Perspectives on Paris and the Eiffel Tower

November 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Perspectives on Paris and the Eiffel Tower

 

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On a recent trip to Paris, I—or at least my camera—was drawn to the Eiffel Tower, arguably the city’s most iconic monument. I photographed the Arc de Triomphe and Le Louvre, of course, but I returned to Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece again and again.

 

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Completed in 1889 and Standing 324 meters tall, the Eiffel Tower stands like a sentinel over Paris. For decades, the tower was the tallest man-made structure in the world and remains the tallest in Paris.

 

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Parks and green spaces are spread throughout the Champ de Mars and surround the Eiffel Tower, allowing me to take this shot that omits nearly all other signs of civilization. Though a popular tourist attraction, the tower is so iconic and looms so large that it is still possible to feel as though you’re the only one to gaze upon it.

 

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Illuminated and reflected in one of the many pools that dot the Champ de Mars, the Eiffel Tower looks nearly weightless, as though strung together with a latticework of lights rather than steel.

 

The Pont Alexandre III spans the Seine and is watched over by the four Renommées, or Fames. Here, the statue of the Renommées des Arts (Fame of the Arts) is set off by the clear blue Paris sky.

 

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Absolutely massive yet undeniably beautiful, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (the Triumphal Arch of the Star) looks as though it would survive long after humanity has gone. Yet another iconic landmark of Paris, a city crammed with iconic landmarks, the Arc de Triomphe stands at the center of the so called Axe Historique, or Historical Axis, with twelve avenues radiating from this focal point. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies under the arch, which served as the location of several military parades and Bastille Day celebrations.

 

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Paris isn’t called the City of Lights for nothing. Here, night having fallen, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is illuminated both by city lights and the lights of passing cars, combining implacable stillness with streaming motion, while juxtaposing modernity and timelessness.

 

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A stylized version of the previous image of the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, further accentuating the interplay between the ancient and the modern that suffuses much of Paris.

 

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Though smaller and lesser known than the iconic Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is actually older than its more famous sister and a magnificent example of Corinthian architecture in its own right. Located in Paris’s Place du Carrousel, the arch is a riot of detail.

 

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Another Paris landmark made all the more spectacular through illumination. Serving as the entrance to the Louvre Museum, the Louvre Pyramid was designed by I.M. Pei and consists of over 670 glass panels. Here, the Pyramid appears to contain an explosion of light, as though if a single one of those panels were removed, the light within would flood the entire city.

 

 

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