Wednesday, February 1, 2012

PARIS - City of Light

Eiffel Tower Lights the Evening - DGH 2010


Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)


Paris with all its lights on shows us a city proud to flaunt its beauty. It’s an impressive sight at night, when buildings take on a golden glow and the Eiffel Tower changes colour by the hour.

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Bright Cafe Lights on the Right Bank - by DGH
  Lights in the Side Streets

In the Marais when evening falls, walkers fill the streets looking for a place to eat and a spot to people watch by the Seine River. On the side streets, light spills out from the cafés and bistros onto the sidewalk, while the cosy tables invite us to stop.

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Bateau Parisiennes Tour - Illuminations - by Green Eye


Illumination Tours

Bateau Parisienne is one of several companies that provide tours of the Seine River day and night. Boats are open style or covered, depending on the weather, and provide an excellent view of the buildings in their evening finery. There are also driving tours available if you prefer the land route.

The unique design of the bridges can be seen as you slip quietly beneath. From this level, it’s also easier to see the detail of architectural grotesques and the unique style of the different bridges. I imagine scenes from the past when beaches ran down to the Seine River, and a few of the oldest bridges were new.

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Look Way Up at Notre Dame - by DG Hudson
 
Notre Dame Cathedral


Notre Dame looms over the Seine, its haunting Gothic style highlighted by the evening glow of lights.  Refer to 'Paris - Architecture Smorgasbord (from my 21st Century blog) for more photos and detail on this inspired building.

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Hôtel de Ville

  
Evening shot of Hotel de Ville with Signposts - by DGH


The Hôtel de Ville watches over the plaza in front, its sculptures lit from beneath. This is Paris City Hall. The quiet fountain off the the side bubbles pleasantly as we walk by, heading to our rental apartment. Public events such as fund-raisers are staged in the square at times. On those occasions, the building dons a different dress. (see 'Transformed photo' in sidebar)

http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/hoteldeville.htm  Hôtel de Ville


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Hôtel-Dieu de Paris

The illuminated photo of this building appears in another recent Paris post, Apartment Rentals and Booked Tours.

Hôtel-Dieu de Paris is the oldest hospital in Paris, and sits next to Notre Dame on the Île de la Cité. It was also the only hospital until the Renaissance. A few of the towers facing the Seine River have retained their medieval style complete with conical roofs.  Below is the day version.


Hotel D'ieu's conical towers at left - by DG Hudson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%B4tel-Dieu_de_Paris  Hotel D'ieu

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Seine River bridges

Always lots to see, on the river or on the bridges.

 
Bridge and Tour boat on the Seine River by DG Hudson

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Samaritain Paris 

This department store in the 1st Arrondisement closed in 2005.  In 2010, the lights still celebrated the store's past.  I liked the current design and the lights.  Who knows how long this version will last?

More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Samaritaine.




Samaritaine in the Evening by DGH
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A photographer's dream, that's Paris.  It's the urge to capture the essence of the brightness, the thing that gives the city that overall glow.  And I don't mean electricity.
What is it about lights - the neon that seduces us, marquees that invite us in and special lights that enthrall us at certain times of the year?  In Paris, they keep it going year round and light up the best places.  

Do you know of cities like Paris that enhance themselves in the evening with lights, or other public events so people feel comfortable walking about? 

Please share if you do. 

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16 comments:

  1. Great photos! I really like the one of Notre Dame.

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  2. @Alex - thanks! There will another couple of photos of Notre Dame when I finish my other post on the 21st Century Blog, later today.

    We stayed quite close to Notre Dame, so it became a familiar landmark, but I never ceased to marvel at the intricacy of the design.

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    1. It's an easy city to love. Thanks for stopping by, Jeremy.

      Check out the other blog for more Paris.

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  5. Lovely photos. I especially like the 'Bright Cafe Lights on the Light Bank'. It represents exactly how I remember Paris - lots of colour, and fast paced. Looking forward to returning next month. Thanks :)

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. Let me know how Paris is in March.

      We visited in the autumn last time, next time we thought we'd try April in Paris, or May.

      I went over to your site too for a peek. Interesting.

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  6. Thanks for the beautiful pictures. My daughter is going to France this summer. Can't wait to show her your pictures.

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    1. Susan, hope your daughter enjoys the photos. See the other posts under the Paris Posts tab (cafes, tours, etc)for even more.

      Thanks for following; drop by again as I have a couple more posts on Paris planned in between other subjects.

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    2. Also, I'm pleased that you like the photos. Forgot my manners there.

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  7. What gorgeous pictures! I've been to Paris several times, and I find it to be especially charming at night. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Thanks SherryE - glad you liked the photos. Thanks for following too!

      We stayed in the Marais, which still has some of the winding streets from earlier times and lots of places to eat at affordable prices.

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  8. @Anne G. - thanks for following; it's nice to find other writer blogs. Loved the question of who to cast in your protaganist's role. I do that with books I've read, too.

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  9. @Veronica and Thomas - thanks for following. Good luck with the writing and the editing. Sounds like you have a good 'team'.

    Being Canadians, we like hockey too!

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  10. Beautiful, and I enjoyed the background, too. Some day I'd love to walk around there with a camera in hand.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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    1. Thanks, Shannon. Paris is a great city for walking. I hope you get there too sooner rather than later.

      Thanks for following.

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