Paris – A Hi-Tech Mashrabiyya

Drawing inspiration from traditional Islamic Mashrabiyyas (Lattice worked enclosures), architect Jean Nouvel designed this fantastic facade for the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. That elevation isn’t just decorative though. It is in fact a giant ocular device. Its several hundred light sensing diaphragms regulate the amount of light penetrating the building by altering the size of their apertures….quite…

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Paris – Métro Station Cité

Cité, the only metro station on the Île de la Cité – the island where Paris began – is better known for its original, Hector Guimard designed, sinuous green cast-iron entrance (above). But its interior is no less appealing.Until next time…..happy travels no matter where life takes you.

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Notre Dame de Paris – D’autres Vues

Once a little Gallo Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, this Gothic masterpiece celebrates its 850th anniversary this year. A thirteen meter high temporary structure built across from the entrance, works like a mini amphitheater for celebratory events in the Place du Parvis, and is a great, if rather ugly, vantage point to view its magnificent facade.…

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Paris – A Moveable Feast!

Not many might be aware of French gastronomy having been declared ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO.  But it shouldn’t come as a surprise really, knowing the French obsession with things culinary. Cuisine is greatly valued in many European societies. But the French take it up a notch. Here cuisine isn’t food. It is a tradition. A symbol…

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Paris – L’ancien Et Le Moderne

Much of the Paris we see today is the product of the gargantuan nineteenth century ‘remaking’ of Paris by Baron Hausmann, that ripped out and restructured entire neighbourhoods, with scant attention to more than 2000 years of accrued history. Its ancient labyrinth of narrow, snaking streets and cramped dwellings, transformed into this sumptuous and alluring…

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Paris – Pyramid du Louvre

I M Pei’s sparkling masterpiece of an entrance – albeit controversial – to an abode of exquisite masterpieces. It is said that of the 8 million average annual visitors to the Louvre, nearly 50% come for the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Pyramid!Until next time…happy travels no matter where life takes you.

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Paris – The Splendid Stained Glass Of Sainte Chapelle

The stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle, on the Île de la Cité in Paris, are a sight to behold. Fifteen such windows surround the nave and apse of the second floor chapel with a huge rose window at the opposite end. Two thirds of the 600 sq meters (6,458 square feet) of glass is…

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Paris – See The Earth Turn

There was no doubt that the earth rotated around a central axis. But there was no way to demonstrate that it actually did. No concrete proof. Not until January 3, 1851 that is, when Leon Foucault found that long sought proof with the help of an iron ball swinging from a 67 meter wire, suspended first from the dome of the…

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