Basically I'll give only an outline on what to see in each city, places to say and costs. The method of this trip is to go where your feet take you... You'll reach where you need to.
Generally speaking, the cities are divided into the old city surrounded by a wall (the 'state') and the city outside the wall. Most of the action occurs inside the the walled city.
In every Riad we visited, we received a very user-friendly map with all the sightseeing in the city.
Main attractions: Tram 15, Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, Belém Palace (Palácio Nacional Da Ajuda), Praça do Império, Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), Belém Tower (Torre de Belém), Museu de Combatente, Centro Cultural de Belém e Forte do Bom Sucesso, Belém's Museu Colecção Berardo, Museu De Marinha (MARITIME MUSEUM), Igreja de Santa Maria de Belem, Antiga Confeitaria de Belém – Pasteis de Belem Café - Part 1.
Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos), Museu Nacional dos Coches - part 2.
Duration: 1 busy day (visiting the interiors of most or part of Belem attractions). 1/2 day - without visiting the interiors. Tip: Arrive to Jerónimos Monastery around 14.00 - 16.00. During the morning hours - there is a long queue there. In case you decide to visit the interiors of the Monastery and the Berardo Museum - allow 1 full day and start early !!!
Start & End: Figueira Square ("Praça da Figueira") or Comercio Square ("Praça do Comércio").
Distance (both parts, all Belém attractions): 3-4 km. (without the Belém Palace), 6-7 km. (with the Belém Palace).
Lisbon's most monumental and historical area is Belém. It was from here that many of the great Portuguese explorers embarked on their voyages of discovery: Prince Henry the Navigator and the first overseas expedition to conquer Ceuta in Morocco, Bartholomeu Dias to round the Cape of Good Hope, the first voyages of Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama to discover the sea route to India, and Christopher Columbus stopped here on his way back to Europe after discovering the New World. Belém is recognized for its concentration of national monuments and public spaces, including a mixture of historical buildings and modern symbols of Portuguese culture. The Discoveries Monument During this time Lisbon flourished with riches pouring into Portugal and saw the construction of great monuments like the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Today these monuments and their surrounding museums are must-see atrractions for any visitor. Belem's attractions warrant a full-day visit. We sketch an itinerary for half-day only. Don't go on a Monday, when many of the sites are closed. Located on the mouth of the Tagus River it is located 6 kilometres west of the city centre and 2 kilometres west of Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge). Its name is derived from the Portuguese word for Bethlehem.
To get to Belem from Lisbon, you will need to take either tram 15 or tram 127 from the downtown area’s Figueira Square ("Praça da Figueira") or Comercio Square ("Praça do Comércio"). I recommend taking the tram from the Figueira squre. Tram 15 runs regularly and takes about 25 minutes to get from Placa da Figueria to the stop for Belem. Tram 15 (destination: Alges) is the best way to reach Belem from downtown. You can hop on 15 either at Figueira Square or Comercio Square (getting off by Jeronimos Monastery). The stop at the Comercio square is quite crowded - so, find shelter (from the sun) under the bus-stop roof in front (cross the street). The tram #15 wagons are air-conditioned and quite modern. You can catch it outside Cais do Sodre railway station as well, but I wouldn't advise that unless you are staying nearby. Usually, there are tens of people waiting at Cais do Sodre (cruise ships porting there) and the chances of you getting on a tram within one hour are nil even though people are crammed on like sardines. Do take care on the tram. All crowded situations are prime hunting ground for pickpockets and tram 15, with its continual loads of tourists, is a favourite spot. Keep cash and cards safely underneath your clothing, never ever in your pockets or bum-bags/fanny-packs, and hold your bag firmly in your arms. The same applies while you are queuing at the bus stop. Don't stand with your daypack facing the road which runs parallel to the tram tracks. Get off at the stop marked Belém (the best) or the next one called Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. A single ticket can be purchased on board the tram costs €2.85, the ticket machines do not accept bank notes and frequently run out of change. A single ticket price is reduced to €1.40 if a pre-paid Viva Viagem ticket is used, these can be purchased from any metro station. A one-day travel pass for all of the public transport in Lisbon costs €6.00. As this is the busiest tram service of Lisbon the trams start early and continue well into the night. The first service departs at 05.00 and the last departure is at 01.00, there are between 4-6 services an hour. Delays are frequent in rush times. The Lisbon tram 15 route also passes the trendy Santo Amaro docks. These old warehouse have been converted into trend bars and restaurants that over look the suspension bridge, River Tejo and marina. The docks area and is served by the Avenue Infante Santo stop which is 11 minutes from Praca do Comercio.
Another option is the train. Belem's small train station can be found on the Cascais Line that runs between Lisbon's Cais de Sodre train station and Cascais train station. This line is very scenic and many of Belem's attractions (including the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the Monument to the Discoveries) can be seen from the train.
When travelling on this line, you should be aware that not all trains stop at Belem. If travelling from Cais de Sodre, you should board a train that stops at all stations to Cascais. These trains say 'TODAS' on the front to indicate that they are stopping at all stations between Cais de Sodre and Cascais.
Buses no. 28 or 43 depart from Praça da Figueira to Belém, again taking 15 minutes.
All means of transportaion cost (as of summer 2014) 1.40 euros.
Do not go to Belem on Mondays since that’s the day that: Jeronimos monastery, Belem Tower and the Monument to Discoveries are all closed.
We drop the Tram #15 at the 'Belem' stop. Belém's main street and historical avenue is Rua de Belém, a strip of 160-year buildings that have survived several years of change and modernization. This includes the famous pastry shop Fábrica de Pasteis de Belém known for a specific Portuguese confectionery: pastel de Belém (pastéis de Belém), an egg tart made with flaky pastry (see later). Five hundred metres to the east of Praça do Império lies Belém's other major square Praça Afonso de Albuquerque - this is the first park or garden we face. The site of the square used to be a harbour, built in 1753. In 1807, Queen Mary I, Prince John VI and the royal family fled Lisbon from this harbour to Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, to escape the Napoleonic troops which had invaded Portugal. The square is located in front of Belém Palace, an early 18th-century palace that nowadays serves as residence for the President of Portugal. The square is named after the Second Governor of Portuguese India Afonso de Albuquerque, and offers the best views of Belém Palace. It has a beautiful monument, in neo-Manueline style, by artists Silva Pinto and Costa Mota tio, inaugurated in 1902. The monument carries a bronze statue of Afonso de Albuquerque and has interesting reliefs about his life:
To the southeast of the gardens is the Belém Palace (Palácio Nacional Da Ajuda) (1770), the official residence of the Portuguese President. It had, overtime, been the official residence of Portuguese monarchs and, after the installation of the First Republic, the Presidents of the Portuguese Republic. Located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém, the palace is located on a small hill that fronts the Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, near the historical centre of Belém and the Monastery of the Jeronimos, close to the waterfront of the Tagus River. The five buildings that makeup the main façade of the Palace date back to the second half of the 17th century, and were built at a time when, more and more, the monarchy and nobility were escaping the urbanized confines of Lisbon. Access to the Palace is made from Rua de Belém at the main gate and ramp (guarded by military sentries). Open every day except wednesdays, 10.00 to 18.00. Closed every Wednesdays, 1st January, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 25th December. Admission charge 5 €
Admission free: First Sundays of the month (groups 12 pax max.), children under 14, teachers and students if in organized school visit, ICOM members, unemployed EU resident (documentation needed). 50% Discount: Students, Youth Card, + 65, families with children with more than 4 persons. Circuit Ticket 7,5 € Palacio Nacional da Ajuda and Museu Nacional dos Coches. Public transport: Bus and tram: 18, 729, 732, 742, 60
Estoril railway: Belém Station.
The Palace is quite distant from Rua de Belem (1.6 km. !). A view of the Palace of Belém from the main obelisk in Praça Afonso de Albuquerque:
A monument to assassinated monarch King Carlos of Portugal in front entrance to the Ajuda National Palace:
The eastern façade (and main entrance) to the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda:
The interior façade from the Palace courtyard looking towards the statue of King Carlos of Portugal:
The interior of the Green Room, used by the Queen for official duties:
The avant-garde Blue Room with visual affects that implied a greater grandeur:
Portrait of the Royal Family in the Green Room:
Red Room (Salinha Encarnada):
The Marble Room (known also as the Winter Garden or informally as the Egyptian room):
The Grand Dining room:
We continue/return with/to Rua de Belem along the gardens heading to the WEST.
In the heart of the parks area is Praça do Império, an avenue of open-spaces and gardens, with a central fountain, which was laid-out during World War II. The square commemorates the Portuguese Empire and was built for the Exhibition of the Portuguese World in 1940. This park has many pathways and a beautiful fountain that changes into several different forms over a few minutes and you could enjoy a walk or just sit and enjoy the sun, birds, vegetation and cute statues of horses.
Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) from Praça do Império:
From the parks/gardens - cross the Avenida Brasilia to the seafront to see:
Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) - located on the edge of the Tagus' northern bank, this 52 metre-high slab of concrete, was erected in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. The monument is sculpted in the form of a ship's prow, with dozens of figures from Portuguese history following a statue of the Infant Henry sculpted in base relief. Adjacent to the monument is a huge square in the form of a map, showing the routes of various Portuguese explorers, during the Age of Discovery. It is 52 meters tall and is shaped live a ship with historical Portuguese navigators standing at the prow. Inside is an exhibition and you can go up to the top to get a better look at Belem below. Opening hours: Daily 10.00 - 18.00, Closed on Mondays.
Rosa dos Ventos (Rose of Winds) square north to the Monument of Discveries:
Continue west along the seafront to:
Belém Tower (Torre de Belém) - constructed on the rocky outcropping/island along the northern margin of the Tagus River as part of a defensive system to protect access to the Tagus estuary envisioned by king John (Joao) II of Portugal. It is one of Belém's iconic symbols of the parish. Originally, the Tower of Saint Vincent (Torre de São Vicente), it was elaborated by Manuel I of Portugal (1515–1520) to guard the entrance to the port at Belém. It stood on a little island in right side of the Tagus, surrounded by water. Built in 1515, this Manueline style fortress served also the important purpose of being a starting point to much of the voyages the Portuguese made to places like the New World, India, and Japan. It is because of its significance that the Belem Tower has been honored as a UNESCO World Heritage monument. Its design is breathtaking. It has details such as stones that look like twisted rope, lots of balconies, domes, and the arched windows that are customary in the Manueline style. It is completely surrounded by water. You’ll need to cross a bridge to get to it. Opening hours: October-April 10.00 - 17.30, May-September 10.00 - 18.30. Closed on Mondays. Entrance fee: 6 euros. Combined tickets: Descobertas: Jerónimos Monastery /Tower of Belém: €12, Jeronimos: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos + Museu Nacional de Arqueologia: 12 €, Praça do Império: Jerónimos Monastery +Tower of Belém + Museu Nacional de Arqueologia: €16, Cais da História: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos + Torre de Belém + Museu Naciona de Arqueologia + Museu de Arte Popular + Museu Nacional de Etnologia + Museu dos Coches: 25 €:
Further west along the seashore, quite close to the Belem Tower is the Museu de Combatente. The main purpose of this Museum is the expression of the Portuguese military conquests, with a space reserved to divulgate the Portuguese military history, near the public in general and the combatants, through distinct museum references regarding time, matter and especially shape, from the First World War, the Overseas Campaigns and Peace Missions. Therefore, the Museum of Combatant honours the Combatants who served Portugal in the Overseas Campaigns, with the integration of the “Monument to the Honour of Overseas Combatants” in this space, since 1993. These two symbols – the Museum of Combatant and the “Monument to the Honour of Overseas Campaigns”, stands for the concepts of Culture, Citizenship and Defense. The two of them represent an end of a cycle in the Portuguese history – the End of the Empire, whose beginning is materialized in the same space by the Belem Tower. Outside the fort is a Military memorial and what one assumes is an eternal flame guarded by two soldiers. The museum is managed by the Portuguese equivalent of the British Legion and is housed in an 18th century fort, which at one time was directly attached to the tower and provided protection for old Lisbon from attacks from the river Tagus. Open every day, including weekends, and holidays. From 10.00 until 17.00 (Oct-March), from 10.00 until 18.00 (April-Sept). Prices: 3€ (adults), 2€ (children with seven years old and up, pensioners and groups), free entry (for members of the Combatants League and leaders of groups on guided tours):
From here we go back eastward. Find the upper bridge (over Avenida Barasilia and the railway track) and walk east along Rua Bartolomeu Dias to arrive to: the Centro Cultural de Belém e Forte do Bom Sucesso, built in 1992 during Portugal's term in the revolving role at the helm of the European Union presidency. The Belém Cultural Centre, also known as CCB, affords three functions, a congress centre, a concert hall complex and an exhibition centre. The building also has several shops, a restaurant and two bars. The concert hall complex has three halls that are equipped to house different kinds of shows, from ballet to cinema. The exhibition centre houses the Berardo?s Foundation modern and contemporary art collection (Fundação de Arte Moderna e Contemporânea - Museu colecção Berardo) since 2007. The temporary exhibitions vary what they have on show, from sculptures, to architecture, to design, photography and installations:
It is now an arts complex, containing Belém's Museu Colecção Berardo - a brand new museum of modern and contemporary art. Admission is free. To visit some of the temporary exhibitions it may be necessary to purchase a ticket. Opening times: Tuesday - Sunday
10.00-19.00 (last admission: 18.30), 24 December 10.00-14.30 (last admission: 14.00), 25 December Closed, 31 December 10.00-14.30 (last admission: 14.00), 1 January 12.00-19.00 (last admission: 18.30). The museum has an extensive permanent collection, but it is also the host of various temporary exhibitions that change on a regular basis. It is an extensive museum and FREE. For modern art lovers - even 2-3 hours won't suffice. A vast collection showcasing some of the biggest names in art: Picasso, Warhol, Pollack, Abstract and Expressionist works. It is rare opportunity to see so much at one place. GOOD ASIAN-EUROPEAN RESTAURANT WITH REASONABLE PRICES.
DO NOT MISS the Museum's gardens. Stunning views of the river (from vey limited and specif hidden points....:
Stunning views also of the Maritime Museum and the Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos):
You can exit from the back side of the museum, through its garden to Rua Bartolomeu Dias and to the Museu De Marinha (MARITIME MUSEUM) in the Praca do Imperio. Opening hours: From 10.00 to 17.00 (01 Oct - 30 Apr), from 10.00 to 18.00 (01 May - 30 Sep). Prices: Adults 6,00€, seniors 65+ 3,00€, students 3,00€, children 12 - 18: 3,00€.
The church Igreja de Santa Maria de Belem is adjacent to the Jeronimos Monastery. You can enter it first - since it it in the western part of the monastery. It features many details embedded in its walls. It contains the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões. Absolutely not to be missed! Very beautiful both externally and internally:
The ornate Manueline south portal by João de Castilho:
Tomb of Luis Vaz de Camoes:
Tomb of Vasco de Gama:
Royal tombs in the main chapel. Each sarcophagus is held by two elephants:
The Nave and Apse:
Belém is home to a number of other museums: Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), Museu do Centro Científico e Cultural de Macau (Macau Cultural Museum), Museu de Arte Popular (Folk Art Museum), Museu Nacional dos Coches (Coach Museum), and Museu da Presidência da República (Presidential Museum).
Antiga Confeitaria de Belém – Pasteis de Belem Café: A trip to Belem is not complete without stopping at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém. This is a very large cafe-confectionery with several rooms. Some of these are decorated with Azulejos (blue tiles). It’s one of those things that everyone does while visiting the district. They produce about 14,000 of these sweets per day and the café is obviously very popular. You won’t wait more than half an hour until your order gets taken. You can either take-away the pasties or you can eat inside, in the latter case you’ll be taken to a seating area in the back which is very spacious. Soon after you place your order, your warm, straight out of the oven custard tart will be served. Traditionally, these pastries are sprinkled with “canela” or cinnamon and powdered sugar. If you order the pastries to go, they’ll be given to you in a beautiful tube box decorated with a traditional Portuguese design. Café Pastéis de Belém has been specializing in these treats since year 1837 ! These pastries are served warm and sprinkled with cinnamon and/or sugar (if you like). Their original receipt is kept secret. Only three persons knows it. This sweet is believed was created before the 18th century by the nuns at the Monastery of Jerònimos. Antiga Confeitaria de Belèm was the first place selling these tarts since 1837. In this year the baking of the 'Pasteis de Belém' has begun in buildings joined to the refinery, following the ancient 'secret recipe' from the monastery. Passed on and known exclusively to the master confectioners who hand-crafted the pastries in the 'secrets room', this recipe remained unchanged to the present day. In fact, the only true 'Pasteis de Belém' contrive, by means of a scrupulous selection of ingredients, to offer even today the flavour of the time-honoured Portuguese sweet making.
Opening hours: June 1st – September 30th 8.00 – Midnight, October 1st – May 31st 08.00 – 23.00.
Now, move to Belém part 2 - Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) and the Museu Nacional dos Coches (the Carriages Museum).
The Left Bank: From Tour Eiffel to Notre-Dame de Paris:
Tip 1: From Tour Eiffel to Place Saint-Sulpice.
Tip 2: From Place Saint-Sulpice to La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
Tip 1 Main Attractions: Park du Champ de Mars, Statue Marechal Joffre, École Militaire, Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni, Esplanade des Invalides, Quai d’Orsay, Pont Alexandre III, Port des Champs-Élysées, Assemblée Nationale du Palais Bourbon, Pont de la Concorde, Quai Anatole-France, Musée d'Orsay (we did NOT enter the museum), Hôtel Matignon, Hôtel de Boisgelin, Rue du Bac, Musée Maillol, Cafe de Flore, Cafe Les Deux Magots, Place Saint-Germain des Prés, Place Saint-Sulpice.
Tip 2 Main Attractions: Place Saint-Sulpice, Church of Saint-Sulpice, Luxembourg Gardens, Place du Panthéon, The Panthéon, Place Sainte-Geneviève, Eglise Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, La Sorbonne, Promenade Maurice Carême, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Île de la Cité.
Start: Park Champ de Mars. End: La station de métro "Cité". Distance: 15 km. Orientation: Only bright days. We walk a lot along many interesting streets in Paris (mostly in the left bank). We do NOT enter the main museums. We do enter the Notre-Dame Cathedral but NOT entering Orsay Museum.
Our Itinerary starts east to our Eiffel in Park du Champ de Mars. If you come to the Eiffel Tower, you will pass through this huge park which is lived with upper class residences. Lots of greenery, and some benches for sitting. Watch out for Africans trying, desperately, to sell small figurines of Tour Eiffel or gypsies running scams on tourists. Opened in 1780, the Parc du Champ-de-Mars extends from the École Militaire in the east to the Eiffel Tower in the west. A focal point for national events, it can be accessed freely and offers the most beautiful view of the capital’s landmark monument. Parisians and tourists gather on its lawns to picnic, play music, and watch the Eiffel Tower’s twinkling lights at nightfall. BUT, this legendary site is losing its glamour from year to year. The first change are the black sellers filling the park. The next change happened when the park was surrounded with fences and guards. The increased security under the Eiffel Tower squeezes the huge masses into narrow channels at the base of Eiffel Tower. As is the case everywhere n Paris there is a serious lack of public toilets. Signs lead nowhere and it's not surprising that sadly there is a pervading smell of wee everywhere you go in the park. Keep your eyes open for pickpockets. Anyway, nice views of the Eiffel Tower from here. It’s worth a stop if you’re going to see the tower in the day or at night. During the mornings - the park is empty and it gets packed the more we advance till the dusk hours. During the spring everything is green, but, the park may look exhausted after a long, dry summer. Be warned: no toilets in Champ de marks. The only one besides the Eiffel Tower is closed.
One of the pleasant surprises you will find in the park is the Mur pour la Paix (Wall for Peace), built in March 2000, in front of the École Militaire. It is situated along the most eastern fence of the park.
The Statue Marechal Joffre stands in Place Joffre - between the eastern fence of Park du Champ de Mars (west to the square) and l'Ecole Militaire (the Military School). Joseph Jacques Cesaire Joffre, often known just as Jacques Joffre, was a French General during World War I. He is most well known for regrouping the retreating allied armies in order to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne, which happened in 1914. And with this triumph, plus other strategies that Joffre put in place, he gained further popularity and became referred to with a nickname of Papa Joffre. Because of these triumphs, even before World War I had ended, Josephe Joffre had been awarded the title of Marshal of France, or in French this would be Marachel de France, and he was the first person to receive this title and rank under the Third Republic, even though he also received other honours including knighthood. The bronze statue depicts Joseph Joffre wearing a long coat, riding his horse, and the horse has, like many equestrian poses, its front foot raised, and is positioned looking onto the Champ de Mars Park with the front facade of the Ecole Militaire behind him.
The École Militaire is a vast complex of buildings housing various military training facilities southeast of the Champ de Mars. It now hosts: The École de guerre ("war school"), and the Institut des hautes études de défense nationale("institute of advanced studies in national defense"). t was founded in 1750, after the War of the Austrian Succession, by Louis XV on the basis of a proposal of Marshal Maurice de Saxe and with the support of Madame de Pompadour and the financier Joseph Paris Duverney, with the aim of creating an academic college for cadet officers from poor noble families. It was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, and construction began in 1752 on the grounds of the farm of Grenelle, but the school did not open until 1760. The Comte de Saint-Germain reorganised it in 1777 under the name of the École des Cadets-gentilshommes (School of Young Gentlemen), which accepted the young Napoleon Bonaparte in 1784. He graduated from this school in only one year instead of two.
When École Militaire is on our right and our face to north-east we walk from Place Joffre toward Allée Adrienne Lecouvreur, 240 m. Continue straight onto Place de l'École Militaire, 35 m. Continue onto Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 60 m. Turn right toward Avenue de la Motte-Picquet. The Metro station of École Militaire is on our right. Continue onto Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 170 m. Turn right to stay on Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 45 m. Slight left onto Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg, 90 m. The Metro station La Tour-Maubourg (Line 8) is on our right. Head north on Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg toward Rue Saint-Dominique, 210 m. Turn right onto Rue Saint-Dominique, 100 m. Here we turn LEFT (NORTH) to Rue Fabert or, further, east, gain to the left (north) into Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni. Hotel des Invalides is on your right (see below). The Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni is a very wide avenue, charming in a sunny day, that connects Rond-Point du Bleuet de France in the south and Quai d'Orsay in the north. Nothing special in itself but with great views over its surroundings. Green spaces on both of our sides. It is nicely maintained and is pleasing for a stroll through it, but there are very nice parks very close to here where one can relax if one is so inclined. with our faces to the north - we, first, cross Esplanade des Invalides. Turn back to see the Hotel des Invalides. It is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose. In 1670, no foundation existed to house wounded and homeless veterans who had fought for France. Louis XIV, who was anxious about what would happen to soldiers that had served during his numerous campaigns, decided to build the Hôtel Royal des Invalides. Constructed from 1671 to 1676 by Libéral Bruant, then by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte, it is one the most prestigious monuments in Paris. it comprises the Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération as two churches: the Eglise du Dôme, which houses the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte designed by Visconti in 1843, and the Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides. During the second half of the 20th century, the entire site of the Hôtel National des Invalides was opened up to the public after small buildings were knocked down and a ditch created around the site. In 1981, a huge restoration project was undertaken at the Hôtel National des Invalides under the instigation of an interdepartmental commission co-directed by the Ministries of Defence and Culture to restore this exceptional site to its former glory. Opening hours:
1 November-31 March: 10.00 - 17.00. 1 April-31 October: 10.00 - 18.00. On Tuesdays, from April to September, the Dome is open until 21.00. In July and August, the Dome is open until 19.00. The Invalides site is open every day from 7.30 to 19.00 (21.00 on Tuesday from April to September). Prices:
Independent (non-guided) tour - Single ticket for : Musée de l'Armée, Tomb of Napoléon, Historial Charles de Gaulle, Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération, Musée des plans-reliefs: €12 (full price) / €10 (reduced rate). FREE entry for under 26s from within the European Union. Free for disabled visitors and an accompanying person. Free for young people and children Under 18 years:
Court of honour:
The Church of St-Louis des Invalides is Hardouin-Mansart's work and many flags stolen from the enemy were hung here as decoration:
Musee de l'Armee:
The tomb of Louis Hubert Lyautey (1854-1934), designed by Albert Laprade, was placed in the Saint-Gregory Chapel of the Hôtel des Invalides' Église du Dôme in 1963. Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey was a French general, the first Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925 and Marshal of France from 1921:
Napoleon died in 1821 on the remote island of Saint Helena, where he spent the last six years of his life as an exile under British rule. He was repatriated to France in 1840, and interred here in 1861 once this tomb was completed. Napoleon's Tomb. 40 years after his passing, Napoleon was finally laid to rest near the altar under the Dôme des Invalides (see below). It's such a gorgeous monument and it is, absolutely, one of the highlights - visiting Paris:
Marshal Foch's tomb glows blue, as light streams through the chamber's tinted windows. Marshal Foch's blue-tinted tomb. Foch was the Allied Commander-in-Chief whose strategy of coordination and attrition led to Germany's defeat and the end of World War I. Foch advocated harsher terms for Germany's surrender, but was overruled by the French Prime Minister. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, he proclaimed: "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years". World War II began 20 years, 64 days later:
The high altar and canopy in the Dôme des Invalides , bathed in golden light from the tinted windows that flank it:
We walk along Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni from south to north. In the northern end of the wide avenue - we cross Quai d'Orsay and enter Pont Alexandre III. The Quai d’Orsay is a quay, part of the left bank of the Seine, and the name of the street along it. The Quai becomes the Quai Anatole-France east of the Palais Bourbon, and the Quai Branly west of the Pont de l'Alma. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located on the Quai d'Orsay, and thus the ministry is often called the Quai d'Orsay. The Quai has historically played an important role in French art as a location to which many artists came to paint along the banks of the river Seine. The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (110 m. east from Pont Alexandre II) was developed between 1844 and 1855 by Jacques Lacornée. The statues of the facade were created by the sculptor Henri de Triqueti (1870). The Pont Alexandre III is an arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter in the north with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower in the south. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris. It is classified as a French Monument historique since 1975. The Beaux-Arts style bridge, with its exuberant Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end, was built between 1896 and 1900. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank. The construction of the bridge is a marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a 6 metres (20 ft) high single span steel arch. The design, by the architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin, was constrained by the need to keep the bridge from obscuring the view of the Champs-Élysées or the Invalides. The bridge was built by the engineers Jean Résal and Amédée d'Alby. It was inaugurated in 1900 for the Exposition Universelle (universal exhibition) World's Fair, as were the nearby Grand Palais and Petit Palais. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896:
View from Pont Alexandre III to the Petit Palais:
After crossing the Seine over Pont Alexandre II - we turn RIGHT (east) to Port de la Conférence which continues as Cours la Reine or (closer to the river) as Port des Champs-Élysées. This port is managed by VNF (Voies Navigable de France, the French national waterway authority) rather than by the city of Paris as at the other moorings. his way takes its name from its neighborhood with the gardens of the Champs-Elysees:
It is 550 m. walk from Pont Alexandre II eastward to Pont de la Concorde. The Pont de la Concorde is connecting the Quai des Tuileries at the Place de la Concorde (on the Right Bank) and the Quai d'Orsay (on the Left Bank). It has formerly been known as the "Pont Louis XVI", "Pont de la Révolution", "Pont de la Concorde", "Pont Louis XVI" again during the Bourbon Restoration (1814), and again in 1830, Pont de la Concorde, the name it has retained to this day. It is served by the Metro stations Assemblée nationale and Concorde. Pont de la Concorde is one of the most congested points in Paris:
Arriving to Pont de la Concorde - we see, on our right, the Assemblée Nationale du Palais Bourbon. The Palais Bourbon, finished in 1728, was built for the Duchess of Bourbon by architects Giardini, Aubert, and Gabriel. The structure therefore evokes that of the Grand Trianon de Versailles. It was then updated by the Prince of Condé between 1765 and 1789. Declared as ‘property of the people’ in 1791, the Palais Bourbon had many different uses and had a national representation from 1795 with the Council of Five Hundred. The colonnade on the façade dates back to the Napoleonic era. The building’s transformation continued throughout the 19th century, particularly with the help of painter, Delacroix. Today, the Palais also displays numerous works of contemporary art. This is the French National Assembly, which is the lower house of French Parliament. Most of the tourist just see this gorgeous building from the outside. Make the effort to enter inside. The entrance is from 126 rue de l'Université or 33 Quai d’Orsay. You must register in advance with identification information to enter the parliament building. The Palais Bourbon is open every week to individual visitors. Guided tours take place on Saturday (during Assembly) or open visits are available Monday to Saturday (during periods of adjournment). Due to security reasons, visitors that have booked their visit in advance should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour. If not, their place can be offered to another visitor. Those who have not booked in advance may also arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the tour: they will be offered any available spaces on the tour. Proper code of clothing is mandatory (long sleeves in particular).The building has well-kept and lovely gardens like Versailles, but far smaller. You see the classical library and many other beautiful historic rooms. There is a gift shop at the end.
We continue walking eastward and cross Rue de Solferino on our left. On our left Pont Solferino, a relatively new foot bridge over the River Seine that was renamed the Passarelle Leopold Sedar Senghor in 2006 to honour the African poet, politician (PM of Senegal).
The Thomas Jefferson Statue is next to the Pont Solferino:
The street continues as Quai Anatole-France which is the eastern part of the Quai d'Orsay. It took the name of the writer Anatole France in 1947.
Anatole France lived at 15 Quai Malaquais and his father had a bookstore 9 Quai Voltaire. The buildings along this street are from the nineteenth century, with Louis XV style. The current constructions are dated 1890-1896 and attributed to Eudes, sometimes dated 1902-1903 and attributed to Pierre-Félix Julien. In the courtyard of #3, the Caisse des dépôts had been installed a sculpture by Jean Dubuffet, Réséda (designed in 1972, made in 1988).
The Collot Hotel #25: Designed by Louis Visconti in neoclassical style and built in 1840-1841 by Antoine Vivenel, for Jean-Pierre Collot (1764-1852), supplier to the armed forces and director of the Monnaie de Paris from 1821 to 1842. The facade, adorned with superimposed columns, is built in a slight retreat on a base with bosses, creating a terrace where stand two statues imitated from the Antique. The hotel stands on the site of the gardens of the former Maine hotel, built for the Duke of Maine by Antoine Mazin, Robert de Cotte and Armand-Claude Mollet between 1716 and 1726. From year 2004, the building became the property of antique dealers Nicolas and Alexis Kugel who have had carefully restored it with the architect Laurent Bourgois and the decorator François-Joseph Graf:
#27. Art Nouveau building, built in 1905 by Richard Bouwens van der Boijen:
On our right we see the Musée d'Orsay. Opening Hours: Tuesday: 9.30-18.00, Wednesday: 9.30-18.00, Thursday: 9.30-21.45, Friday: 9.30-18.00, Saturday: 9.30-18.00, Sunday: 9.30-18.00. Closed: Mondays, 1 May and 25 December. Full price (no concessions): €14. Only suitcases, travel bags and backpacks smaller than 60 x 40 cm are allowed. They may be left in the cloakroom subject to space.
From Musée d'Orsay facade - we change direction and head southwest on Rue de la Légion d'Honneur toward Rue de Lille, 45 m. We continue onto Rue de Bellechasse and walk southward, 650 m. When you arrive to Rue de Varenne, on your left (east) - you see Hôtel Matignon, 57 Rue de Varenn, residence of France PM. The park of the Hôtel comprises three hectares, in comparison with the two hectares of the gardens of the Elysee Palace, and is considered to be the largest non-public garden in Paris:
We turned LEFT (east) to Rue Varenne. The Hôtel de Boisgelin is a hôtel particulier and houses the Italian embassy in Paris. It has been listed since 1926 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture, 47 Rue de Varen:
In 36 rue de Varenne - we find Cafe Varenne. Very recommended, typical Parisian brasserie with delicious food and fantastic service and atmosphere:
From the cafe Varenne - we change direction again and turn LEFT (north) to Rue du Bac. Rue du Bac is a LONG street, 1150. m long. It begins at the junction of the quais Voltaire and Anatole-France, in the north, and ends at the rue de Sèvres, in the south. The street used to be in the fashionable Faubourg Saint-Germain. Rue du Bac is also the name of a station on line 12 of the Paris Métro, although its entrance is actually located on the boulevard Raspail at the point where it is joined by the rue du Bac.
Rue du Bac x Rue Grenelle:
Before turning right to Rue de Grenelle - note the buildings at this WONDERFUL SQUARE:
A door at 91 Rue du Bac:
and 91 Rue du Bac:Rue du Bac 79:
Rue du Bac 77:
and... La Pâtisserie des Rêves, 93 Rue du Bac:
We turn RIGHT (east) to Rue de Grenelle to find (on our right) Musée Maillol, 59-61 Rue de Grenelle. The museum was established in 1995 by Dina Vierny, a model for the famous sculptor Aristide Maillol. It presents the works of Maillol (drawings, engravings, paintings, sculptures, decorative art, original plaster and terracotta work) along with other works from Vierny's private collection. Inside, you can find paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Marcel Duchamp, Raoul Dufy, Paul Gauguin, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Wassily Kandinsk, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Serge Poliakoff, Suzanne Valadon, and Tsuguharu Foujita and sculptures by Auguste Rodin. Public transportation: By metro: Line 12, station Rue du Bac
By bus: Lines 63, 68, 69, 83, 84, 94 and 95. Opening hours: The museum is open from 10.30 to 18.30 (Friday - until 20.30). Prices: Full price: € 13.5, Senior price : € 12.5 (65+), concessions: € 11.5 students with student card, € 9.5 for youngsters (7-25 years old), family price : € 40 (for 2 adults and 2 young people from 7 to 25 years old). FREE for children under 7 years old. Many people admire Maillol. His sculptures can be seen in Tuileries Gardens and most of them are figurative. Allow 1-2 hours for this charming museum. Note: NO LUGGAGE IS ALLOWED INSIDE. No place to deposit your luggage ! Frequently there are valuable temporary exhibition in this small museum. Check in advance:
From Rue de Grenelle turn left (north) onto Boulevard Raspail, 25 m. Turn right to stay on Boulevard Raspail, 15 m. Turn left onto Rue de Luynes, 120 m. Turn right onto Boulevard Saint-Germain and after 130 m. walking east along Blvd. Saint-Germain you arrive to 191 Boulevard Saint-Germain:
350 m. further east and we arrive to Cafe de Flore, 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain. The Café de Flore is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris, celebrated for its famous clientele, which in the past included high-profile writers and philosophers. It is located at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoît. The nearest underground station is Saint-Germain-des-Prés, served by line 4 of Paris Métro. The coffeehouse still remains a popular hang-out spot for celebrities and its history magnets numerous tourists. The café was opened in the 1880s, during the Third Republic. The name is taken from a sculpture of Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring in Roman mythology, located on the opposite side of the boulevard. The Café de Flore became a popular hub of famous writers and philosophers. Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, Léon-Paul Fargue, Raymond Queneau, Pablo Picasso, to mention but a few, were frequent visitors. The classic Art Deco interior of all red seating, mahogany and mirrors has changed little since World War II:
Nearby, its main rival, Les Deux Magots, 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, has been frequented by numerous French intellectuals during the post-war years. In his essay "A Tale of Two Cafes" and his book Paris to the Moon, American writer Adam Gopnik mused over the possible explanations of why the Flore had become, by the late 1990s, much more fashionable and popular than Les Deux Magots, despite the fact that the latter café was associated with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and other famous thinkers of the 1940s and 1950s:
Onour left (north) is Place Saint-Germain des Prés. It is bordered on the west by the Deux Magots café and the Saint-Germain-des-Prés cinema, and on the east by the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church and Laurent-Prache square . It is part of the rue Bonaparte located between rue de l'Abbaye in the north and boulevard Saint-Germain in the south. It is actually a rectangular courtyard forming forecourt in front of the church of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés:
This sculpture, Prometheus, made by Ossip Zadkine , dates from 1956 - stands in the Place Saint-Germain des Prés:
The church Paroisse St. Germain des Pres - was under consturuction in summer 2017 and was NOT so interesting. We continue south along Rue Bonaparte - passing the Metro station of Saint-Germain des Pres on our left (our face to the south).
52 Rue Bonaparte:
110 m. further south - and we arrive to Place Saint-Sulpice. Skip to Tip 2 below.