Last two digits of numbers after each entry connote the arrondissement. For example, "75001" is the 1st (or Ile de la Cité / Louvre), "75018" is the 18th (or Montmartre), etc. The full number represents the appropriate postal code for the arrondissement.
*La Défense is just over the western boundary of Paris, hence the different postal code.
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel - 75001
Envisioning an imperial capital in the style of ancient Rome, Napoleon I ordered a second, smaller triumphal arch built in the Gardens near the Tuileries Palace where he had moved as First Consul. Though the palace did not survive destruction by the Communards, the Arc du Carrousel still looks up the Voie Triomphale toward the larger Arc de l'Etoile.
Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile - 75008
The world's largest triumphal arch, 49.5 m (162 ft) in height, was conceived in 1806 by Napoleon I as a tribute to his Grande Armée and its 128 victorious battles. Surmounting the hill of Chaillot at the center of a star-shaped configuration of 12 radiating avenues, it is the climax of a vista seen the length of the Champs Elysées. Since 1920 it has sheltered the tomb of France's Unknown Soldier. (Admission to the top is free with the card.)
Arc de Triomphe de la Porte St-Denis - 75010
The triumphal arch of the Porte Saint-Denis was commissioned by Louis XIV to commemorate his military victories, and erected by Nicolas François Blondel between 1671-74.
Arc de Triomphe de la Porte St-Martin - 75010
One of two triumphal arches commissioned by Louis XIV to commemorate his military victories, the Porte Saint-Martin was constructed immediately after the Porte Saint-Denis in 1674.
Arènes de Lutece - 75005
Built during the 1st and 2nd centuries, this amphitheater could seat up to 17,000 people, hosting gladiator fights as well as less bloody entertainment. Now a popular spot for playing boules, it is one of the only remaining ruins from the Gallo-Roman era in Paris, along with the Thermes (public baths) at Cluny. (Admission free.)
Assemblée Nationale (Palais Bourbon) - 75007
Designed by architects Giardini and Gabriel (1728), this is the seat of the French parliament. Guided tours available on Saturdays unless the National Assembly is in session.
Château de Bagatelle - 75016
Designed by architect Belanger, and built by the Comte d'Artois in 1777 as a folly, after a wager with Queen Marie-Antoinette, this castle houses a collection of decorative arts, historical items, furniture, paintings, sculpture, and textiles of the period.
Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts - 75006
Featuring collections of archeological artifacts, medals, paintings, photography, sculpture, architectural renderings, and drawings, the Beaux-Arts school has been located on the premises of the convent of the Petits Augustins since 1816, serving as a successor to the royal academies of the seventeenth century.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France - 75002
This new national library, opened in 1996 and nicknamed the TGB (Très Grande Bibliothèque), is the grandest of the grand projets bestowed upon Paris by former president François Mitterand. The sprawling 17-acre complex, with four looming glass towers shaped like open books, was designed by Dominique Perrault.
Bourse du Commerce - 75001
A round edifice built in the 18th century and later modified in the 19th, housing the French Commodities Exchange, this site has a fascinating history dating back to the 13th century. One of its previous structures was lost by King Louis XII to his chamberlain in a cribbage game.
Hôtel de Châlons de Luxembourg - 75004
Built in 1610, its main entrance has an impressive stone façade. It is currently closed to the public.
Chapelle Expiatoire - 75008
Located on the site of a cemetery where 3,000 victims of the French Revolution are buried, this chapel was designed by architect Fontaine (1815-1826) and built by decision of Louis XVIII, in memory of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. (Admission free with the card.)
Colonne de Juillet - Place de la Bastille - 75004
Begun in 1370 as a fortress for the city's defenses, and used as a prison by the 17th century (Voltaire and the Marquis de Sade were among its most famous inmates), the Bastille was demolished soon after the French Revolution. Its former locale is now marked by a column celebrating the 1789 and 1830 revolutions. (for more details, see French Revolution)
Conciergerie - 75001
Built during the early 14th century, this fortress-like structure on the Ile-de-la-Cité served as a place of imprisonment, torture, and death for such notable figures in history as Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, Danton, and Chenie. It now makes up much of the Palais de Justice complex. (Admission free with the card.)
Place de la Concorde - 75008
The largest public square in Paris, separating the Tuileries Gardens from the beginning of the Champs-Elysées. Most notable for its history, including the guillotine executions of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton, Robespierre, and 2800 others between 1793 and 1795. Its central landmark, the Obelisk of Luxor, is more than 3,000 years old.
Fondation le Corbusier - 75016
Home to the largest collection of Le Corbusier drawings, studies and plans. Representative of 1920's architecture (built by Le Corbusier in 1923).
Couvent des Cordeliers - 75006
While the church and cloister were demolished in 1872, only the refectory remains of this 13th century convent, built on land lent by the Abbey of St.-Germain-des-Près to the Cordeliers for theology lessons. Temporary exhibitions feature decorative arts, paintings, photography, and sculpture.
La Grande Arche de la Défense - 92040*
This highly modern arch, so huge that Notre-Dame could fit beneath it, certainly lacks the style and grandeur of the Arc de Triomphe, but nonetheless offers a breathtaking panorama of Paris from its top, which is open year-round (€8 adult ticket).
Église de Saint Eustache - 75001
Very ornate and beautiful, with a gothic architecture similar to that of Notre Dame, replete with numerous gargoyles, and an interior decor done in Renaissance style. Several famous people are buried within its walls, such as Molière, Richelieu, and the Marquise de Pompadour.
Eiffel Tower - 75007
Few vistas are as magnificent and breathtaking as one from the topmost platform of the Eiffel Tower, especially one hour before sunset. Built in commemoration of the centenary of the French Revolution, towering 300 meters high and weighing 7,000 tons, it was the world's tallest building until 1930. Nearly demolished in 1909 at the expiration of its 20-year lease, the Tower gained new utility as a perch for broadcast antennae and was saved.
Halle Saint Pierre - 75018
Housing the Musée d'Art Naïf - Max Fourny, with temporary exhibitions spanning history, painting, and sciences, as well as an auditorium. Redeveloped from the former Pavillon Baltard.
Hôtel de Lamoignon - 75004
Boasting one of the finest painted ceilings in all of Paris, the mansion currently houses the Historical Library of the City of Paris – a rich collection of documents, manuscripts, maps, posters, cuttings, and photographs.
Hôtel National des Invalides (Musée de l'Armée) - 75007
Founded in 1670 by Louis XIV as an old soldiers home providing quarters for 4,000, this complex comprises the largest single collection of monuments in Paris. It was raided by French Revolutionaries on July 14, 1789 for 28,000 arms to be used in the attack on the Bastille. (Admission free with the card.)
Hôtel de Ville - Mairie de Paris - 75004
The magnificent Hôtel de Ville was designed by architects Ballu and Deperthes, and serves as the seat of Parisian municipality. It is built over the former Hôtel de Ville, which was burned down by the 1871 Commune. The first city council dates back to 1246 (Saint-Louis).
Luxembourg Palace & Gardens - 75006
Designed by architect Salomon de Brosse as a Florentine palace for Marie de Medicis, built in the years 1615-1627 and surrounded by sumptuous gardens, the Palais also once served as a prison, and currently houses the Senate. Paintings by Rubens and Eugène Delacroix embellish the large gallery and the library.
Eglise de la Madeleine - 75008
Nearly selected to be the first railway station of Paris, it was consecrated as a church in 1842. Though started in 1764, previous iterations of its architecture were razed as it was redesigned twice, lastly by the wishes of Napoléon who sought a Greek-style Temple of Glory to his Grande Armée.
"Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc de Hauteclocque - 75015
et de la Libération de Paris et Musée Jean Moulin" certainly is a mouthful as names go. This museum traces events during the Liberation and the insurrection in general.
Mémorial du Martyr Juif Inconnu - 75004
Commemorating European Jews who died in the Holocaust of World War II, the Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr can be found on a small side street, not far from Métro St-Paul. Its crypt contains ashes from concentration camps, and the Warsaw Ghetto.
Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation - 75004
Designed by architect G.H. Pingusson (1962), this national monument is dedicated to the memory of the 200,000 people deported from France to the German concentration camps during the second world war.
Notre Dame de Paris - 75004
Situated on the Ile de la Cité, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Notre Dame is a celebration of Early and High Gothic architecture, begun in 1163. Christmas Mass is an unforgettable experience, with thousands packing the cathedral to hear the choir singing carols in many different languages. The view of Paris from the clock tower is stupendous, and the gargoyles are a special treat. Be sure to explore the Crypt, a fascinating preservation of archaeological remnants and streets dating back to Roman times. (Admission to both the tower and the crypt are free with the card.)
Obélisque de Luxor - 75008
Situated in the Place de la Concorde, this obelisk – 75 feet (22.83m) high and weighing 230 tons – formerly marked the entrance to the Amon temple at Luxor in Egypt. It was given to Louis Phillipe by the Viceroy of Egypt, Mohamed Ali Pasha, and installed in 1836.
Observatoire de Paris - 75014
The first observatory built in the world, designed by architect Claude Perrault (1667-1672), this historic building houses both antique and modern instruments for studying astronomy.
Opéra National de Paris (Bastille) - 75012
The newest of the Paris opera houses, this facility was designed by Carlos Ott and inaugurated in 1989, a building characterized by the transparency of its façades and the use of the same materials inside and out.
Opéra National de Paris (Garnier) - 75009
Many of the postcards sold in Paris bear the image of this famous and ornate neo-baroque landmark, designed by architect Charles Garnier and built between 1862-1875. The opera seats only 2,200, though the vast stage can accommodate up to 450 performers. Interestingly, there is an underground lake situated beneath its cellars.
Palais Brongniart - Bourse de Paris - 75002
Home to the Paris Stock Exchange, this imposing structure built in the classical Greek style boasts 64 columns on the outside, surrounding what resembles a Greek temple. Napoleon enlisted the services of architect Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart (1739-1813) for the design, completed in 1825.
Palais de Chaillot - 75016
Designed by architects Carlu, Boileau, and Azema, this palace was built in 1937 for the Universal Exhibition, and houses the Museum of Film, the National Museum of French Monuments, the Museum of Man, the Marine Museum, and the National Theatre of Chaillot. (Admission to Marine Museum and National Museum of French Monuments are free with the card.)
Palais Royal - 75001
Originating as a private theater in the residence of Cardinal Richelieu, and designed by architect Jacques Lemercier, the Palais was the first theater in France with movable scenery wings and a proscenium arch. Hosting its first production in 1641, it was used extensively by Molière and his troupe between 1660 and 1673. (see also French Theatre.)
Panthéon - 75005
Characterized by its imposing dome and a portico of corinthian columns, this massive temple to the great men of France houses the bodies of Voltaire, Rousseau, Mirabeau, Marat, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Soufflot (its architect), and Jean Moulin (hero of the French Resistance during WWII) in a vast necropolis. (Admission free with the card.)
Basilique du Sacré Coeur - 75018
Built in the Romano-Byzantine style as an act of penance following France's defeat by the Prussians in 1870, this basilica on the butte of Montmartre offers a panoramic view of Paris from the top of its dome. Though started in 1875, it was not completed until 1914, and consecrated in 1919 after WWI. Its bell weighs 19 tons!
La Sainte Chapelle - 75001
Situated on the Ile de la Cité near Notre Dame, this small 12th century gothic chapel was built by Louis IX to house relics from the Holy Land (believed to be the Crown of Thorns and part of the True Cross). Its precious stained glass windows were painstakingly removed during WWII to prevent damage, then restored. (Admission free with the card.)
Hôtel de Sens - 75004
Originally inhabited by the archbishop of Sens, this mansion was built between 1475 and 1507, and is one of only three medieval private residences remaining in Paris. It is now the home of the Bibliothèque Forney – devoted to decorative and fine arts, as well as industrial techniques.
Hôtel de Sully - 75004
Jean Androuet du Cerceau, the gambling builder of this magnificent 1630 mansion, is reputed to have lost his fortune overnight, leaving a richly decorated home which was soon purchased by Henry IV's former minister, the Duc de Sully. It's courtyards are particularly impressive.
Tour Montparnasse - 75015
The Montparnasse district has lost much of its early 1900's charm as a center for literary and artistic gurus (such as Hemingway and Trotsky), and the Tour Montparnasse is symbolic of its demise. Nonetheless, this hideous monstrosity of a skyscraper offers unbeatable panoramic views from its 56th floor.
Maison de l'UNESCO - 75007
Housing a huge Picasso composition and a gigantic Calder mobile, among other works of art, this building was opened in 1958. Designed by an American, an Italian, and a Frenchman, it is made up of lots of concrete and glass. Home of the United Nations Education, Science & Culture Organization.
Colonne de Vendôme - 75001
In a square populated by Haute Couture fashion boutiques and the Hotel Ritz, the 44-meter column is comprised of a stone core, encased in the bronze of 1250 cannons captured at the Battle of Austerliz (1805), topped with a statue of Napoleon. Its inner staircase is no longer open to the public.
History of La Voie Triomphale
Nicholas Pioch's Web Museum offers an excellent history – complete with photographs – of the Triumphal Way which stretches from the Tuileries Gardens to the Arc de Triomphe, and beyond to the Grande Arche de la Défense.
Place des Vosges - 75004
Paris' oldest square, surrounded by 36 houses of considerable historical significance, it was built as the Place Royale by Henri IV between 1605 and 1612. This was the first urban planning project, designed in perfect symmetry, with a continuous ground floor arcade and opposing gateways.