14 April 2014
The Pont Alexandre III is an arch bridge that spans the Seine, connecting the Champs-Élysées quarter and the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarter, widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris.The bridge, with its exuberant Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end, was built between 1896 and 1900. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank.The construction of the bridge is a marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a six-metre high single span steel arch. The design, by the architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin, was subject to strict controls that prevented the bridge from obscuring the view of the Champs-Élysées or the Invalides.The bridge was built by the engineers Jean Résal and Amédée d’Alby and inaugurated in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition (as were the nearby Grand Palais and Petit Palais).
3 December 2013
Route des Cretes (Route of the Ridges) is an 89 km road in the Vosges Mountains in eastern France, which passes through the Parc Naturel Régional des Ballons des Vosges. It connects Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (north) with Cernay (south) and runs on the border of the departements of Haut-Rhin and Vosges . Most of the route is at an elevation in excess of 950 m, with the highest point being at the Col du Grand Ballon. The road is generally open from April to November, but most of the route is closed in the winter by snow.
16 November 2013
Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a chapel in Aiguilhe, near Le Puy-en-Velay, France, built in 962 on a volcanic formation 85 metres high. The chapel is reached by 268 steps carved into the rock. It was built to celebrate the return from the pilgrimage of Saint James.In 1429, the mother of Joan of Arc, Isabelle Romée, was said to have come to the site to pray.
27 October 2013
Blois is a city & the capital of Loir-et-Cher department in central France, situated on the banks of the lower river Loire between Orléans and Tours.Though of ancient origin, Blois is first distinctly mentioned by Gregory of Tours in the 6th century, and the city gained some notability in the 9th century, when it became the seat of a powerful countship with «Blesum castrum» («Le château de Blois»). In 1171, Blois was the site of a blood libel against its Jewish community that led to 31 Jews (by some accounts 40) being burned to death. In 1196, Count Louis granted privileges to the townsmen; a commune, which survived throughout the Middle Ages, probably dated from this time. The counts of the Châtillon line resided at Blois more often than their predecessors, and the oldest parts of the château (from the thirteenth century) were built by them. In 1429, Joan of Arc made Blois her base of operations for the relief of Orléans. Joan of Arc rode the thirty-five miles on Wednesday 29 April to Blois to relieve Orléans. After his captivity in England, Charles of Orléans in 1440 took up his residence in the château, where in 1462 his son, afterwards Louis XII, was born. In the 16th century Blois was often the resort of the French court. The Treaty of Blois, which temporarily halted the Italian Wars, was signed there in 1504–1505.
19 October 2013
Yvoire is a medieval city in Haute-Savoie department, in the region of Rhône-Alpes in south-eastern France.Being located at the tip of the Leman peninsula (presqu’île de Léman), Yvoire delimits the two main parts of the Leman lake, the “petit lac” and the “grand lac”.It is well known for its medieval buildings and beautiful flower decoration during the summer season. It is also one of the “most beautiful villages of France“.