I Love Touring Paris - The Twentieth Arrondissement

I love touring Paris so much that I am doing a series on both the well known and the rarely visited tourist attractions of Paris's twenty arrondissements (districts). This article visits the twentieth arrondissement of northeastern Paris. We suggest French wine and food to increase your touring pleasure.

The 20th arrondissement of northeastern Paris is located on the Right Bank of the Seine River. Its land area is 2.3 square miles or a sliver less than six square kilometers. The population is over one hundred eighty thousand and the district is home to about fifty five thousand jobs. The arrondissement contains two special neighborhoods, Ménilmontant and Belleville discussed below but we’ll start with the Twentieth’s number one tourist attraction, the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, the largest cemetery is Paris and frankly one of the best-known cemeteries in the world. This slice of Paris attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. While there are several metro stations serving Père-Lachaise many tourists prefer the Gambetta station right near the tomb of Oscar Wilde and from there its downhill in more ways than one. This property occupies almost 120 acres (almost 50 hectares) and includes several war memorials.

This unusual tourist attraction is named for Père François de la Chaise, confessor to Louis XIV, who lived on the property some three hundred years ago. Cemeteries were banned in Paris as of 1786 for health reasons. When Père-Lachaise Cemetery was established by Napoleon in 1804 it was far from the city. To drum up business the remains of La Fontaine and Molière were transferred there the same year. Then in 1817 the supposed remains of the famous couple Abélard and Heloïse were reinterred on the property. Within a few years its population went from a few dozen to well over thirty thousand. Today over three hundred thousand have been buried without counting those who were cremated. Among the famous who repose here are the French writer Honoré de Balzac, the French actress Sarah Bernhardt, the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, the American dancer Isadora Duncan, the American singer and songwriter Jim Morrison whose grave has a full-time security guard, perhaps the French Resistance leader Jean Moulin, the French singer Édith Piaf, and the Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

I Love Touring Paris - The Nineteenth Arrondissement

I love touring Paris so much that I am doing a series on both the well known and the rarely visited tourist attractions of Paris's twenty arrondissements (districts). This article visits the nineteenth arrondissement of northeastern Paris. We suggest French wine and food to increase your touring pleasure. The 19th arrondissement of northeastern Paris is located on the Right Bank of the Seine River. Its land area is about 2.6 square miles (slightly more than six and three quarters square kilometers). The population is about one hundred seventy thousand and the district is home to approximately seventy thousand jobs and two canals, the Canal Saint-Denis and the Canal de l'Ourcq. This district is fairly residential and is not visited by loads of tourists. In other words, by spending some time there you may get an idea of the real Paris, one that tends to be less expensive than the touristy arrondissements.

The Parc des Buttes Chaumont built over a gypsum quarry and execution ground was designed for the famous Baron Haussmann, the guy who really redid Paris well over a century ago. It is one of the largest parks in Paris and contains many lovely features including English and Chinese gardens, a waterfall, and several cliffs and bridges.

A major highlight is the Corinthian style Temple of Sybil that stands almost three hundred feet (about ninety meters) high. This park is one of the few in Paris where you are allowed to picnic on the grass. It has been called the most romantic park in Paris, certainly one of the most romantic cities in the world.

I Love Touring Paris - The Eighteenth Arrondissement

The 18th arrondissement of northern Paris is located on the Right Bank of the Seine River. Its land area is about 2.3 square miles (a sliver over six square kilometers). The population is on hundred eighty five thousand and the area is home to about seventy thousand jobs.

The distinctive Moulin Rouge (Red Mill or windmill) is a major highlight of this historic district. It is one of the world’s best-known nightclubs or to use the French term, cabaret. The Moulin Rouge was built in 1889 by the owner of the Olympia, Paris’s oldest music hall located in the neighboring ninth district. You can’t miss this building because of the imitation red windmill on the roof. Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra, Mistinguett, and Edith Piaf and many other famous entertainers regularly played the Moulin Rouge. The story has it that Elvis had a crush on a can-can dancer and never went to Paris without stopping at the Moulin Rouge.

I Love French Wine and Food - A Burgundy Chablis

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the world famous Burgundy region in eastern France. Although it’s fairly rare, you may even find a bargain. I hope that you’ll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a Chardonnay white wine coming from old vines (vieilles vignes) in the Chablis district of northern Burgundy.

Among France’s eleven wine-growing regions Burgundy ranks fourth in acreage if you include the Beaujolais region, which most people do in spite of their considerable differences. Partisans, and they are many, claim that Burgundy is really the number one or number two wine-producing region in France, if not in the world. The wine reviewed below comes from the Chablis district of northern Burgundy that is physically closer to Champagne than to the rest of Burgundy. Chablis is known for its white wines, but some red is produced, especially from a local grape known as César. If I can get my hands on some, I’ll be glad to give it a shot. Until then I’ll have to be satisfied with Burgundy whites.

Chablis is not only a style of wine known around the world. It’s also a village of less than three thousand in a district of the same name. You can enjoy some old houses, the Serein River, and the Length-Depaquit Castle but its main attractions are the vineyards and the wine shops.

I Love Touring Paris - The Seventeenth Arrondissement

The 17th arrondissement of northwestern Paris is located on the Right Bank of the Seine River. Its land area is about 2.2 square miles (somewhat under 5.7 square kilometers.) The population is one hundred sixty thousand and the area is home to more than ninety thousand jobs. This arrondissement has a split personality. The northern sector tends to be working class and is an extension of Pigalle in the ninth district with its many red lights that aren't all traffic signals. The southern section is more upscale. Why not visit both areas to see which you prefer?

The Hôtel Concorde La Fayette is Paris's largest hotel with more than one thousand rooms built on land that once hosted an amusement park. In the 1970s a huge conference center the Palais des Congrès de Paris arose on the complex. You'll find commercial exhibition space, TV studios, theaters, and more. The last time I checked on-line Charles Aznavour was singing at this "Palace." I never attended a concert there. And yet I am positive that it can't match ambiance of the Olympia in the ninth district or Bobino in the fourteenth. I can still remember hearing Aznavour sing in the Olympia way back when.