Paris: Regal and Intimate

Paris: Regal and Intimate


Hi, I’m Rick Steves, back with more of
the best of Europe, and this is one of
about a million reasons this place is called
“The City of Light.” You got it —
we’re in Paris. Thanks for joining us. ♪ As we return for
another visit to Paris, we’re enjoying an intimate look
at Europe’s grandest city. One of the great things
about Paris is how, amidst all its grandeur, the little joys of life
are still embraced. We’ll feel the pulse of Paris,
from village-like neighborhoods to a magnificent
pipe organ loft. We’ll visit
a megalomaniac’s tomb, tour the world’s
biggest art gallery, and celebrate the mother
of all revolutions with a big, patriotic
Bastille Day bang. Paris was born
over 2,000 years ago on this island
in the River Seine, and many of its
highlights can be seen from popular
sightseeing boats. There’s the Notre-Dame… And the Louvre Museum… And of course the Eiffel Tower,
built to commemorate the 100th anniversary
of the French Revolution. Paris glitters with history. Even the bridges, bestowed on the city
by kings and emperors, tell a story. Beyond its glorious
monuments and buildings, Paris is a city
simply in love with life. Delightful parks let commoners
luxuriate like aristocrats. Here in Luxembourg Gardens, there’s a tranquility
and refined orderliness enjoyed by young and old. The gardens are
impeccably tended. And for generations, children have launched dreams
on this pond. To establish
a foothold in Paris, I like to choose a neighborhood
and make it home. Strolling market streets
like this, Paris has
a small-town charm. For those learning the fine art
of living Parisian-style, market streets
like Rue Cler are ideal. With the help of my local friend
Delphine Prigent, each shop provides an insight
into Parisian life. Delphine’s planning a dinner
party and she’s taking us along. Shopping on a street like this
is just a delight, isn’t it? It’s really nice. We are very lucky to able
to walk on the street and have all these very
different shops which are very good
for shopping. ‘Cause in America,
there’s one-stop shopping. We go to one big place. We have one-street
shopping here. One-street shopping,
like a market street. It’s a market street,
it is. I think for the first course,
it would be nice to put some shrimps
and mayonnaise. Okay. And so you see you have
different types of shrimps. You have, like,
different colors, different sizes as well,
so I think we’ll go for themoyenne,
for the medium ones, which are
very flavorful. It looks very fresh. So we’ll have some meat tonight
as a main course, and we’ll use
a neighborhood butcher. You know, my mum used to
come here, and… Steves: So you can
trust the quality. You can trust the quality,
you know that they give you
advice as well. So I’m going to have
roasted beef, and I’m going to ask the man
for some tips. [ speaks French ] [ man speaks French ] [ speaks French ] [ speaks French ]Merci, monsieur.Steves: So what
did he say? So he said
like 25 minutes, and for six people,
1,200 grams. 1,200 grams. For six?
Big people. [ laughs ] So, Rick, a dinner without a cheese course
is not complete, so we have to go
and pick some cheese. Before dessert,
after main course, and we’ll have an assortment of
different cheeses. So you create a variety.
Yes. I create a small plate
with different cheese. So we’ll have some —
this one looks good, some goat cheese, and some blue, some camembert,
and some hard cheese. Steves: Good socially,
I think. It is very good because
you have more wine. More wine, more cheese,
more wine, more cheese. So once we know
what we are eating, we are going to
choose a wine. Oh. Beautiful shop. Yes, it’s very nice.Bonjour.We are going to
talk to the expert and we are
going to tell him what I’m going to
have for dinner and he’s going to pick
the right wines for us. Steves: In France,
with so many wines to choose from,
expert advice is welcome. He recommends a white
for the shrimp, a full-bodied red
from the Rhône Valley for the beef, and another white,
this time from the Loire Valley, for the cheese plate. Nice to have the advice for the little details
of the menu. In France, any good meal
comes with fresh bread, and that requires a visit
to the localboulangerie. Prigent: So you’ll have
some bread for the dinner. No meal without
today’s bread. Today’s bread?
No bread, no party. No bread, no party. So we’ll have
some baguettes and we’ll have some
special bread as well for the cheese. Oh, so it’s
a variety of bread with the cheese course. Steves: And the final touch,
flowers for the table. Prigent: It’s very bright and they’re going to be
beautiful on my table. It’s great. Steves: We’re hopping the Métro
to visit another neighborhood. Paris has the most extensive
subway system on the continent, and it’s clearly the fastest and most economic way
to get around town. Trains come frequently
and the system is easy to use. The Marais is another distinct
Parisian neighborhood. I’m always impressed
by how you can just sit and savor Parisian
street scenes like this. Once a mucky slum —
“Marais” means “swamp” — it was gentrified in
the 17th century by King Henry IV. With Henry’s vision, Place des Vosges
became the centerpiece of the finest
neighborhood in town. Stroll along its elegant,
gallery-lined arcade. The park-like square is
a reminder that Paris is not just a collection
of world-class museums. For millions of people, it’s home — a place to meet a lover, enjoy a relaxed retirement, or raise a family. In the 18th century, as Parisian high society
moved elsewhere, immigrating Jews gradually
settled here in the Marais. In the historic heart of
this neighborhood, you’ll find Paris’
Jewish Quarter, with kosher eateries
and falafel joints that draw
an enthusiastic crowd. Strolling its
characteristic lanes, pause and observe. It’s a celebration
of cultural diversity. The Marais is also the city’s gay district,
much enjoyed for its lively cafes and clubs. And, straight or gay,
trendy Marais boutiques make for fun
window-shopping. Paris’ original neighborhood, the Île de la Cité,
is well worth exploring. While a church has stood on this
island since ancient times, the iconic Gothic cathedral
we see today, dedicated tonotre dame,
or “Our Lady,” is only 700 years old. You can brave the line for
a look at its interior and climb to the top
of its bell tower. But the church I like
to visit in Paris, especially on Sunday mornings, is St. Sulpice,
to enjoy its magnificent pipe organ,
arguably the greatest in Europe. For organ lovers,
a visit here is a pilgrimage. After Mass, enthusiasts
from around the world scamper like 16th notes
up the spiral stairs into a world
of 7,000 pipes. Before electricity,
it took three men working out on these
18th-century Stairmasters to fill the bellows
which powered the organ. The current organist,
Daniel Roth, carries on the tradition of welcoming guests
into the loft to see the organ in action. As his apprentices
pull and push the many stops that engage
the symphony of pipes, a commotion of music lovers crowd around
a tower of keyboards and watch the master at work. St. Sulpice has a rich history, with a line of
12 world-class organists going back over 300 years. Like kings or presidents, the lineage is
charted on the wall, and overseeing all this,
Johann Sebastian Bach. This sacred music
continues to fill the spiritual sails
of St. Sulpice, as it has for centuries. The good life in Paris — music, culture,
an appreciation of its rich heritage
and fine architecture — is easy to take for granted, but today’s freedoms
and a government that seems passionate
about its people’s needs didn’t come to France
without a struggle, and the pinnacle of
that struggle, an epic event that
reverberates in the spirit of its people to this day,
was the French revolution. The symbolic launch pad
of the French Revolution was a notorious prison
called the Bastille, which stood on this square. In 1789,
angry Parisians stormed it, released its prisoners,
and tore it down. It’s one of Europe’s
great non-sights — there’s nothing left to see. While Parisian back lanes feel
peaceful and content today, during times of revolution,
they hid hotbeds of discontent. Before French political leaders
learned the wisdom of subsidizing
the cost of baguettes, hungry peasant mobs
would set up barricades in narrow lanes like these. Generals like Napoleon were fond of quieting
the streets by loading chains and nails into cannon
and giving the malcontents what they called
“a whiff of grapeshot.” Later, the government
commissioned Baron Haussmann to modernize the city. He ripped up most of
medieval Paris and created the city’s
grand boulevards. Great city planning,
but really, it was great
military planning. Heavy artillery
and grand armies work better with long, broad streets
as battlefields. Paris was made easier to rule,
and more elegant. Today, like a citywide game
of “connect the dots,” wide Parisian boulevards
lead to famous landmarks, like the Pantheon… The old opera… The Arc de Triomphe… And the Hotel des Invalides. Built by Louis XIV in the 1600s
as a veterans’ hospital, this massive building
now houses Europe’s greatest
military museum, and, at its center,
under a grand dome which glitters with 26 pounds
of thinly pounded gold leaf, lies the tomb of Napoleon. It’s hard to imagine a building dedicated to a mortal
that’s more impressive. Gazing at Napoleon’s tomb, I love to ponder the story
of the charismatic leader who took France from
revolutionary chaos to near total dominance
of Europe, and then,
catastrophically, to near ruins. Just a humble kid from Corsica,
Napoleon Bonaparte went to military school
here in Paris. He rose quickly
through the ranks during the tumultuous years
of the Revolution. By 1799,
he was the ruler of France. After that,
within five years, France had conquered
most of Europe, and Napoleon declared himself
emperor of it all. As the head of France’s
grand million-man army, he blitzed Europe. His personal charisma
on the battlefield was said to be worth
10,000 additional men. Imagine Napoleon the emperor,
all of Europe at his feet. The laurel wreath, the robes,
and the Roman eagles proclaim him
equal to Caesar. As emperor,
he worked feverishly to implement the ideals
of the revolution into a well-designed
and modern society. Probably no single individual
destroyed so much and yet built so much. To this day,
the French remember Napoleon for his legacy —
infrastructure, education system,
and legal code. But, ultimately, his megalomania
got the best of him. Napoleon invaded Russia with
the greatest army ever assembled and returned to Paris
with a frostbitten fraction of what he started with. Two years later,
the Russians marched into Paris, and Napoleon was deposed. After a brief exile
on the isle of Elba, in 1850, Napoleon skipped parole
and returned to France, where he bared his breast
and declared, “Strike me down
or follow me!” For a hundred days, the people of France
followed him, until finally in Belgium,
Napoleon was defeated once and for all by
the British at Waterloo. Exiled again, Napoleon spent
his final years on a remote island
in the South Atlantic until he died in 1821. The Arc de Triomphe
was finished just in time for the funeral procession
that welcomed Napoleon’s body home from exile in 1840. The arch is
a memorial to France’s many military campaigns,
and is particularly stirring on national holidays,
when it flies the French flag. It crowns the city’s main drag. Europe’s grandest boulevard
is the Champs-Élysées. Built for the queen
in the 1600s, it originated
as a carriageway leading away from
the palace gardens. The population of France is
becoming increasingly diverse, and this is particularly true here in its
cosmopolitan capital. The largest immigrant group
is from its former colonies in Africa, especially Muslims from
North Africa. Paris’ mosque
is a reminder that, even though its
colonial empire is long gone, cultural connections
remain strong. The challenge for both France
and its immigrants is to assimilate comfortably into an ever more
multi-ethnic society. Welcoming visitors, the mosque’s tranquil courtyard provides a calm
and meditative oasis in the midst of
the hubbub of Paris. The adjacent Cafe de la Mosquée provides a tasty alternative
to French cuisine. Parisians and North Africans
alike enjoy couscous, tagine, and a characteristic
glass of sweet mint chai with the ambiance
of a Moroccan teahouse. Nearby stands the home
of the Arab World Institute, a partnership between France
and 22 Arab countries. With a museum,
art galleries, and library, its mission is to
build understanding between the Arab world and France. And from its
rooftop terrace, the rest of the city beckons. The Palais du Louvre was once the palace
of the ultimate kings and the biggest building
in the entire world. Today, the vast, horseshoe-shaped palace, built in stages over
eight centuries, with its striking
20th-century pyramid entry, houses the world’s grandest
collection of art treasures. These people are waiting
not to get into the Louvre but to buy a ticket
to get into the Louvre. With a city museum pass,
I save money, and, more importantly,
lots of time. Anyone with this pass
can walk right in. Once inside,
take a moment to enjoy the modern pyramid entry,
a work of art in itself. It leads to three wings. We’ll limit our visit
to the Denon wing. The Louvre’s huge collection covers art history
from ancient times to about 1850. It can be overwhelming. A key to enjoying your visit — don’t even try to
cover it all. Enjoy an excuse to return. Remember to look up
for a sense of how, long before it was a museum, this was Europe’s
ultimate palace and home of its
mightiest kings. In fact,
the collection includes royal French regalia,
such as the crown of Louis XV and the crown Napoleon wore
on his coronation. This museum is one of
the world’s oldest, opened to the public during
the French Revolution in 1793. I guess it just makes sense. You behead the king,
inherit his palace and a vast royal
collection of art, open the doors, andvoila —
a people’s museum. The statue of Winged Victory
seems to declare that the Louvre’s ancient collection
is Europe’s finest. Two centuries before Christ, this wind-whipped masterpiece
of Hellenistic Greek art stood on a bluff celebrating
a great naval victory. And just past her stands an entourage of twisting
and striding statues, each modeling
the ideal human form. Venus de Milo
has struck her pose like a reigning beauty queen
for 2,500 years now. There must be more
famous paintings here than in any other museum. The crowded grand gallery,
while a quarter mile long, displays only a small part
of the Louvre’s collection. We’ll feature
a few paintings representative of
three styles — Renaissance, Neoclassical,
and Romantic. Francois I,
who ruled through the early 1500s,
was France’s Renaissance king. His private paintings became the core of
the Louvre’s collection. It was trendy
for kings to have a Renaissance genius
in their court. One of Europe’s greatest kings,
FrancoisPremier,got Europe’s top genius,
Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo’s work epitomized
the aesthetics of the Renaissance,
and the Louvre’s collection of his paintings demonstrates
his lasting influence. HisVirgin of the Rocksillustrates his trademark
sfumatotechnique — the subtle modeling
of his faces, and, in landscapes,
how he shows distance by making it hazier
and hazier. And this portrait,
Mona Lisa,believed to be of the wife
of a Florentine merchant, is Leonardo’s
crowd-pleasing masterpiece. With her enigmatic smile, she seems to enjoy
all the attention. Her body is solid
and statue-like, a perfectly balanced pyramid, angled back so we can
appreciate its mass. Her arm,
level with the frame, adds stability
and realism. And again,
Leonardo creates depth in Mona’s dreamy backyard. For me, this painting
sums up the Renaissance — balance, confidence,
and humanism, the age when
the common individual — Mona Lisa —
becomes art-worthy. Like the museum, Napoleon was a product
of the Revolution. One of the Louvre’s
largest canvases shows Europe’s grandest coronation —
Napoleon’s. The pope traveled from Rome to
Paris to crown Napoleon, but Europe’s most famous
megalomaniac, crown confidently in hand, pretty much ran
the coronation show himself. The pope looks
a little neglected. The French Revolution was
all about ending kings, so Napoleon
crowned himself emperor. The politically correct
art style of the time was Neoclassical. Napoleon would approve of
everything in this room. Greek, Roman, heroic, or patriotic themes,
clean, simple, and logical — it’s pure Neoclassical. This Parisian woman,
wearing ancient garb and a Pompeii hairdo,
reclines on a Roman-style couch, perfectly in vogue. Neoclassicism was
an intellectual movement. After all,
during the Revolution, everything was subjected to
the “test of reason.” Nothing was sacred. If it wasn’t logical,
it was rejected. The reaction to Neoclassicism
was a romantic movement — “Romanticism.” Romanticism meant putting
feeling over intellect, passion over
restrained judgment. Logic and reason were
replaced by a spirit that encouraged artists to be emotional
and create not merely what the eyes saw
but also what the heart felt. What better setting for
an emotional work than the story of an actual shipwreck? In Gericault’s
Raft of the Medusa,we see a human pyramid
ranging from death and despair at its base
to a pinnacle of hope as one of the survivors
spots a ship, which ultimately
comes to their rescue. If art controls
your heartbeat, this is a masterpiece. The Romantic Movement
championed nationalistic causes of the 19th century. Delacroix’s Liberty
Leading the Peopleshows the citizens in 1830,
once again asserting their power and raising the French flag
at a barricade in those troublesome
back streets of Paris. This painting
and that struggle reverberate with the French people
to this day. France’s national holiday is
July 14, Bastille Day. That’s today,
and that means a big party as all of France indulges in
a patriotic bash. In Paris,
that means lots of flags and lots of parties. Everyone’s welcome
to join in. Like towns and villages
all over the country, each neighborhood here
hosts parties until late into the night. The local fire department’s
putting on this party, so I guess it doesn’t matter if
the fire marshal drops by. ♪Let’s live it up♪ ♪I got my money♪ ♪Let’s spend it up♪ ♪Go out and smash it♪ ♪Like oh, my god♪ ♪Jump off that sofa♪ ♪Let’s get, get off♪ Traditionally,
crowds pack the bridges and line the river for
a grand fireworks display over the Eiffel Tower. [ crowd cheering ] Paris is a cultural capital
with many dimensions, and it certainly knows how to
celebrate its freedom. Thanks for joining us. I’m Rick Steves. Until next time,
keep on travelin’.Vive la France!I hope there’s
lots of wine. We’ll have more fun
with wine.
Oh, that’s for sure. Angry Parisians stormed it,
released its prisoners, grabbed its arsenal,
and tore it down. It’s one of Europe’s
incredible non-sights — there’s nothing left to see! And never get enough of what to
me is the capital of Europe — [ loud bang ]
Paris. I’m Rick Steves.
Until next time — ugh!

100 thoughts on “Paris: Regal and Intimate

  1. I'm praying for the victims of the tragedy in Paris. And I'm still going there as soon as I can afford to go on vacation. The terrorists won't win.

  2. For anyone wondering its Philip Hochstrate – Banks of the Seine 😀 and thanks for the awesome video Rick Steves!

  3. Well done! The fact that you have gone to a mosque in Paris, demonstrates how you are tuned with the diversity that's shaping France nowadays. Inclusiveness and mutual respect.

  4. If you turn around and look on the opposite wall of the mona lisa you will see one of the most beautiful Gigantic sizes murals ever painted and the biggest a the Louvre the Wedding at Cana.

  5. Hello,
    First of all many thanks for your movie which is very rich in several ways,
    I am a french producer and for a film that i make, i need one second of your movie, it's the view of the french paintings "French Flag and the barricades", Is it possible tu use it and tell me what are your conditions if i want to publish it for a private projection? Thank you in advance, you can answer me directly : [email protected]

  6. The most beautiful city in the world; gorgeous art and architecture at every single turn, no exaggeration.

  7. Paris is a very nice city for Europeans and  Americans.  I would like to see Paris and visit art galleries there.

  8. I have been to Paris too but I have been to many different European countries and cities and it was very beautiful and enjoyable!

  9. At 15:05 "Muslims from North Africa"? It's just "people" from North Africa. It may be that many of them are Muslim, but Africa also has Christians.

  10. napoleon na pas perdu face aux anglais à waterloo mais face a une coalition européenne avec un commandement anglais nuance,les anglais étaient très minoritaire et c'est vôtre roman national qui s'est approprié la victoire ,très anglais!

  11. Lovely video sir! I will be there in a few weeks. And the church you mentioned sounds great!
    Where exactly can I find this church with its finely tuned organ?
    And the best metro to get off for the Marais??
    I hope you reply before I go.

  12. Rick has an odd habit of talking about horrible things, like using grapeshot as crowd control, with a sort of happy, whimsical voice.

    Also, it wasn't only the British who defeated the French at Waterloo. It was pretty much Napoleon vs Europe at that point, so the Dutch, Belgians, Hanoverians, and most importantly Prussians were all involved in the victory.

  13. I have English, French and German royal blood. I hope they don't execute me. I think they'd execute me. I want to move to Amsterdam and travel all over Europe!

  14. Paris is a fake city, the Dubai of its day. Beautiful and elegant but most of its history was swept away during the Haussmann redevelopment of the city. There is not much to see of the Paris pre 1850.

  15. 'Paris' is so beautiful by naturally. My love & respect to 'France' from Dhaka, Bangladesh. God bless France.

  16. I see beauty in everything for it is in the eyes of the beholder as for the country with its best, delicious meals, and etc. it's in the taste buds, there are some fruits, veggies, meals I love that my son would not touch with a ten-foot pole. :))
    I like your videos Rick Steves' thank you for posting Paris, I love Paris after midnight…

  17. Probably a silly question but I have to ask it anyway, please indulge me. I'm an older guy who loves bread but in recent years bread doesn't love me back and makes me miserable so I avoid it a lot.  SW Fla does not have any quality bread  available, all packaged or publix/winn Dixie. They tell me there's different quality ingredients used in France and that if my wife and I travel to France that I may be able to eat the bread because of this? Does this sound plausible to anyone who knows differences French bread and the bread they sell at supermarkets here?

  18. Great video. Now Napoleon did NOT loose to the 'British'at Waterloo but by the timely arrival of the fresh and complete of Prussian army of 155,000 under Blushers on the battlefield. THEY SAVED THE DAY .The British under Wellington had formed squares in order to survive. Squares are a ultra defensive position. Wellington joined his soldiers in to keep their spirits up as at this point the British seemed doomed ; at this point the Prussians appeared. Napoleon had anticipated their arrival with dread.He had left 45,000 men under Grouchy and sent countless orders to that officer to come back:: to no avail! Just a reminder: 100,000 under Wellington ; 150,000 under Blusher! Napoleon' forces115,000 of which 45,000 under Grouchy so in actual fact Napoleon had to fight with only 70,000 troops.He had planned to attack at first light as to be ready for the return the Prussians. But driving rain prevented that. One couldn't deployed those armies in the mud. Napoleon had to wait until 11am! This giving ample time to the Prussian to come and save the British in their squares.The Brit never beat Napoleon himself in battle that is on their own!!! Napoleon chose to surrender to the British instead of the Prussians. He believed they wood be more accommodating.

  19. Awesome showcase of Paris Steve. Loved it! Paris & especially The Louvre was our favorite place in Europe to visit!

  20. Rick, please update your views about how wonderful Paris is! Please tell what is really happening due to liberal policies of the government!. Americans should be warned. It is not a happy place anymore!

  21. We were fourtunate enough to visit Paris on our trip of a lifetime with our two children (one almost 4 and the other 14 months).
    We arrived in mid-may 1999. Things certainly have changed. I'm glad we were able to visit when we were able.
    It was the Paris of one's dreams, perfect.
    We saw quite a bit of sites in this video.
    Visited all the famous Paris icons, cozy neighborhood shopping streets, parks, rivers,
    It was glorious.

  22. No mention of Montmartre, Château de Vincennes, Sacré-Cœur, the Picasso museum, Cimetière du Père Lachaise, where hundreds of famous people are buried including Chopin, Oscar Wild, Rossini, Edith Piaf, Molière, Marcel Proust, Balzac and Jim Morrison to name just a handful.

  23. He Rick thanks for this video
    I won't try fresh bread with cheese
    Nice one and I salute Paris flag bcoz history is too panic I am watching your all videos bcoz Rick is doing always great keep it up 😊

  24. Vive la France! France must remain dominated by French people or else it will not be France; time to end Multiculturalism & worldwide mass-immigration and honestly deal with their sustainable birthrate problem.

  25. Referring to the tragedy at Notre Dame… had the cathedral been new construction… an automatic fire suppression system would have been required. Assuming there was no automatic fire suppression system in the wooden attic area of the cathedral then we need to consider why not. People having responsibilities for these historical treasures need to use common sense risk management principles not only for new structures but especially for valuable older and even more vulnerable ones. Please… a message to those generous billionaires… please pay to have automatic fire suppression systems retrofitted into these wonderful cathedrals, palaces and castles. Please…
    Ps. I love these videos by you Rick Steves. You are like the high school teacher we all wish we had!

  26. Omg I just realized that Bastille Day is 3 days after my birthday. It’s always been a dream of mine to visit Paris, but to go there for my birthday and spend a week there, that would be a lifetime bucket list dream.

  27. Watching the "Notre-Dame" Cathedral segment of this show is sad in 2019. On April 15, a major fire burnt down a large section of the cathedral. Current French president Emanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the landmark to be even better than it was before. Blessed be.

  28. Where is the dinner with beef shrimp and cheese and three bottles of wine? I watched it to the end and now I am so disappointed.

  29. False narrative. The French revolution wasnt For the People, but Freemasons. The glass pyramid on the Louvres gate is theirs. They TOOK ALL AMAZING ARCHITECTURE FOR FREE. As Rockefeller mercenaries Lenin, Trotskij and Stalin. They love to kill Kings, tsars and Children for money. 146 MILLION Russians starved, was tortured in front of their family and then killed.

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