Fantastic Free Paris Activities

A summer trip to Paris is a dream come true for many people, but a vacation there can certainly add up to a big expense. Have no fear—some of the best things in Paris, as in life, are free, so take advantage of these fantastic free activities to do in Paris while you visit the City of Lights. Notre Dame Cathedral This famous Gothic cathedral is surrounded by lush greenery and gardens, all of which is completely free to visit. […]

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April in Paris

Springtime is upon us, which means that there’s no better time of year to enjoy the City of Lights. Strolling tree-lined boulevards is an ideal occupation for locals and travelers alike, and enjoying the romantic atmosphere of the city’s many green spaces is one Parisian activity that is absolutely free. Although the Tuileries and Luxembourg gardens might get all the attention, you can experience Paris in bloom in dozens of smaller gardens off the beaten path. Why fight crowds when […]

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Aquitaine: A Brief History

Church is Sarlat, Perigord, in the Aquitaine region of France.

Our direct ancestor, the Cro-Magnon man -named after a site in the Perigord- testifies to human habitation of what is now Aquitaine going back thousands of years. The caves of Lascaux, in France, contain some of the earliest known representational art, dating to between 17,000 and 15,000 years before the present. Vercingetorix surrenders to Julius Cesar. The Romans conquered “Aquitania” after a bitter fight against the Celts led by Vercingetorix, a local hero. The ensuing Pax Romana allowed the creation, […]

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Louis XVI

[img]737|left|Louis XVI|[/img]Louis XVI of France (August 23, 1754 – January 21, 1793) succeeded his grandfather (Louis XV of France) as King of France on May 10, 1774; he was crowned on June 11, 1775. His father, the dauphin, had died in 1765. On May 16, 1770 he married Marie Antoinette, daughter of Francis I of Austria and Empress Maria Theresa , a Habsburg. They had four children: Marie-Therese Charlotte (December 20, 1778 – October 1851); Louis-Joseph-Xavier-FranÁois (October 22, 1781 – […]

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Vaux-le-Vicomte

[img]274|left|Vaux-le-Vicomte[/img]Once a small castle located between the royal residences of Vincennes and Fontainebleau in France, the estate of Vaux-le-Vicomte was purchased by a 26 year-old parliamentarian, Nicolas Fouquet in 1641. Fifteen years later, construction began on what was then the finest chateau and garden in France. This achievement was brought about through the collaboration of three men of genius whom Fouquet had chosen for the task: the architect Le Vau, the painter-decorator Le Brun and the landscape gardener Le NÙtre. […]

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The Treaty of Versailles

Treaty of VersaillesFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Treaty of Versailles of 1919 was the peace treaty that was created as a result of the six-month-long Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which put an official end to World War I. The treaty was ratified on January 10, 1920 and required that Germany accept responsibility for the war and was thus obliged to pay large amounts of compensation (known as war reparations). Like many other treaties, it is named for the […]

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History of Paris

The historical nucleus of Paris is the Ile de la CitÈ, a small island largely occupied by the huge Palais de Justice and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. It is connected with the smaller Ile Saint-Louis, occupied by elegant houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries. A major characteristic of Paris is its tree-lined quays along the Seine River, in particular, along the Left Bank with its open-air bookstalls, the historic bridges that span the river, and the […]

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History of France

Gaul Settled mainly by the Gauls and related Celtic peoples (apart from a shrinking area of Basque population in the south-west), the area of modern France comprised the bulk of the region of Gaul (Latin Gallia) under Roman rule from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD. Franks In 486, Clovis I, leader of the Salian Franks to the east, conquered the Roman territory between the Loire and the Somme, subsequently uniting most of northern and central France […]

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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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Alfred Dreyfus

Alfred Dreyfus (October 9, 1859 – July 12, 1935), French military officer best known for being the focus of the Dreyfus affair. Born in Mulhouse, Alsace, France, Dreyfus was the youngest of seven children in the family of a Jewish textile manufacturer who had accepted French nationality in 1871. The family had long been established in Alsace. He was accepted into the …cole Polytechnique for military training in 1877 and graduated in 1880 as a sub-lieutenant. His entry into the […]

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