Pont Alexandre-III
Pont Alexandre-III. 7e, 8e arr.
Métro : Invalides (8, 13, C) or Champs-Élysées Clemenceau (1, 13)

Connecting the 7th and 8th arrondissements, the pont Alexandre-III is located along a straight line between the Invalides and the Grand Palais. In order to maintain the view between these two major buildings, the bridge was made almost horizontal. Built in 1900, the pont Alexandre-III was the first bridge to cross the Seine with only one arch. This feat was due to the new fad in Parisian architecture, iron. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, which embraced the look of iron, the street view of the pont Alexandre-III was decorated with classical statues and gilded in gold to increase its artistic appearance.

We first saw this bridge on our walk from the Rodin museum to the Champs-Élysées the day after we arrived in Paris. The look of the bridge matched very well with the architectural style of Haussmann seen throughout Paris. The bridge is very wide, with large sidewalks on either side for pedestrians, and many lanes for traffic. The four golden statues on pedestals at the corners of the bridge are reminiscent of other sculptures around Paris, both outside and in the museums. The artistic nature of the bridge is a good example of how everything in Paris is designed for both function and beauty.

Tour Eiffel
Adresse : Champ-de-Mars. 7e arr.
Métro : Champ-de-Mars Tour Eiffel (C), Bir-Hakeim (6)

The Eiffel Tower was the main attraction at the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. A modern feat of engineering and architecture, it was the tallest building at the time. Due to the height restrictions placed on Paris buildings, it is still one of the tallest buildings in Paris, as well as one of the most famous. Each of the three levels in the tower feature different attractions. The first floor has a restaurant (Altitude 95), a post office (open 7 days a week and featuring a special Eiffel Tower stamp), the Cineiffel, a gift shop, and, during the winter, a small ice skating rink. The second level has a luxury restaurant (Jules Verne) and a few gift stores. The third floor has a replica of Gustave Eiffel’s office, but the real attraction, of course, is the view. The walkway around the outside edge of each level is filled with posters highlighting historic events that occurred at the Eiffel tower since its beginning, as well as pointing out the important buildings that can be seen.


Double click image on the left, above, to view video clip.


We all went together to visit the Eiffel Tower one morning, but unfortunately, after two days of sunshine, it was very foggy and drizzling. Since the top level was completely enveloped in fog, we decided to only go up to the first level. We were planning to go ice skating, but the rain made the rink wet and nasty so we skipped it. On a return visit at the end of the trip, the fog was once again a problem. An even bigger problem, however, was the top floor, which was closed for renovations. The Eiffel Tower is a fun place to visit, just make sure you leave enough time (the lines are very long) and try to go on a clear day.