The history of the Louvre Palace dates back to 1200 AD, when King Philip Augustus built a fortress close to the river Seine. Today, a modern glass pyramid decorates the courtyard of the former royal residence which, since the time of the Revolution, has been transformed into a museum that also contains one of the world’s most famous art galleries.
In 1670, Louis the Fourteenth founded the L'Hôtel national des Invalides, a unique charity for soldiers that had been wounded during battle and a home for those who had previously been forced to live as beggars. The adjoining domed Cathedral of the Invalids is a masterpiece of Baroque Classicism, and it contains the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Cathedral Of Notre Dame, a Gothic masterpiece, that is also referred to as the ‘Mother Church of the Nation’, was built on the foundations of a Roman temple and took almost 200 years to build. Kings, monsters and grotesque figures populate its facades, and bizarre gargoyle-like creatures peer down from above. This is where the kings and queens of France were crowned and where Napoleon crowned himself!
Built at the end of the 19th century as a symbol of national revival, Montmartre’s Basilique du Sacre-Coeur has the appearance of a white, fairy-tale palace and boasts 237 steps that lead up to its main entrance. Similar to the Marcus Cathedral in Venice and the Saint Front in southwest France, it was built in Byzantine style with 5 domes. Its interior is richly decorated throughout with reliefs, paintings and mosaics that are overshadowed by its exquisite architecture.
This is still one of the world’s most beautiful cities. First discovered by the Celts, then used strategically by the Romans, Paris is a city of passion and history that contains more than its fair share of irresistible charm!
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.