I was able to visit the Louvre Museum and see the Mona Lisa, but I found the actual building to be even more impressive than the paintings and artwork housed there. The Louvre is a converted palace. There have been expansions and additions to the original building, but old structure is truly remarkable. A rather long walk away from the Louvre is the Eiffel Tower. The tower was built in 1889 for the World’s Fair. It was built to be taken down after the Fair, as it was only to show what steel and iron are capable of, but it became such a hit, that the city decided to keep it. An even longer walk away is the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc was built to honor all those who fought and died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. It also houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WW1.
My favorite site of the weekend though was Versailles. Versailles was home to the French Monarchy from 1682 until the French Revolution forced the monarchy back to Paris in 1789. The building itself is quite impressive; although, I believe it has been damaged and ransacked since it was last used in 1789 by the monarchy. Many of the walls and some of the decorations appeared to be replicas. But, I found the surrounding gardens to be the most impressive part of the palace. Included in the gardens are numerous fountains, a Grand Canal, and the Marie Antoinette’s estate.