Website and all contents Copyright Edward Pascuzzi 2000, 2015

The Eiffel Tower Villa Saxe Eiffel Hotel Pont Alexandre III (Alexander the 3rd Bridge) Paris Opera House & Galeries Lafayette Cheese Bar Arc de Triomphe Ecole Militaire (Military Academy) Hotel des Invalides (Military Veterans Complex) Cathedrale Notre Dame Place de la Concorde Place Vendome
France & Monaco - 2002 Physics Teaching, Aviation Photography, Glassblowing Edward Pascuzzi Shown here are photographs from a week-long excursion to various locations in France during the early spring of 2002.  Cities and towns  visted include Paris, Vernon (Giverney), Versailles, Vence, Nice and the principality of Monaco.  Click on the thumbnail images to  view enlarged photographs. Originally meeting with great public ridicule at the thought of erecting the nation’s largest “eyesore,” Nouguier and Koechlin  commissioned the architect Stephen Sauvestre to work on the project's appearance.  Sauvestre proposed stonework pedestals to  dress the legs, monumental arches to link the columns and the first level, large glass-walled halls on each level, a bulb-shaped design  for the top and other ornamental features to decorate the whole of the structure. In the end the project was simplified, but certain  elements such as the large arches at the base were retained, which in part give it its very characteristic appearance. The curvature of  the uprights is mathematically determined to offer the most efficient wind resistance possible. As Eiffel himself explains: "All the  cutting force of the wind passes into the interior of the leading edge uprights. Lines drawn tangential to each upright with the  point of each tangent at the same height, will always intersect at a second point, which is exactly the point through which passes  the flow resultant from the action of the wind on that part of the tower support situated above the two points in question. Before coming together at the high pinnacle, the uprights appear to burst out of the ground, and in a way to be shaped by the action of the wind." Once the Tower was finished the criticism burnt itself out in the light of the enormous popular success with which it was greeted. It received two million visitors during the 1889 World's Fair, allowing Eiffel to indeed prove that a structure of iron could possess beauty.  Today, the Tower is clearly one of the primary centerpieces of Paris and has been visited by nearly 200 million tourists in the century since its opening.  Currently, some 5 million visitors ascend the Tower annually, making it one of the most frequented attractions on planet Earth. For further detailed information, visit the offical                        website. "For my part I believe that the Tower will possess its own beauty.  Are we to believe that because one is an engineer, one is not preoccupied by beauty in one's constructions, or that one does not seek to create elegance as well as solidity and durability? Is it not true that the very conditions which give strength also conform to the hidden rules of harmony? Now to what phenomenon did I have to give primary concern in designing the Tower?  It was wind resistance. Well then!  I hold that the curvature of the monument's four outer edges, which is as mathematical calculation dictated it should be will give a great impression of strength and beauty, for it will reveal to the eyes of the observer the boldness of the design as a whole. Likewise the many empty spaces built into the very elements of construction will clearly display the constant concern not to submit any unnecessary surfaces to the violent action of hurricanes, which could threaten the stability of the edifice. Moreover there is an attraction in the colossal, and a singular delight to which ordinary theories of art are scarcely applicable." British Airways Boeing 747-400 G-BNLV “Waves of the City - USA” delivered 20 February, 1992, photographed on 8 December, 2001 by Chris Sheldon at Heathrow Airport, London UK. Departure - JFK to LHR Situated at the end of a dead end street about 15 minutes by foot southeast from the Eiffel Tower, the 51 room Hotel de Saxe has all the charm of the left bank of Paris in its suburban environs.  Despite the fact that it is located in the administrative district with Government Ministries and Embassies nearby, the neighborhood is very quiet, with the exception of the Saturday morning market along the Rue de Saxe.  Bringing impressive varieties of goods, foods and other curious wares, the “bonne marche” as it is called attracts hundreds of people during the weekends. Visit the                     website                           to learn more about this stunning little gem of a hotel. British Airways Boeing 757-200 G-BMRC “Sydney 2000” delivered 22 January, 1988, photographed on 29 March, 2002 at Heathrow Airport, London UK. A photograph of Charles Pascuzzi (Dad) in front of the Eiffel Tower on 15 July, 1952 while on furlough from a tour of military duty, shortly after his 23rd birthday. The plan to build a tower 300 metres high was originally conceived as part of preparations for the world's Fair of 1889, then held in Paris.  Born in 1832, Gustave Eiffel (the man after whom the tower is named) graduated from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1855, the same year that Paris hosted the first World's Fair.  An engineer by training, Eiffel founded and developed a company specializing in metal structural work, whose crowning achievement was the Eiffel Tower.  Two chief engineers in Eiffel's company, Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, both had the idea for a very tall tower in June 1884. It was to be designed like a large pylon with four columns of lattice work girders, separated at the base and coming together at the top, and joined to each other by more metal girders at regular intervals. On September 18, 1884 Eiffel registered a patent "for a new configuration allowing the construction of metal supports and pylons capable of exceeding a height of 300 metres." Despite these vastly unique and ornamental features, citizens and artists throughout Paris vehemently objected to Eiffel’s design, hurling a variety of comments about the Tower, referring to it as  "this truly tragic street lamp" (Léon Bloy), "this belfry skeleton" (Paul Verlaine), "this mast of iron gymnasium apparatus, incomplete, confused and deformed" (François Coppée), "this high and skinny pyramid of iron ladders, this giant ungainly skeleton upon a base that looks built to carry a colossal monument of Cyclops, but which just peters out into a ridiculous thin shape like a factory chimney" (Maupassant).  To his defense, Eiffel gave a reply to the protests of artists and the public in an interview in the newspaper Le Temps of February 14 1887, summing up his artistic doctrine;
            A   masterpiece   of   classical   architecture,   the   Alexander   III   bridge   is   one   of   many   similar   bridges which   connects   the   Right   Bank   with   the   Left,   here   adjacent   to   the   Grand   Palais   (click   on   the   map   for details).      Following   the   bridge   directly   from   the   Grand   Palais,   several   blocks   south   (i.e.   from   the Right to the Left Bank) will lead the pedestrian to the Hôtel des Invalides. Built   for   the   1900   World’s   Fair,   the Alexander   III   bridge   consists   of   a   single   surbased   arch   which thereby   eliminates   any   viewing   obstructions   while   pedestrians   and   motorists   cross.      Additionally, both   ends   of   the   bridge   are   adorned   by   massive   gold   leaf-covered   statues,   as   are   many   monuments and points of interest in Paris.
Interestingly, in Paris there exist only two opera houses, with the more recent modern Opera Bastille being constructed in 1989.  The “original” opera house, however, built in 1860 by the young architect Charles Garnier with his vision of a new opera, was designed as the “Opera Garnier" in the style of the Second Empire. It was completed in 1875 in the early days of the Third Republic. It is the largest opera theatre in the world staging enough for 450 players.  Fascinatingly, it is of interest to note that the massive opera house was constructed above a subterranean river that still leads to an underground artificial lake to this day. The Phantom of the Opera, created by Gaston Leroux, is said to still continue his sinister doings down below. Analogous to the western “shopping mall,” Paris hosts two major shopping centers known as Galeries Lafayette, north and south of the Seine River (i.e. on the Right and Left Banks).  Here virtually every product known to humanity may be purchased, from food to furniture, from expensive jewelry to hand-made chocolate and from clothing to tea.  Additionally, the streets surrounding the shopping plaza are as to be expected; bustling with activity, restaurants, traffic and of course, shopping tourists. The Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph), a symbol of French national resiliency and pride, commemorates victories as depicted by the four huge relief sculptures at the bases of the four pillars of the monument.  These sculptures (and their artists), and the monument itself, commemorate The Triumph of 1810 (Cortot); Resistance and Peace (both by Etex); and The Departure of the Volunteers, more commonly known by the name La Marseillaise (Rude). Commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon, shortly after his victory at Austerlitz, the Arch was not finished until 1836.    	Engraved around the top of the Arch are the names of major victories won during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The names of less important victories, as well as those of 558 generals, are found on the inside walls. Generals whose names are underlined died in action.  Lying beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the eternal flame commemorating the dead of the two World Wars.  It is here that every Armistice Day (11 November) the President of the Republic lays a wreath, and on 14 July - the French National Day (usually referred to as Bastille Day) - a military parade down the Champs Elysées begins here.  For important occasions of state, and national holidays, a huge French tricolor is unfurled and hung from the vaulted ceiling inside of the Arch. A short walk to the southeast of the Eiffel Tower across the massive great lawn of the Parc du Champ de Mars will take the pedestrian directly to L’Ecôle Militaire, or the French Military Academy.  Founded during the reign of Louis XV, it soon became the Higher Officer’s School, enrolling, amongst many others, a young cadet by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte who soon graduated as a lieutenant in the French artillery.
                     “Les   Invalides”   comprises   the   largest   single   complex   of monuments   in   Paris,   which   includes   the   Musée   de   l'Armée,   the Musée   des   Plans-Reliefs,   the   Musée   de   l'Ordre   de   la   Libération and   L'Eglise   de   St-Louis-des-Invalides,   all   dedicated   to   France’s war veterans. In   1670,   Louis   XIV   (the   Sun   King)   founded   Les   Invalides near   what   was   then   called   the   Grenelle   Plain.      An   old   soldiers home,   it   was   funded   by   a   five   year   tax   on   the   salaries   of   soldiers currently   serving   in   the   army   at   that   time.   The   first   stones   were laid    in    1671    for    what    was    to    become    a    complex    providing quarters    for    4,000.        Construction    followed    plans    drawn    up    by Libéral   Bruant,   and   was   completed   in   1676.   Thereafter,   construction   of   the   dome   began   in 1706   and   was   completed   around   1708.      Interestingly,   many   of   the   arms   used   by   the   mob when   it   attacked   the   Bastille   on   July   14,   1789   were   taken   from   Les   Invalides   on   the   morning of   that   day.   Despite   resistance   by   the   posted   sentries,   they   were   overwhelmed   by   the   mob which finally entered the underground rifle storehouse.  Roughly 28,000 arms were taken. The   most   significant   event   in   the   history   of   Les   Invalides   is   unquestionably   the   return of   the   body   of   Emperor   Napoléon   in   1840.   After   seven   years   of   negotiation   with   the   British government,    Louis-Philippe,    King    of    France,    obtained    permission    to    repatriate    the Emperor's   remains   from   St.   Helena.      On   8   October   1840,   19   years   after   the   death   of   the Emperor,   the   coffin   was   exhumed   and   opened   for   two   minutes   before   transport   to   France aboard   the   frigate   La   Belle   Poule   (those   present   claim   that   the   body   remained   in   a   state   of perfect   preservation).     After   arriving   at   Le   Havre,   it   was   brought   up   the   Seine   and   landed   at Paris   at   Courbevoie.   On   December   15,   1840   a   state   funeral   was   held,   and   despite   a   winter snowstorm,   the   hearse   proceeded   from   the   Arc   de   Triomphe   down   the   Champs-Elysées, across   the   Place   de   la   Concorde   to   the   Esplanade   and   finally   to   the   cupola   in   St.   Jerome's Chapel   until   the   tomb   was   completed.   On   April   3,   1861   Napoléon   I   came   to   his   final   rest   in the crypt under the dome of Les Invalides.
Situated on Ile de la Citie (the historical center of Paris during the Middle Ages until Napoleon III had much of the city leveled in the mid 19th century) lies Notre Dame, a masterpiece of French Gothic art which was built between 1163 and 1345 and was restored during the 19th century.  Proceeded by a Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter, a Christian basilica and a Romanesque church, construction of Notre Dame began as a replacement to the Romanesque church occupying the site (the Cathedral of St. Etienne) during the reign of Louis VII.  Full construction took nearly 200 years to complete. 	  The reigns of Louis XIV (end of the 17th century) and Louis XV saw significant alterations to Notre Dame, including the destruction of tombs and stained glass.  At the end of the 18th century, during the French Revolution, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or simply stolen.  During the Commune of 1871, the Cathedral was nearly burned by the Communards, and some accounts suggest that indeed a huge mound of chairs was set on fire in its interior.  Only the great bells avoided being melted down, and the Cathedral was dedicated first to the cult of Reason, and then to the cult of the Supreme being.  At the time, the church interior was used as a warehouse for the storage of forage and food.   Currently, the Cathedral has been undergoing a ten year program of general maintenance and restoration.  	Underground, below the western (rose window) face, where the real fun begins, lie the ruins of the Roman town that preceded Notre Dame, and much of it is still visible in the Archaeological Crypt.  Directly above, visitors can spot a brass marker set into the pavement which is Point Zero, the place from which all distances within Paris are measured.  Further, climbing the Cathedral’s towers will not only afford the visitor impressive views of The Gallery of Beasts (or Gargoyles), but will also yield breathtaking views of much of Paris.  Visit the                                       website to learn more about this beautiful cathedral. The 20 acre Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris, is situated along the Seine and separates the Tuilerie Gardens from the beginning of the Champs Elysées.  In the 8th district of the city, the Place was formed by an octagon bordered by large moats which no longer exist.  Instead, today, the Place marks one of the busiest traffic locations in Paris.  	Completed by architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel in 1763 to celebrate the glory of the then almighty King Louis XV (and was thus named Place Louis XV),  it became the Place de la Révolution and held in its center the guillotine that executed his successor and grandson, Louis XVI.  Others who also met their demise at the place were Marie-Antoinette, Danton, Robespierre, and some 2800 others between 1793 and 1795. It is said that the smell of blood was so strong here that a herd of cattle refused to cross the place.   	After the Revolution, the place suffered a series of transformations and several changes of name, from Place de la Concorde, Place Louis XV (again), Place Louis XVI, Place de la Chartre, and once again Place de la Concorde to symbolize the end of a troubled era and the hope of a better future.   	Today, the Place de la Concorde maintains the general appearance that it had in the eighteenth century. The statue of Louis XV, removed during the Revolution, was replaced by the familiar 3300 year old, 22.83 meter tall, 230 ton Obelisk of Luxor (from the entrance to the Amon temple in Luxor) given by the viceroy of Egypt, Méhémet Ali, to Louis Phillipe around 1836.  The obelisk is at the center of an ellipse whose two foci contain fountains constructed at the same time.  At each corner of the octagon concentric on the oval of the Place is found a statue that represents one of the large French cities: Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nantes, Brest and Rouen. Surrounded by extremely expensive jewelry and fashion stores, as well as the famous Ritz Hotel (where Princess Diana spent her last night) is the center of Place Vendôme, the Column.  The column rises 44 meters (about 135 feet) and is comprised of a stone core, encased in the bronze of 1250 cannons captured at the Battle of Austerliz (1805) and is filled with a recording of Napoleon’s victories.  Designed by Denon, Gondouin, and Lepère and modeled in the style of Trajan's Column in Rome, it took some four years to build, beginning in 1806.   The inner staircase leading to the top of the Column is no longer open to the public.