It’s big, it’s tall, it dominates the landscape, and best of all it’s not another religious edifice. It was not put on the highest point dominating the city as a show of power by the church over the people. Better yet, it was built purely for enjoyment of those attending the 1889 World’s Fair. It ranks as the most visited paid-for site in the world. But most importantly, it is the symbol people most associate with Paris.
On a clear day you see it towering over the city. On a typical fall day you see it disappearing into the fog. But you always know it’s there and find yourself looking for it. By night it is lit and searchlights scan across the sky from the top. And on the hour it sparkles brilliantly in a 5 minute show of splendor and 20,000 flash bulbs.
The tower has a fascinating history. At one time it was almost torn down. It withstood Hitler’s invasion and plans to destroy it as the Germans were losing the war. There’s a lot of information about it; even some of it is even interesting to the non-engineer types.
To me it is the symbol that best represents the Paris and France today. Not one of the religious excesses of the past but a secular monument that displays France’s humanist freedoms. W
It’s not the largest in the world, but it is among the best preserved. It was built in 90AD in response to the growing popularity of the gladiator fights across the Roman empire. The ampitheatre towered over the town of Arles.
It remains one of the best preserved amphitheatres of Roman origin. Today blood still spills on its grounds with modern day bullfighting. Sadly bleachers have been erected inside which spoil the antiquity of the place. Scaffolding is everywhere as the French are restoring the monument.
And the 120? There are 120 arches in the amphitheatre. Most are in remarkable condition considering their age. It is definitely a site one must see when visiting Arles.
With no lines we were drawn into Casa Batllo this morning. Gaudi’s masterpiece is truly a magical modernist architectural treat. The colors, forms and flow make you feel like you’re in a Jules Verne underwater adventure.
The individual elements and the central light atrium were exquisitely executed from top to bottom. We were entranced for over 1 1/2 hours shooting angles and details unlike any seen elsewhere. I even bought 2 circular postcards jost for their uniqueness.
Then it was off to see other sites. Wooly will fill in more details when we get back and he downloads his pictures off his camera. – Raeski
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Mark Twain