Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Few More Interesting Places I Visited in Paris

Apart from the obvious Eiffel Tower and Louvre there are many other equally diverting and unusual art galleries and museums to visit.I'll briefly note here some that I visited while in Paris late November and earlier this month.

This is an interior shot from the Musee de l'Armee,(Military Museum) housed in the Hotel des Invalides.Its a huge comprehensive museum with many varied collections of armour,uniforms and weapons.I spent the best part of a day walking around looking at the ancient and modern weapons on display.

This photo shows the huge courtyard of the Invalides where the Military Museum is housed.In the background is the gilded top of the Eglise du Dome.The Dome Church which can be seen from virtually anywhere in Paris contains the tomb of Napoleon.Napoleons huge sarcophagus like coffin is set in the middle of the Church below ground.

There are many famous people buried around the cemeteries of Paris.If you have the time its interesting to discover the final resting places of such notable people as Edith Piaf,Oscar Wilde or even Jim Morrison who reside in the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise in Belleville.
Given the size of the cemetery it is wise to purchase a map of the areas more famous internees.Even then it took a bit of legwork to find the graves and tombs among the maze of cobbled lanes.
Above is the oft visited grave of Jim Morrison.As well as a map if you do intend visiting this or any other cemetery in autumn or later wrap up warmly.When I visited it was freezing with a biting wind gnawing at my ears as I strode about looking for various celebrity tombs.

If you need a break from the art and inclement weather the National Museum of Natural History provides a different experience.The Museum is split into three different parts ,one area is concerned with minerals and geology,the second concentrates on fossils and anatomy and the third focuses on evolution and modern issues.When I visited there was a temporary whale exhibition currently on the go.The lion you see above is one exhibit in the Grande Galerie de l`Evolution.
I liked the way the animals were posed.Some thought had gone into imaginatively capturing the individual animals.There were monkeys strategically set climbing between floors or a giraffe craning its neck over a railing.It reminded me of a cross between the Natural History Museums Ive been to in London and New York.
If you visit the other two parts of the Museum as well ensure you show your ticket to get a discount on entering.
I also visited the fossil and anatomy section.You can see a shot below of what greets you as you enter the first floor.It was kind of chilling to see all those blanched white skeletons almost charging at you as walk into the exhibition hall.On subsequent floors there are also dinosaur skeletons and skulls of various creatures.Quite fascinating.And popular with a large variety of people.A number of students were busily scratching away on their pads sketching different beasts while mothers and offspring loitered around the reptile bones and skeletons.

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