• Interactive game Shambles at Versailles "Help Louis XIV to build his Palace

    Experience Versailles in 3D from Home

    While preparing a visit to Versailles, I ended up helping build Versailles. The building task involves matching three levels of  architecture to please Mr. Mansard and the King. Playing the game, I heard myself giggling out loud (as did the rest of the household). Once completed, I earned a medal and the approval of the Louis XIV. “Shambles at Versailles”  is one of the new interactive games to help Jules Hardouin-Mansard (architecture), Jean-Baptiste Colbert (menagerie) and André le Nôtre (gardens) finish building Versailles. And by the way, did Versailles always look this way, gigantic and full of gardens? Surely, there must have been something on the grounds before: A forest? a house? a…

  • Grand Palais interior Staircase

    Revival of the Grand Palais

    The falling rivet that saved the Grand Palais Watch out! A falling rivet in 1993 was the wake up call that things were not exactly right within and beneath the Grand Palais. What happened during the past 12 years while the Grand Palais was closed to the public and why for the next year it will be shrouded and framed by scaffolding is a continuing story. But there is hope because it is no longer sliding into the banks of the Seine river. Panel translations inside the Grand Palais When you enter this edifice during the coming two years for varied events you will most likely see several panels (in French)…

  • Pantheon Colonnades with Eiffel Tower in the distance
    Monuments,  Seeing Paris

    Pantheon Has the Best Panoramic View of Paris

    It is close to take off. The anticipation mounts. For those at the end of the line, the hope is to be within the fifty chosen ones. The climb to the top of the Pantheon (les colonnades) includes about 276 steps. It is not a straight climb up. Your visit to the top in no way resembles your descent. It is an easy walk that combines flat and sloping surfaces. This is not one steep climb up the same stairs, but broken up into sections. That’s why it is not an exhaustive walk. The waiting area is close to the entrance in a cordoned-off area in a niche in the…

  • Hotel de Ville, Paris City hall, Salle de Fete

    Paris City Hall Speaks English

    The Paris Mayor’s office website has made a major and very exciting renovation. The pages are available in English and Spanish. The English homepage provides links to get you started on a Paris discovery directly from the Mayor’s office. “Visit” the city with their “click-and-pick Paris city tour!” The “Guide for foreign residents” makes your arrival in Paris a success. City hall offers useful places and addresses for students, advice on finding accommodation and the administrative documents required, etc. Solidarity initiatives, cultural exchanges, European policies and cooperation agreements make “Paris a city with an international profile“. Because Paris was right at the heart of events that marked French history and…