Paris: La Grande Mosquée

. .

Built in 1922 to honor the North African countries that aided the French during World War I, today, the Paris Mosque is largest mosque in France. Located in the Quartier Latin, the Mosque’s architecture is reflective of both North African and Spanish styles. The intricately constructed building with detailed carvings, elaborate mosaics and an open courtyard pops out from the landscape surrounding it. The clean white facade opens up into multi-colored rooms with Moroccan style tables and glowing colored lanterns. The mosque is an active place of worship, but visitors can partake in the hammams (turkish baths), take a tour  of the property or enjoy the Mosque’s North African style cafe or Middle Eastern restaurant. In warmer months, the cafe spills out into the open courtyard. Traditional sweetened mint tea, fresh pastries, sorbet and assorted flavors of hookah can be enjoyed at the cafe year round.

2, Place du Puits de l’Ermite, 5ème Arrondissement/Metro: Jussieu

Paris Pratique: Book Guide to Paris, France

. .

An absolute must-have for navigating the streets of Paris! Useful to tourists and residents alike and certainly an essential gift to anyone embarking on a study abroad program in Paris, Paris Pratique is a thin, compact, yet incredibly detailed book that provides street maps by arrondissement. During even a short stay in Paris you are likely to see the recognizable blue cover of the Paris Pratique being combed through in cafés, checked on the Métro or quickly referenced while walking down the street. Grab one before you leave or at most newsstands and bookstores once in Paris.

Paris: Art & Architecture of the Métro

. .

The sculpted green cast iron arches with overhanging amber lamps showcasing the iconic yellow and green “METROPOLITAIN” sign that marks the entrances to Paris’ Métro system have become iconic symbols of the city. Designed by architect Hector Guimard for the opening of the Métro on July 19, 1900, the Art Nouveau entrances were created in three designs: glass canopies, cast iron balustrades and pavilions. Today, 86 of the original 167 survive and act as functioning stations. The entrances are both artistic and historical treasures, a cultural tradition of public art works throughout the Métro system that the RATP (the Parisian transit operators) continues to maintain. Newer, contemporary designs have been commissioned by the RATP, one of the most popular being the entrance for the Palais Royal Musée du Louvre, Place Colette, designed by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel for the centenary celebration of the Métro in 2000. The permanent installation is entitled “Le Kiosque des Noctambules” (Kiosk of the Night Crawlers) and features a silver frame topped by two domes, representing night and day, that are adorned with colorful, large glass bulbs.