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Published: January 24th 2021
Our tour started started on the Right Bank outside the Louvre Museum.
We saw two contrasting Metro station entrances, an art Nouveau style that I had seen on a previous virtual trip and a very colourful one that was created to mark the metro’s 100th birthday in 2000. It is an arched structure, composed of many strands of differently sized and colored glass beads. How cool is that !
A gem if a treasure often missed is the Palaiss Royale, Created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, the Palais Royal and its gardens, just a short walk from the Louvre, housed royal families up until the Palace of Versailles was built.
Despite its name, the Palais-Royal was not the official residence of the kings and queens of France.
The palace was built from 1633-1639 for the Cardinal Richelieu, it was his residence ountil his death in 1642. Upon the cardinal’s death, the estate came into possession of King Louis XIII and was consequently known as “Palais-Royal”. The king died the following year and the palace was entrusted to the Queen Mother Anne of
Austria who resided there with her advisor Cardinal Mazarin and her young sons, the future Louis XIV and Philippe of France.
The Palais-Royal underwent a major redevelopment in the 1780s with the addition of buildings, and arcades, as well as a redesigned garden. The neoclassical architect Victor Louis redesigned the perspective view of the garden in order to enclose it with regular colonnades lined with arcades.
We walked along the covered arcades with tiled floor, I believe there are over 140 boutiques, hair salons, bookshops, cafés and restaurants. The Grand Véfour is Paris’ first restaurant.
The peaceful gardens with 500 trees which include four double rows of lime trees and red horse chestnuts.
Le Petit Cannon - The Little Canon made of bronze was placed on the Meridian Line of Paris in 1796 and was fired every day at noon so that upper class strollers enjoying the Palais Royal could ensure that their own pocket watches were giving an accurate time, and according to the stories, there was a magnifying glass that utilised the rays of the sun to light the fuse.
A futuristic architecture
with contemporary sculptures designed by artist Daniel Duren are situated in the courtyard. The 260 black and white striped octagonal columns reminded me of hat boxes!
Just a short walk and we soon came to a most exquisite arcade. Galerie Vivienne,
built in 1823 and one of the most iconic covered arcades in Paris.
Most of the shops were closed as it is Sunday but what a beautiful place to visit
and admire the colourful mosaics on the ground and the beautiful glass roof which lets in the light.
Our tour was coming to an end but another hidden gem (Victory Square) very few people in the area compared to the Palais Royale.
The church, Notre Dame des Victoires is the former chapel of Augustinian fathers built in the years 1629–1740.
Place des Victoires was the first circular place of its kind and it was built around a statue in honour of King Louis XIV.
It always surprising just how much we can see and learn from a 30 minute tour with the wonder guides at www.virtualtrips.io
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