a tour of paris through the eyes of "Madeline."

i recently reread the “Madeline” books. they were just as adorable as i remember. as i studied ludwig bemelman’s charming color sketches of paris, i couldn’t help but daydream about visiting the city. some of the sites i was familiar with from films and novels, but others i’d never heard of. armed with a list kindly provided on the last page of the book, i decided to look up the sites. join me on a tour of Madeline’s Paris~

the eiffel tower
Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair. The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. 
The tower was much criticised by the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. Guy de Maupassant—who claimed to hate the tower—supposedly ate lunch in the Tower’s restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure. Today, the Tower is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art.” ~wikipedia

{via visiting dc }

the paris opera
The Palais Garnier is an elegant 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1911 novel The Phantom of the Opera.” ~wikipedia

{i can’t remember.}

the place vendome
Napoleon erected the original column, modelled after Trajan’s Column, to celebrate the victory of Austerlitz; its veneer of 425 spiraling bas-relief bronze plates were made out of cannon taken from the combined armies of Europe, according to his propaganda (the usual figure given is hugely exaggerated: 133 cannon were actually captured at Austerlitz). A statue of Napoleon, bare-headed, crowned with laurels and holding a sword in his right hand and a globe surmounted with a statue of Victory(as in Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker) in his left hand, was placed atop the column. ~wikipedia

the hotel des invalides
“a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building’s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l’Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France’s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.” ~wikipedia
{via planetware }

notre dame
Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe, and the naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). Victor Hugo used it as the primary setting of his novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame” ~wikipedia
church of the sacre coeur

“the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ.” ~wikipedia

the gardens at the luxembourg
The garden is largely devoted to a green parterre of gravel and lawn populated with statues and centred on a large octagonal basin of water, with a central jet of water; in it children sail model boats. The garden is famed for its calm atmosphere. The garden contains just over a hundred statues, monuments, and fountains, scattered throughout the grounds. Surrounding the central green space are about twenty figures of historical French queens and female saints standing on pedestals, including statues of Jeanne III of NavarreBlanche of CastileAnne of AustriaLouise of Savoy, and Anne of France.” ~wikipedia
the tuileries gardens facing the louvre
Created by Catherine de Medicis as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was first opened to the public in 1667, and became a public park after the French Revolution.” ~wikipedia
{via etraveltrips}

but it gets even better! while searching for information and photos i came across “onoloa”. The site is dedicated to enabling you to tour the places shown in “Madeline” in person. it includes information for children, information for adults, and hours of operation for each site. it also has links to public transport and the batobus for a view of the city from the seine!
Have a lovely weekend!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. shannantess says:

    Very much enjoyed this post!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just returned from a wonderful visit to Paris. Loved coming across this page!

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