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Mr. Mickey's Twenty-Seven Minute Walking Tour of Paris

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If you're a culture vulture with an unquenchable thirst for museums, monuments and other fancy fixtures, it can be overwhelming to try and see all that a cultural capital like Paris, France has to offer. Mr. Mickey recently spent 18 hours in the City of Light and was determined to prove you can see all the history and culture you need in under thirty minutes -- even if he had to divvy his walking tour into two parts! Please enjoy Mr. Mickey's twenty-seven minute walking tour of Paris.

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When it comes to shopping you can't go to Paris and not go to colette. This is the store that all the fashion editors love and all the coolest brands want to be in. Even though we're on a super tight schedule we do have time to pop in and see what they're showing.
 

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This is a mural by Baron von Fancy around the corner from colette.


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The window at colette.


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After popping your head into colette for just a tiny second of shopping you can head down Rue St. Honoré to this little baroque gem the Church of Saint-Roch. It was built between 1653 and 1754 and is known as the church that hosted the wedding of the Marquis de Sade.


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Walking down Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to Rue Royale, you'll run into Ladurée, the world-renowned bakery famous for their macaroons. They also have a little shop at the airport, so we won't have time to stop in but you can smell the treats as you walk past.


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At Rue Royale we'll be turning right to get to Place de la Concorde, but if you turn to the left you'll see the Greek temple style La Madeleine, which is actually a Catholic church. It was originally meant to be a temple to glorify Napoleon's troops and it went through a lot of ups and downs before it ended up being a church.


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This is a golden statue of Joan of Arc at the corner of the Rue de Rivoli and Rue de Castiglione just across from the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden.


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This is the window of Valombreuse on Rue de Rivoli. They sell linens embroidered with the Eiffel Tower and other cute stuff. It's on our tour route so we do have time for you to pop in and buy a souvenir for a loved one!


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I can't go to Paris without stopping at Galignani, the world's best bookstore for royalty lovers like Mr. Mickey. They have an entire section of books on royal history and I always walk out of there with all kinds of goodies.


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Arch.jpgThe Place de la Concorde is a great place to include on a walking tour because it's right in the heart of Paris. Looking down the Champs-Élysées you can see the famous Arc de Triomphe, which was built to honor of those who fought for France in the Napoleonic Wars. It's a fun spot to visit and take photos but we've only got 27 minutes so 'ain't nobody got time for that!


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Place de la Concorde was built from 1755-1775 and was originally called the Place de Louis XV. During the revolution the guillotine was set up here and Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette both were executed here. One end of the square is home to the fabulous Hôtel de Crillon and across the Rue Boissy-d'Anglas is the American Embassy.The square is filled with a million statues, fountains, obelisks and more. This is a shot of one of the two maritime fountains designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff.


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A figure on horseback at the gates to the gardens of the Tuileries with the obelisk at Place de la Concorde in the background. The obelisk, which is covered in hieroglyphics celebrating the reign of Pharaohs Ramses II and III, was given by Egypt to France in the 19th century.


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The fabulous Hôtel de Crillon, which is closed for renovation until 2015.


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A detail of one of the maritime statues in the Place de la Concorde.


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The Place de la Concorde is so fancy and filled with statues and such. This arty looking hut is a public toilet or a tool shed or something crazy.


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The obelisk in Place de la Concorde.


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If you take the Pont Alexandre III across the Seine you arrive at Les Invalides, where Napoleon is buried.


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This is the Jeu de Paume, is a fabulous museum at the corner of the Tuilieries and Place de la Concorde. It was built by Napoleon III as tennis courts (the name Jeu de Paume means game of the palm which was the indoor precursor to tennis) and now it's a gallery of contemporary art.


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This is a shot of Kate Moss for Kérastase. Paris is the beauty capital of the world so you should pick up some fun beauty products while you're here!


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Cute Parisians and tourists alike love to relax and hobnob in the Tuileries.


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A chunky lady statue in the Tuileries Gardens. The Tuileries were built in 1564 by Queen Catherine de Medici as the gardens for her palace. It was one of the first parks to be open to the public.


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This Sphynx is at the corner of the Tuileries across from the Louvre. You literally can't turn your head or take a step in Paris without stumbling on some kind of arty little scenario.


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In the Tuileries -- right outside the area where they erect a tent during Fashion Week for shows like Chloé, Valentino and Viktor & Rolf -- they have a group of statues dedicated to the great rivers of the world. This one represents the Nile.


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Speaking of arches, take a peek at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. It's on the former site of the Tuileries and you pass it going from the Louvre to the Tuileries gardens. This arch was also built by Napoleon (I guess he really did have a complex) and is half the size of the larger Arc de Triomphe we saw earlier.



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This nude statue is in a niche on the facade of the Louvre. The Louvre is one of the world's largest museums and has almost 35,000 objects in its collection from pre-history to 21st Century.


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The main courtyard at the Louvre with the pyramid completed by I.M. Pei in 1989 is the main entrance to the museum. When it first opened people poo-poo'd in their pantyhose thinking it was blasphemy to build something so modern in a sacred cultural spot like the Louvre. Now I look at it and it's a big "whatever." It's hard to believe it cause such an uproar.




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This is my favorite gate to the Louvre. I just love how it looks and nobody seems to use it.



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The gorgeous lady is on the end of one of the millions of bridges across the Seine. Okay there are only 37 bridges over the Seine but that's still a lot.


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Standing on the Pont Royal you can look in the distance and see the two rectangular towers of Notre Dame cathedral on the Île de la Cité. It's a gorgeous church, but with our time frame this is the best you can do!


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This shot is taken from the Pont Royal, the third oldest bridge in Paris after the Pont Neuf and the Pont Marie, and shows the Musée d'Orsay. This former Beaux-Arts railway station houses the world's greatest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings in the world by the likes of Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Manet, Monet and Van Gogh. I'm not cuckoo crazy about Impressionism so it's just as well that we don't have time to go inside.


AlexandreIII.jpgThis is a shot of the towers of the Pont Alexandre III. It was named after Tsar Alexander III of Russia who signed the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1892. The foundation stone was laid by his son Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia who visited Paris with his wife Empress Alexandra. Lots of folks, Mr. Mickey included, consider this the most beautiful bridge in Paris.


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The base of the Pont Alexandre III.


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This is an equestrian statue of King Albert of Belgium that you can find at the corner of Place de la Concorde and Cours la Reine along the Seine. Albert was King of the Belgians during World War I. Mr. Mickey loves an equestrian statue of a sovereign!


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The Eiffel Tower seen across the Seine. You can go to the top next time because we're on a tight schedule this time!




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Along the Cours la Reine at the entrance to the Pont Alexandre III you come across this equestrian statue of the South American freedom fighter Simón Bolívar. I wish that car wasn't parked there.


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Outside the Petit Palais you find this statue of Britain's legendary Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He led England through World War II. I must say Paris is pretty good about making monuments to it's allies in wars and such. A subway stop near the statue is named after American president Franklin D. Roosevelt.


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On the other side of the Petit Palais you'll find this statue of Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau who led the French to victory in World War I. My favorite French leader is marshal Ferdinand Foch who accepted the surrender of the Germans in 1918. He's buried in Les Invalides along with Napoleon. Sadly we haven't got time to visit because we're in a rush!


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The Grand Palais on the Champs-Élysées was built in 1897 as part of the World's Fair of 1900. The Petit Palais is across the street. Both are exhibition spaces and museums. Fashion bessies think of the Grand Palais as home to the Chanel show every season. Since Hedi Slimane took over Saint Laurent, his show is also at the Grand Palais, but in a venue through the side entrance -- not the big, cavernous main space Chanel uses.


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The main entrance to the Grand Palais for the Chanel show. I swear it looks more glamorous on show day!


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The entrance to the Petit Palais. I'm embarrassed to say I've never been inside because they have no fashion shows there!







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Walking back to my hotel via the Champs-Élysées I stumbled across this man who sold crepes and cheese sandwiches. Naturally I ordered up a cheese sammy. Walking tours really make a person work up a big appetite!


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