Paris is one of the hottest destinations in the world and offers visitors a wide range of opportunities for sightseeing. One of the major attractions in the city is the wonderful architectural aesthetics here that can give a momentary paralysis for any viewer. Each and every monument in the city can be described as the epitome of splendor that reflects the rich history and culture of the French capital. No wonder, it will be a dream of almost every traveler to visit the capital city of France at least once in their lifetime and venture all the popular landmarks here.
Why Explore the Lesser-Known Parisian Architectural Wonders
Perhaps, you would have visited Paris multiple times and ventured most of the architectural wonders here. Some of the popular options that most travelers tend to include on their tour itinerary are the iconic Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Coeur Basilica, etc. So, it is quite natural for you to feel like you have seen it all and you may find it overwhelming to travel around the city once again. Or maybe, venturing these tourist spots, other popular attractions in the city, and dealing with the year-round tourist pandemonium is one of your biggest nightmares when planning a trip to the French capital.
Whichever be the case, you will be amazed to know that Paris is a magical city that offers something new and creative every time you visit. Below is a list of some lesser-known architectural wonders in Paris that offers more intriguing and lesser crowded alternatives to above mentioned options. Plus, these spots are perfect to delve into the rich and incredible architectural heritage of the capital city of France. Make sure to include some of these options in your tour itinerary the next time you visit Paris.
This is a public university library located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, across the square from the Pantheon. The library houses a vast collection of the Abbey of St. Genevive, which was founded by Clovis I in the 6th century. The library, as well as its amazing collection, was saved during the French revolution. However, people tend to visit the library to contemplate on its architectural aesthetics rather than to check out the books. Note that this amazing construction was designed in Italian Renaissance revival style and mainly feature iron spans and bearing masonry. The main highlight of the library is the columns support and iron arches.
Gustave Eiffel made one of the most remarkable structures in Paris and became popular for his use of wrought iron. You can find almost similar attractive works in this library as well. Furthermore, you will be amazed to know that Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève predates the iconic Eiffel Tower by almost 4 decades. Note that the popular architect Henri Labrouste signed off this stunning project in 1850. As you enter the main reading room of the library, you are likely to be dumbstruck seeing the best of the cast iron works the building features. So, it is recommended to explore this spot if you find the crowd at the Eiffel Tower intolerable.
Basilique de Saint-Denis
This is a perfect alternative for Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Of course, this legendary construction tends to hog the limelight, especially the western façade of the cathedral and the flying buttresses. Exploring this wonderful gothic church will be the dream of almost every photographer. However, there is an ancientand less-explored basilica in the French capital called Basilique de Saint-Denis, which is just a few minutes ride from the city center.
Note that this is the birthplace of the popular gothic style. Plus, most of the French kings, as well as their queens, are buried here. You will be amazed to know that this aesthetic church was constructed in 1144. It is to be noted that this is around 2 decades before the construction of the popular Notre Dame Cathedral even begun. Additionally, the surrounding suburban landscape will be ideal for all the history buffs out there.
Hotel de Ville
There will be hardly any visitor who does not include a Louvre museum tour in his/her itinerary. After all, it is the largest art museum in the world. Apart from the spellbinding artworks displayed in the museum, it is also popular for its outstanding and luxurious architecture. The Louvre pyramids made of glass that acts as the entrance to this grand museum added to the appeal of this mammoth building. However, it will be extremely crowded here because of its immense popularity.
Thankfully, you may venture the spectacular Hotel de Ville as an alternative to Louvre museum as well as to beat the tourist mayhem. It is worth noting that the construction of this popular hotel is almost the same as that of the Louvre museum. Of course, you would be wondering about the reason behind this architectural resemblance. Actually, Louvre was renovated in 1553 in a way to look like the ancient Hotel de Ville by a team guided by Francois I.