Top Buildings of Paris for an Architecture Enthusiast | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Top Buildings of Paris for an Architecture Enthusiast

Interior of Sainte-Chapelle
(Courtesy: Wikimedia creative commons)

The city of Paris, also known as the fashion capital, has notable examples of architecture belonging to different periods in history, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It is the birthplace of the Gothic style architecture, and has important monuments of the French Renaissance, the Classical Revival, and flamboyant style of the reign of Napoleon III; the Art Nouveau style, and the Belle Époque.

As you head to the iconic city for the Paris Photo 2017, the world's largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium, we bring you a list of the city's most iconic architectural buildings.

1. Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous monuments of the city, also a landmark for Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The Arc has been designed by Jean Chalgrin (1739–1811), the Neoclassical version of the ancient Roman architecture. Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: François Rude; Jean-Pierre Cortot; James Pradier; Antoine Étex; and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire.

2. Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle is the classic expression of the French Gothic architecture and was a royal chapel within the complex of the Palais de la Cite. The beauty of the place lies in the quality of its stained glass art and the way in which its stone walls are transformed into shimmering walls of light. Built by King Louis IX in the 13th century to house the Holy Relics of the Passion, Sainte-Chapelle was a clear statement of the devotional piety and secular prestige of the French monarchy, expressed in the new form of Rayonnant Gothic architecture (c.1200-1350).

3. Palais Garnier — Opera National de Paris

The Palais Garnier is the seat of the opera house built in the 19th century for the Paris Opera. The Palais Garnier is a building of exceptional opulence. The style is monumental and considered Second-Empire Beaux-Arts style with axial symmetry in plan and eclectic exterior ornamentation with an abundance of Neo-Baroque decorative elements. These include elegant columns, multicolored marble friezes, and lavish statuary, many of which portray deities of Greek mythology.

4. Saint Germain des Pres Quarter

Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of the four administrative quarters of the sixth arrondissement of Paris, located around the church of the former Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Its official borders are the River Seine on the north, the rue du Four on the south the rue des Saints-Pères on the west, between the rue de Seine and rue Mazarine on the east. Residents of the quarter are known as Germanopratins.

5. La Madeleine

L'église de la Madeleine, Madeleine Church is a Roman Catholic church occupying a commanding position in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The church was built as a temple to the glory of Napoleon’s army. The Madeleine is built in the Neo-Classical style and was inspired by the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, one of the best-preserved of all Roman temples. Its 52 Corinthian columns, each 20-meter high, surround the entire building.

6. Eglise du Dome

The Dôme des Invalides is a magnificent domed chapel is one of the finest models of French Baroque architecture. “Église du Dôme,” the private royal chapel’s golden dome is seen from far away. A large number of thin gold leaves were used on the dome, weighted around 10 kg of pure gold. The crypt is the final resting place for a number of French military leaders. The tomb surrounded by beautiful white marble statues and you will see beautifully painted dome when looking up. The dome also houses the tombs of Napoleon’s brothers, Joseph and Jerome, and Ferdinand Foch the French military leader during WWI.

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at these exemplary pieces of architecture.