PARIS

Paris’ Last Two Windmills

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Of thirteen original windmills that used to be situated on the hills of Monmartre during the 16th century, only two remain standing today, Moulin de la Galette (originally named Blute-fin) and Moulin Radet, collectively known as Moulin de la Galette. The older of the two, Moulin de la Galette was built in 1622 and was used to produce flour for galettes or cakes but it was later converted to a dance hall and most famously memorialized in Renoir’s Bal du moulin de la Galette (Dance at the Moulin de la Galette).

Although both windmills are located on private property and cannot be toured, Moulin Radet sits atop the popular restaurant Le Moulin de la Galette and both can be viewed easily from street level.

Moulin de la Galette: 75 Rue Lepic, Paris

Moulin Radet: 83 Rue Lepic, Paris

Paris: Les Catacombes 14th Arr.

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Created at the end of the 18th century when the Cemetery of the Innocents was ordered to be relocated due to the belief that the centuries old cemetery was the source of infection disturbing the area’s inhabitants, today, the Catacombs hold the skeletal remains of approximately six million Parisians in the city’s underground quarries. The main entrance to the Catacombs leads you down a narrow and dimly lit winding staircase (130 steps) into the quarries. From there, you can wander through a labyrinth of corridors created from  floor to ceiling stacked bones. At certain points, he tunnels of bones open up into larger galleries where tombstones mark their original location and date of burial.

Entrance at 1, Avenue of Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 14e arr/Metro: Denfert-Rochereau

Paris: A Selection of Art Museums

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Musée Marmottan Monet. When many people think of Monet, they are likely to think of Giverny, whose gardens and lily ponds he made famous through his paintings after his move there in 1883. However, the largest collection of Monet’s work is located in the former residence of Jules Marmottan, a private residence bequeathed to the French Academy of Fine Arts. The work that tends to gather the largest crowd is Monet’s 1873 “Impression, Sunrise,” from which the Impressionist art movement took its name. 2, rue Louis-Boilly, 75016/Metro: La Muette

Musée National Picasso. Situated in the Marais district, the Picasso museum has 261 paintings, 198 sculptures and thousands of drawings by the famous artist through all his artistic periods. Hotel Sale, 5, rue de Thorigny, 75003/Metro: Saint-Paul, Saint Sebastien or Chemin Vert

Centre Pompidou. As you may guess from its design, which moves interior structures such as stairs and escalators to the outside of the building, and its colorful facade, Center Pompidou houses one of Europe’s largest collections of modern and contemporary art. The museum displays works from Salvador Dali, Giorgio Di Chirico, Max Ernst, Juan Gris, Marcel DuChamp and many, many others.  Place Georges Pompidou, 75004/Metro: Rambuteau, Hotel de Ville or Chatelet

Finally, two of Paris’ largest and most popular museums…

Musée D’Orsay. Beautifully situated on the banks of the Seine, the museum is located in the former Orsay railway station, originally built in 1900. The museum’s collection features an array of works from 1848 through 1914, including the works of Henri Rousseau, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet and Georges Seurat. 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007/Metro: Solférino

Musée du Louvre. Formerly a royal fortress, the Louvre rises dramatically over the Tuileries Garden in the First arrondissement of the city. As one of the world’s largest museums, the Louvre houses over 35, 000 works of art. Some of the most impressive artistic masterpieces in the world are among the the massive collection, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and The Victory of Samothrace.  La Pyramide, 75001/Metro: Palais Royale/Musee du Louvre

Paris’ Parc André Citroën 150 Meters Above the City

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First open to the public in 1999, Parc André Citroën’s hot-air balloon, the biggest in the world, was first introduced as part of larger pre-Millenium celebrations throughout Paris. First sponsored by Eutelsat in 2004, the balloon was recently renamed Balloon Air de Paris in 2008. Although the balloon remains tethered to the ground, it rises 150 meters above the centrally located park to offer visitors unobstructed 360 degree views of the city. The balloon can hold up to 30 adults or 60 children and features a circular, caged standing platform with a hole in the middle allowing you do see both directly beneath you and all around you. The experience lasts about ten to fifteen minutes.

Quai André Citroen, 75015 PARIS

Paris’ Chez Papa: Cuisine du sud-ouest à Paris

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In spite of being a chain restaurant, for the value and quality it offers, Chez Papa is well worth a try during any visit to Paris. Focusing on traditional and authentic recipes from the south-west region of France, the well-known bistros regularly attract crowds during lunch and dinner service. Various preparations of duck including  foie gras, Magret duck breast and pavé dominate a menu that rounds out with other traditional dishes such as cassoulet and escargots.

The enormous salads (probably only deserving of the name “salad” because lettuce makes up one component of the dish) provide the best deals, with a particular favorite being the Salade Boyarde: romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cantal, potatoes, blue cheese and dry cured ham. You also have the option of ordering it “complète” for it to be topped off with two fried eggs. Both options come in under 10€.

The apple and pear tarts, the profiteroles or the crème brûlée all make for excellent finishes to a meal.

9 Locations within Paris:

153 rue Montmartre-2nd arr./29 rue de l”Arcade-8th arr./206 rue la Fayette-10th arr./40 bvd de la Bastille-12th arr./27 rue de la Colonie-13th arr./6 rue Gassendi-14th arr./101 rue de la Croix-Nivert-15th arr./185 rue Marcadet-18th arr./125 avenue Gambetta-20th arr.