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Thursday 16 July 2009

From Paris with Louvre

Musée du Louvre was originally built as the vast Palais du Louvre which was used as a fortress by Philippe-Auguste in the early 13th century. It kept on expanding in size since then, with the Louvre we see today being the work of I.M. Pei completed in 1989. I'm sure it will evolve in years to come.

The major addition to the Louvre by the Chinese-American architect was the series of glass pyramids adorning the central courtyard.

Despite the critiques and controversies, the 21-m high Grande Pyramid has somehow gained fame and it has become one of the landmarks of Paris. For the past 20 years, Grande Pyramid has also proven itself effective in accommodating the large numbers of visitors.

Nowadays, tourists and locals alike, may just use the Grande Pyramid to relate to Musée du Louvre more than recognising the palace buildings.

In my humble opinion, I.M. Pei has used the element of modernism and blended it well with the Renaissance palace buildings.

The Grande Pyramid does not outshine the palace buildings but yet distinguishable from any point of view.

The Renaissance palace building can be quite bland when viewed alone.

But when the Grande Pyramide is in sight, it certainly spurs life onto the relatively dull palace buildings.

If you haven't seen enough of pyramids at the central courtyard, you can always enter Musée du Louvre via Carrousel du Louvre, where you can find the pyramide inversée (inverted glass pyramid). You should be able to recognise that it is also the work of I.M. Pei. For the fans of Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code', this is also the final mark in your adventure with Robert Langdon.

Monday 13 July 2009

How a Bird Sees Paris

There are two ways of going up to the Eiffel Tower, by the staircase or by the lift. I chose the latter, with a higher ticket price of €13 but I could get to the highest viewing platform at the sommet.

The panoramic view of Paris from atop Eiffel Tower is really spectacular, but somehow something is missing... the Eiffel Tower!

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