Paris, the city of love... light... and imagination. To visit Paris is to understand joie de vivre.
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man," writer Ernest Hemingway observed, "then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
Circular in shape, divided by both banks of the romantic River Seine and connected by 31 bridges, Paris is a textured dream of culture, magic, and passionate colors: The world famous Eiffel Tower, majestic Arc de Triomphe, beautiful avenue, Champs-Elysées, stunning cathedrals of Sacré-Coeur and Notre-Dame, art's grand Le Louvre, and so much more.
Writer Gertrude Stein described her remarkable Parisian experience as a literary bohemian: "I am an American and I have lived half my life in Paris, not the half which made me, but the half in which I made what I made."
Much of Paris was redesigned by Emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870) who sought to create a European showplace. Urban planner Baron Georges Haussmann rebuilt the city and created the major street patterns with wide boulevards, circular plazas, and parks.
Today's city is alive with cafes, art, and the aura of beauty and optimism. "Paris," described novelist Henry James, "is the greatest temple ever built to material joys and the lust of the eyes."
"I love Paris every moment/Every moment of the year..." wrote Cole Porter about the incomparable city expected to host over 23 million lucky tourists in 2000.
Nothing can compare to Paris.