Paris - The City of Light PDF Print E-mail

(source: wikipedia)

 

ARCHITECTURE

Arc-de-TriompheMuch of contemporary Paris is the result of the vast mid-nineteenth century urban remodelling. For centuries, the city had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but, beginning with Haussman's advent, entire quarters were leveled to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoisie standing. Most of this 'new' Paris is the Paris we see today. The building code has seen few changes since, and the Second Empire plans are in many cases still followed. The "alignement" law is still in place, which regulates building facades of new constructions according to a pre-defined street width. A building's height is limited according to the width of the streets it lines, and under the regulation, it is difficult to get an approval to build a taller building.

 

MONUMENTS AND LANDMARKS

effielThree of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the 12th-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe and the 19th-century Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary" construction by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. The Historical axis is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that run in a roughly straight line from the city-centre westwards: The line of monuments begins with the Louvre and continues through the Tuileries Gardens, the Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe, centred in the Place de l'Étoile circus. From the 1960s, the line was prolonged even further west to the La Défense business district dominated by square-shaped triumphal Grande Arche of its own; this district hosts most of the tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area. The Invalides museum is the burial place for many great French soldiers, including Napoleon, and the Panthéon church is where many of France's illustrious men and women are buried. The former Conciergerie prison held some prominent Ancien Régime members before their deaths during the French Revolution. Another symbol of the Revolution are the two Statues of Liberty located on the Île des Cygnes on the Seine and in the Luxembourg Garden. A larger version of the statues was sent as a gift from France to America in 1886 and now stands in New York City's harbour. The Palais Garnier, built in the later Second Empire period, houses the Paris Opera and the Paris Opera Ballet, while the former palace of the Louvre now houses one of the most renowned museums in the world. Apart from Notre Dame de Paris, there are several other ecclesiastical masterpieces including the Gothic 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle palace chapel and the Église de la Madeleine.

 

TRANSPORT

The members of this syndicate are the Île-de-France region and the eight departments of this region. The syndicate coordinates public transport and contracts it out to the RATP (operating 654 bus lines, the Métro, three tramway lines, and sections of the RER), the SNCF (operating suburban rails, one tramway line and the other sections of the RER) and the Optile consortium of private operators managing 1,070 minor bus lines.

MetroMap

The Métro is Paris' most important transportation system. The system, with 300 stations (384 stops) connected by 214 km (133.0 mi) of rails, comprises 16 lines, identified by numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis, so numbered because they used to be branches of their respective original lines, and only later became independent. In October 1998, the new line 14 was inaugurated after a 70‑year hiatus in inaugurating fully new métro lines. Because of the short distance between stations on the Métro network, lines were too slow to be extended further into the suburbs, as is the case in most other cities. As such, an additional express network, the RER, has been created since the 1960s to connect more-distant parts of the urban area. The RER consists in the integration of modern city-centre subway and pre-existing suburban rail. Nowadays, the RER network comprises five lines, 257 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails.

In addition, the Paris region is served by a light rail network of four lines, the tramway: Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La Défense to Porte de Versailles, line T3 runs from Pont du Garigliano to Porte d'Ivry, line T4 runs from Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois. Six new light rail lines are currently in various stages of development.

 

CLIMATE

Paris has a typical Western European oceanic climate which is affected by the North Atlantic Current. Over the year, Paris' climate can be described as mild and moderately wet. Summer days are usually warm and pleasant with average temperatures hovering between 18 and 24°C, and a fair amount of sunshine. More recently, the average temperature for June has been +21°C, with an average minimum temperature of 16° and an average maximum temperature of 24°C.

temperature-chart

 

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