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Four Nights and Dazed in France, Part II

July 11-15, 2004

Beaune | Paris 2 | Versailles | Bastille Day

Paris 1

Museums

The Louvre Museum (Musee du Louvre), first built as a medieval fortress along the Seine River, expanded as a luxurious palace, and opened to the public as a museum in 1793 during the Revolution. Stars include I.M. Pei's controversial glass pyramids, the sensuous Venus de Milo from Greece 100 B.C. and the Hellenic Greek Winged Victory of Samothrace from 190 B.C. Unable to photograph, unfortunately: Leonardo's Mona Lisa; Raphael's La Belle Jardinière (1507); David's neoclassical Death of Socrates (1787) and The Coronation of Napoleon (1807); Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People (1830); and 400,000 other works of art.

Provocative and sensual sculptures at the Rodin Museum (Musee Rodin), an 18th century mansion. The right hands of Pete and Kris from Medina with The Cathedral; The Kiss, marble from 1888-89; The Thinker, bronze from 1881; The Monument to the Burghers of Calais, bronze from 1889. How sad it is the beautiful nude body is less acceptable today than it was centuries and centuries ago.

Under an arching glass roof, Great Impressionist and post-Impressionist collections on the third floor of the Orsay Museum (Musee d'Orsay), converted from an old train station. Masterpieces by Manet, Degas, Renoir (Moulin de la Galette, 1876), Monet, van Gogh (Self-Portrait, 1890) and Cezanne--and Whistler's Mother. In the distance, the Jardin des Tuileries -- with gardens designed in 1664.

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Eiffel Tower

Built for the 1889 Universal Exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, now also commemorated on Bastille Day. The 1,056-foot-tall La Tour Eiffel, complete with 7,000 tons of metal and 50 tons of paint. The world's tallest building when completed in 1889 during the Industrial Revolution. Our final tour gathering here with hugs and smiles, toasts, and beaucoup de merci vous!

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Photos of group members at Eiffel Tower.

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To Paris 2: Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Paris sewer ...

Beaune | Paris 1 | Paris 2 | Versailles | Bastille Day

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Copyright Gary and Donna Larson, Seattle, Washington. Updated Feb. 17, 2007.