Posts Tagged ‘Paris accommodation’

Parc André Citroën

November 20, 2008

This park comprises glasshouses, computerized fountains, waterfalls, a wilderness and themed gardens featuring different coloured plants and sounds. An impressive park for far off, it gets better the closer you get to it, and if you plan to spend a weekend away in Paris, make sure you rent Paris accommodation or Paris apartments nearby.

The paved area by the fountains is perfect for walking around the park and really getting a feel for the postmodern design which is so characteristic of this park. The South edge of the lawn is bounded by a monumental canal — the “Jardin des Métamorphoses” — composed of an elevated reflecting pool that reaches through granite guard houses, lined by a suspended walkway. On the North side are two sets of small gardens: the six “Serial Gardens”, each with a distinct landscape and architectural design, and a “Garden in Movement” that presents wild grasses selected to respond at different rates to wind velocity. A 630-meter diagonal path cuts through the park, which constantly changes in its nature.

In addition to this, the park is home to a moored gas balloon operated by the Eutelsat company, which allows visitors to rise above the Parisian skyline. The balloon is filled with 5,500 cubic meters of helium. It is 32 meters high and has a diameter of 22 meters. It is moored to the ground with a hydroelectrically-activated cable. It can rise to an altitude of 150 meters and has a carrying capacity of 30 adults, or 60 children. The balloon provides a view of the Champ de Mars, the River Seine, Basilica of the Sacré Cœur and the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral.

Finally, a bit of history. The park was created on the site of the old Citroën factory, built in 1915 by André Citroën on the banks of the Seine, operating it until it closed in the 1970s.


La Conciergerie

November 20, 2008

This exciting 14th century fortress was the setting for Marie-Antoinette’s imprisonment before the revolution and looks just the part from the outside. Definitely worth a visit if you are planning a trip to Paris, get up early and leave your Paris accommodation or Paris apartments, and make your way to 2 bd du Palais in the 1st arrondissements.

The 13th century Bonbec tower, built during the reign of St Louis, the 14th century twin towers, César and Argent, and the Tour de l’Horloge all survive from the Capetian palace. Here you will be able to see the interior of the castle, including the Salle des Gardes, medieval kitchens with their four huge chimneys and the Salle des Gens d’Armes, an impressive vaulted Gothic hall built between 1301 and 1315 for Philippe ‘le Bel’.

After the royal family moved to the Louvre, the fortress became a prison under the watch of the Concierge. The wealthy had private cells with their own furniture, which they paid for. A list of Revolutionary prisoners, including a hairdresser, shows that not all victims were nobles. In Marie-Antoinette’s cell, the Chapelle des Girondins, are her crucifix and portraits.

Located on the west of the Île de la Cité, near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, la Conciergerie is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes.

You can get to this interesting castle by Metro: lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14 – Bus: 21, 24, 27, 38, 58, 81, 85 and Balabus – RER: lines B and C – Follow the Seine banks to Ile de la Cité. Open from Mar – Oct 9:30am – 6pm daily and Nov – Feb 9am-4.30pm daily. As well as this, admission is €6.50; €4.50 18-25s, with under 18s free when accompanied by an adult.

Zoo Bois de Vincennes, Paris

November 20, 2008

Parc Zoologique de Paris is an exciting place to visit whether you’re a small child or a fully grown adult! The French capital has two zoos, yet Zoo Bois de Vincennes is the official “Zoo de Paris”. Situated in the eastern part of Paris, the zoo can be found within a large, pleasant wooded area where you will find a castle and the botanical garden “Parque Floral” which also has a pretty lake, perfect for renting small boats.

So, leave your central Paris apartments or Paris accommodation and make your way to this lovely place. The zoo is special as it houses more than 200 species of animals. Monkeys leap around the trees, and the Giant Panda is the star of the show. As well as this, over-seven-year-olds can ascend the 65m Grand Rocher – either by lift or by walking up the 352 steps. Furthermore, there are notices at the entrance to the zoo stating feeding times and information about new born animals that you should go and see. One of the rarest residents of the zoo, the Madagascan “Aye-aye” is situated just after the giraffes. Rare due to native superstition, the characteristic long, spindly fingers of the Aye-aye are said to frighten villagers, who view the Aye-aye as a harbinger of evil. Others believe that should one point its long middle finger at you, you would be condemned to death. Some say the appearance of an Aye-aye in a village predicts the death of a villager, and the only way to prevent this is to kill the Aye-aye.

You can get to this exciting zoo by taking the metro to Porte Doree, walking to bois de Vincennes (5mins) then through the park alongside the huge boating lake to the entrance. The zoo is situated at 53 av de St-Maurice, 12th and is open in Summer from 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 9am-6.30pm Sun and bank hols. During Winter the zoo is open 9am-5pm Mon-Sat and 9am-5.30pm Sun and bank hols.