Showing posts from July, 2018

La Madeleine, Paris

Plans for the church of La Madeleine started in 1764 but after the death of the architect in 1777, the project was abandoned. Under Napolean I, works were resumed with the destruction of previous structures and the construction of a Greek temple-like building to honour the French Army. After the fall and death of Napolean, in 1842 the building was converted into a church dedicated to Saint Madeleine. Throughout the year the church programmes quality classical music concerts. Opening hours:  9.30 am to 7 pm Entrance free How to go: Concorde or Auber metro stations.

Musée de l'Homme, Paris, France

The Museum of Man in Paris reopened in 2015 after undergoing a major renovation with the purpose of answering the three questions Paul Gauguin asks in one of his most famous paintings: "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?". The museum was established in 1937 for the "Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne". Its non-European art collections inspired many famous artists, including Picasso. Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm Entrance fee: €10 How to go: Metro station Trocadero

Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium

The Cathedral of Our Lady was built on top of a small chapel, also dedicated to Our Lady, that existed from the 9th to the 12th century. In the 12th century, after acquiring the status of Parish, the chapel was replaced by a larger church. Construction of the Cathedral seen today, which would become the largest Gothic church in Belgium, started in 1352. It was finally completed in 1521 but in 1533 a fire destroyed it inside. In the next centuries, the church was several times damaged and plundered and it was only in the 19th century that it was completely restored and refurbished. It was also in the 19th century that three Rubens' masterpices, taken away by the French revolutionaries in 1794, were returned from Paris. The belfry of the cathedral is included in the Belfries of Belgium and France, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. Opening hours: Mon. to Fri. 10 am to 5 pm; Sat 10 am to 3 pm; Sun. 1 pm to 4 pm Entrance fee: €6

Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

The Arc de Triomphe is located in Place Charles de Gaulle, at the top of Champs Elysées. It was commissioned in 1806 by Emperor Napoleon to honour those who fought and died in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It was completed in 1836 and, in 1840, the remains of Napolean passed under the arch on their way to the Emperor's final resting place. The arch was inspired by the arch of Titus, in Rome, and has a total height of 50m. Under the arch there is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. It was the first eternal flame lit in Europe since the Vestal Virgins' fire was extinguished in the 4th century. Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm (10.30 in winter) Entrance fee: €12 How to go:  Charles de Gaulle-Étoile metro station. Site: