Paris Opera

784|left|Exterior of the Palais Garnier.|The Palais Garnier is a grand landmark at the northern end of the Avenue de l’Opera in Paris, France. It is regarded as one of the architectural masterpieces of its time. Built in the Neo-Baroque style, it is the thirteenth theatre to house the Paris Opera since it was founded by Louis XIV in 1669. It was often also called the Paris Opera, but since the building of the Opera Bastille in 1989, it is referred […]

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Mona Lisa – La Joconde

[img]312|left|Mona Lisa[/img]Mona Lisa (also known as the Monna Lisa; Italian La Gioconda; French La Joconde), is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci showing a woman with an introspective expression-perhaps smiling would be the wrong word. It is the most famous painting in the world, going so far as to be iconic of painting, art, and even visual images in general. No other work of art is so romanticized, celebrated, or reproduced. It was accomplished between 1503 and 1506. Today it […]

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Cathars

Catharism was a Gnostic heretical movement that originated around the middle of the 12th century AD. It existed throughout much of Western Europe, but its home was in Languedoc, in southern France. The name Cathars probably originated from catharos, the pure ones, maybe also from cattus cat which they were supposed to sexually abuse during their ceremonies, and one of the first recorded uses is Eckbert von Schˆnau who wrote on heretics from Cologne in 1181: Hos nostra germania catharos […]

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Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel (December 15, 1832 – December 27, 1923), French architect. † [img]304|left|Gustave Eiffel[/img]Born Alexandre Gustave Eiffel in Dijon, CÙte-d’Or, France, he is most famous for building the Eiffel Tower, built from 1887-1889 for the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition in Paris, France, as well as the armature for the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, USA. He also designed ironwork for bridges. Gustave Eiffel also designed La Ruche in Paris, that would, like the Eiffel Tower, become a city […]

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Jules Verne

(February 8, 1828

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Albigensian Crusade

The Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229) was part of the Roman Catholic Church’s efforts to crush the Cathars. The Cathars were especially numerous in southern France, in the region of Languedoc. They were termed Albigensians because of the movements presence in and around the city of Albi. Political control in Languedoc was split amongst many local lords and town councils, the area was relatively lightly oppressed and reasonably advanced. The crusading efforts can be divided into a number of periods, the first […]

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Avignon

Host to France’s favorite summer theater festival, this southern city 4 hours by train from Paris, boasts a rich history, and a varied architecture. Year after year, it ranks as one of the country’s favorite destinations amongst foreign and French tourist

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French History: Introduction

  The Fleur de Lys,the royal emblem History can be relived all throughout France. Prehistoric paintings decorate the walls of caves in the Southwest, whereas the Southeast is filled with bridges, acqueducts and amphitheaters built by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. The soaring spires of the great cathedrals are expressions of the religious faith that dominated the Middle Ages. Symbols of the Republic Royal grandeur and merchant wealth produced the Louvre and the immense ch‚teau of Versailles, the Loire […]

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Vercingetorix

Vercingetorix (died 46 BC), chieftain of the Arverni, led the great Gallic revolt against the Romans in 53 and 52 BC. His name in Gaulish means “over-king” (ver-rix) of warriors (cingetos). As described in Julius Caesar’s Gallic_Wars, Rome had secured domination over the Celtic tribes beyond the Provincia Narbonensis (modern day Provence) through a careful strategy of divide and conquer. Vercingetorix ably unified the tribes, adopted the policy of retreating to natural fortifications, and undertook an early example of scorched_earth […]

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Notre-Dame de Reims

For many centuries, this cathedral is where the Kings of France have been crowned. Today, it stands as one of the the most perfect architectural masterpieces of the Middle Ages.

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