

date

1980 to 1987

style

Beaux-Arts Modern

construction

masonry, vaulted glass and steel roof

type

Utility, Museum

The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris on the left bank of the Seine near Musée d'Orsay RER line C station. It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume up to 1986.
 
     
7 La Samaritaine  
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architect

Frantz Jourdain (1847–1935) and Henri Sauvage  

location

on the banks of the River Seine, at the north end of the Pont Neuf. The nearest Metro station is Pont-Neuf

date

1905-10

style

blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco 

construction

a structure of four stages out of metal frame, with a court lit by the large glass ones

type

Shop
La Samaritaine is a large department store in Paris, France. It is owned by LVMH, a luxury goods company.
The large building is located in the Ier arrondissement, on the banks of the River Seine, at the north end of the Pont Neuf. The nearest Metro station is Pont-Neuf.
The store opened in 1869. The style is a blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, designed by Frantz Jourdain (1847–1935) and Henri Sauvage.
The department store owes its name to a hydraulic pump installed near the Pont Neuf, which operated from 1609 to 1813. On the front of the pump was a gilded bas relief of the Good Samaritan.
On 10 June, 2005 it was announced that La Samaritaine was to be shut for several years because inspections found it a serious fire risk.

 
     
8 Mont Martre  
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architect

Paul Abadie

location

Montmartre, Paris.

date

1876 to 1912

style

Romanesque Revival

construction

white marble

type

Church

Basilica of the Sacré Cœur was built on Montmartre from 1876 to 1912 by public subscription as a gesture of expiation after the defeat of 1871 in the Franco-Prussian War. Its white dome is a highly visible landmark in the city, where just below it artists still set up their easels each day amidst the tables and colorful umbrellas of Place du Tertre.
At the beginning of his political career, the future French statesman Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929) was mayor of Montmartre.
 
     
9 Paris Opera  
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architect

Charles Garnier

location

The Garnier Opera is a grand landmark at the north terminus of the Av. de la Opera in Paris. (metro station: Opéra)

date

1857 to 1874

style

NeoBaroque  Beaux-Arts

construction

masonry

type

Theatre

The Palais Garnier is an opera house, a grand landmark at the northern end of the Avenue de l'Opéra in the IXe arrondissement of Paris, France. It is regarded as one of the architectural masterpieces of its time. Built in Neo-baroque style, it is the thirteenth theatre to house the Paris Opera since it was founded by Louis XIV in 1669. It seats 1,979.

It was often also called the Paris Opera, but since the building of the Opéra Bastille in 1989, it is referred to as the Opéra Garnier.
 
     
10 la Sainte-Chapelle  
015-ste-chapelle-above.jpg (53838 bytes)

architect

unknown 

location

Located in the heart of Paris, slightly west of Notre Dame, on Michel Bd. du Palais au Change. 

date

1238 to 1244

style

French Court Gothic

construction

masonry 

type

Church built for King Louis, later sainted. 

La Sainte-Chapelle (French for The Holy Chapel) is a Gothic chapel on the Ile de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France. It is perhaps the high point of the full tide of the rayonnante period of Gothic architecture.

It was planned in 1241, started in 1246 and quickly completed: it was consecrated on April 26, 1248. The patron was the very devout Louis IX of France, who constructed it as a chapel for the royal palace. The palace itself has otherwise utterly disappeared, leaving the Sainte-Chapelle all but surrounded by the Palais de Justice, which carries on a single function of the palace, which was the site of the king's lit de justice where important aristocrats pled their cases before the king.