My adventure in Paris

I believe the purpose of visiting the tower is to know the French history and to admire the infrastructure of the tower because without the ingenious mind of Eiffel the tower will not be standing and that way there would be no admiration of the vistas of the city or the meaning of Industrial Revolution or as many tourists as there are now. I do see the Eiffel Tower as a way to make money. Yes it is true I could see many people from different ethnicities selling souvenirs to the tourists. Their eager to sell us souvenirs, earning money thanks to the Eiffel Tower's popularity. Yes, I felt compelled to take the famous picture with the Eiffel Tower and I do not quite understand why the urge and necessity to have it. When I got to see it I just felt the necessity to take a picture with it because I wanted to everyone to know that I had a picture with the Eiffel Tower, but now that I think about it, it sounds like nonsense. The true purpose was to admire the Eiffel Tower and understand the effort  in illustrating the people as human beings and not just workers that did not deserve any recognition. 

The Eiffel Tower

 The discoveries I made by visiting the Eiffel Tower and its meaning.  

  The famous and popular Eiffel Tower provides Paris with an abundance of tourists. I want to know why the Eiffel Tower was so important that people across the world just like me travel to look at it and have a picture with it.

 I consider the Eiffel Tower as a big antenna. The tower, designed by Gustave Eiffel,  does not portray the best beauty due to its steel structure. I love the Eiffel Tower do not get me wrong, but there is much more to it. I believe that the meaning behind the construction of the tower is so beautiful that enhances the Eiffel Tower physically more than it already is. 

    What makes it so beautiful that opaque’s the outside beauty is the symbolism behind it. Not all beauty comes from the outside. The Eiffel Tower represents the people, the republic, it represents the Industrial Revolution, the beginning of a new era that changed the way people lived as the way to travel, thanks to the technology. It represents us as the products of Industrial technology. The tower represents the break between the people and the monarchy. It represents the people independence. It represents the art's rebellion. Artists will start painting, sculpting and creating works of art that used simple subjects such as common people. From that point on, anything can become art. There was no concern of what royalty wanted. 

Cluny Museum 

Before becoming the Cluny Museum, the building was the monastery of the Cluny order. This Middle Ages museum revolves around religion because the Cluny order believed that God could be found in beautiful artwork.The Cluny order were materialism monks, the artwork in this museum is religion related and the artwork is beautifully complicated to made and expensive. They believed that the most artwork the better. 

There are many tapestries and sculptures. The sculptures of wood and stone differ from each other. The stone sculptures have less face expressions and less movement in their bodies. In contrast, the wooden sculptures have face expressions that determine the feelings of the statue and does not loose its form with time. For the stone sculptures with the past of time, they start loosing its figure and color. 

The "Woman and the Unicorn" Tapestries represent the 5th senses: the sight, hearing,taste,touch and smell. The 6th tapestry shows a 6th sense which is a mystery. It is said that the woman in the tapestries is a middle class and a merchant's daughter.  In the sight tapestry, the woman is holding a mirror to the unicorn and you can see the unicorn’s reflection. The hearing sense comes in a tapestry that portrays two women. One of the women is playing the organ while the other listens. In the tapestry representing the taste, the young lady takes a candy from the tray that the servant is offering. The unicorn and the lion make their appearance in all the tapestries. In the tapestry representing the sense of touch, the woman is touching the unicorn’s horn. In the smell tapestry, the woman is smelling some flowers. For the sixth tapestry, À Mon Seul Désir, the lady is leaving her necklace. The tapestry represents desire. All the sixth tapestries represent a sense. I think it is interesting to see a unicorn in the tapestries. The works of art are from the Middle Ages, but they do not display religion. It is different than all the other works. I liked them because I learned to look closely at a work of art, discovering different key points that leads to an extraordinary story. 


Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals

  Notre Dame and St. Germain des Prés


 Beauty is mystical to me. The way that our mind and feelings decide what is beautiful. Religion is connected to beauty because God is found as perfection. The closest to perfection in my own eyes is beauty. Now a days in modern concept, science and nature become interest topics leaving religion and realism behind.

In my excursion going to two different, but exquisite cathedrals there would be found Gothic and Romanesque architecture. For St. Germain des Pres the architecture is Romanesque and for Notre Dame, the architecture is Gothic. When I saw the two cathedrals, I could see they did not resemble at all.  In St. Germain des Pres, the buttresses are heavy made with thick stone. The structure looks heavy and simple columns beside the windows. In the Notre Dame church the buttresses are light and have high arches like defying physics. There is more windows with different figures such as the circle rose windows. There is also the gargoyles when it rains they spit the water.

The Notre Dame Cathedral has three West portals which are beautiful with carved figures showing a story in each. In those times you had to be wealthy, a priest or nun to be literate. This carved figures helped the analphabets to comprehend Catholic histories. In the right west portal the theme is St. Anne's life, the Virgin Mary's mom. The center west portal represents the Last Judgement. Jesus is represented in a throne showing his wounds. The left west portal portrays the Virgin Mary being crowned. There is also the death of the Virgin Mary sculpted. She is in a bed and beside her is Jesus and the apostles.  There are angels at her feet and at her head. I believe they are taking care of her and they are going to take her to heaven. 

I conclude by watching and admiring the two Cathedrals that in Notre Dame's construction architects start opening their minds to science and discovery. Inventing and daring to take a chance in creating innovating buildings. While for Saint Germain de Pres architects went for the safe and antique manner to built. 


 While I pass thru the immense hallways of the Louvre, I found plenty of artwork referring to the god and goddesses of the greek mythology. It is known that they were a reminder to the population on how to behave. They were role models and inspiration to the people. I find it curious how since the Renaissance period, art revolved around the god and goddesses. I think that the artists wanted to portray a feeling by transmitting the god's personality. Such as Venus being the goddess of love and beauty. I believe there is no much difference from greek mythology that from religions due to the similarities that they are both worshipped, and there is faith. Both religion's gods and greek deities are seen as role models captured in paintings and sculptures. 

When I entered the Mesopotamia's antiquities, the difference between this and Classical works were visible.  The Classical works are clean and precise art. The mesopotamia wing's subject are dialects like Cuneiform written in stone, utensils the ancestors used at that time and heavy stone works. In the Classical wing there would be fine sculptures of the god and goddesses. Most of the stone is marble which all you can see in the wing is white marble statues.  

Louvre is recognized as the best museum in the world. I must say it has been the best museum I have ever visited. In this museum, there are paintings from great artist such as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. There are many paintings of Da Vinci, but the Mona Lisa is the painting with most tourists taking photos. Why is it that Mona Lisa gets more attention than The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne if both are by Leonardo Da Vinci? The unique trait of Mona Lisa is her smile, but that is not it. Mona Lisa represents woman history. In early times, woman could not be portrayed in paintings alone. There had to be a man or a goddess to be painted. Mona Lisa would be considered the first woman to be painted as an individual woman. She open the incentive of rights for women. Individualism started playing a big role in contrast to The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne representing the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Religion is represented in many paintings at Renaissance era, but individualism found at that early stage is amazing. 

In the Lower Ground Floor of Richelieu, the Islamic art collection is shown. In this collection there is early navigation tools which I find fascinating. It mades me realize how ancestors used to navigate and the ingeniously to create those artifacts. 


Versailles was the most extravagant castle I have ever seen in my life. Every room in the castle and the gardens were amazing and impressive beautiful. Every room had a golden moldings, paintings, and ceiling paintings. In the "Salon of Hercules" the ceiling painting was Apotheosis of Hercules by François Lemoyne. The story behind this painting comes to believe that Hercules was the 10th king of Gaul (France). In the painting is shown the deification of Hercules upon his death. It is known that some kings such as Francois I, Henry IV, and Louis XIII believe the story and honor the King Hercules. 

Another salon that caught my attention was the "Salon of Abundance" which is a Baroque style room. I believe the room is exaggerated just as it is the salon of "abundance". I feel that the green walls with golden symbol shapes make the room look too heavy in color and contrast with the white and black marble with golden moldings. The gardens represent an enormous part of Versailles. The plants and trees glorify the place all cut down in different shapes. I saw many statues of gods and goddesses especially of Apollo. It is said that King Louis XIV liked the deity of the sun. He was even called the "Sun King" and proclaimed himself a god. For him having the god's statue in his garden was like having his ancestors. I believe André Le Nôtre transmitted a sense of equality between the King and the deities. Placing them in the gardens close to nature making them part of the landscape and also part of the King's castle.

 Everything is extravagant in Versailles even the Grand Trianon, the palace that was suppost to be the escape from Versailles. The little palace is made of pink marble. The moldes from the ceiling and corners mades it extravagant. It has a beautiful garden all grass cut and the fountain. The chandeliers always present in Versailles  big and full of precious crystals. The rooms full of paintings and golden frames everywhere. It looks like a small castle with all those extravagances already mentioned.

When I visited Marie Antoinette's estate, I thought it was pretty. It was far from the castle and it was not as extravagant as the Grand Trianon. In the book Exploring Paris: Discovering the Humanities by Dr. Lalonde, It was stated that Marie Antoinette loved this place because it was simple and it was away from Versailles castle, but she was friendless toward peasants. An example of a politician like this is Hugo Chavez. He is former dictator of Venezuela. He created the Bolivian Revolutionary Movement, but has its people in suffering. I do not understand the ambition of power. When I see the Castle of Versailles, I see people starving. The kings had to get the money to built it from somewhere. The King wanted to show everyone his power by showing the extravagant life he had. He lived in that castle, but prefer to be in the Grand Trianon. The same goes to Marie Antoinette, She loved to be in her little estate compare to the castle. I see the castle as a masterpiece, but as a waste of money too.

In my visit thru Versailles, I did not find Revolution artifacts if there were any. I could not locate one. All I could see was gods, paintings, luxury furniture, sparkly chandeliers, impressive wall structure with different wall tapestries. 

Visiting Versailles was a great experienced. I liked to see the commodities and luxuries that the monarchy received. It is different as how I live and I could not imagine myself living in a place so big full of people and still wanting to be in a small isolated place. Pleasure and power defines the Versailles Castle. It was the distinction between commoners and aristocrats.The monarchy wanted to make that clear and  show who had the power in the country. 



The Pantheon  

The Pantheon is a place where the heroes are honored. I like this place because it honors those who gave effort and their lives for an independent country. I understand that the Church was criticized during the French Revolution. I think religion helps the monarchs have the people under control. The Church and the Monarchy had been working together for a long time. The monarchs gave donations to the Church, while the Church calm the people by telling them what to do. I am Catholic and I know that as in my religion or any religion there are rules. French were tired of being step on because of following the religion. Rebellion went against the Church's believes. I understand their anger and resentment towards the Church and the monarchy. 

I believe that the purpose of the Pantheon is to honor, contemplate the common heroes that help mold the France that it is now. It is there to remind us of what a person can be capable of doing and encourage us to pursuit what we believe in. 

One of the exhibitions is the Foucault's pendulum showing the Earth's rotation. It provides the fact that the Earth spins east on its axis. It symbolizes the french effort to be better and to challenge someone's mind. I see the Pantheon as a patriotic place to contemplate those who deserve it.  

National Holiday and National Monuments 

 I had the chance to be in Paris the 14th of July, Independence Day. The French make a big patriotic celebration with fireworks. The Arc de Triomphe represents the liberty of the people. It represents the French Revolution of 1789. I like the patriotism showed because it gives a sense of pride. They made me feel like home because in Mexico the revolution is celebrated loudly. Every 15th of September the President of every city and the country's president yell in the City Hall honoring the Mexican Revolution and the call that Dolores made for mexicans to rebel against Spaniards. I believe it is good to celebrate the independence of a nation. It is a reminder of those who sacrificed their lives for freedom. The Independence day is to honor and thank for the freedom that is granted. 

Yes this celebration might be anachronistic because there are other important things to be aware such as the environment. I find it fascinating that Paris mades the awareness of the Earth. I believe both subjects are important because without the fought of our ancestors to bring freedom which conveyed and open doors to education and information for lower class there will be no awareness of the Earth and its environment problems.

When I visited the Arc de Triomphe, I noticed there were names inside the columns. Those names are from generals and soldiers killed in action during Napoleon's Empire. Being in the arc made me appreciate those who give their lives to fight for their country. The patriotism to represent your country in every battle, until the last moment. 

Sacre Coeur/ Montmartre  

 Sacre Coeur Church is on top of a mountain. I had to climb many steps to arrive.  The church is beautiful with its circular domes, long arches, and square structure and the use of mosaic representing the Romano-Byzantine style. Inside the Basilica there is a big mosaic of Jesus Christ. I like the mosaic because when I saw it I felt relaxed and calmed. I felt like Jesus Christ was looking at me with open arms ready to embrace me.  

There is a statue of Joan of Arc at the Basilica, I imagine is there because Joan did visit the Basilica. The church and the statue represents the soldiers who lost their lives at war. The statue also commemorate the battles of the Franco-Prussian War. This Basilica is situated in the highest mountain in Paris. I think it gives a sense of authority, trying to be superior wanting to earn respect.

Walking around Montmarte, I found artists painting autoportraits, I would see many Impressionism style landscape paintings. I loved when I walked around and appreciate their art works. I imagined that I was contemplating art pieces from famous painters such as Van Gogh, Manet, Monet and Cezanne. I came across Moulin Rouge and thought about those days that Bohemians will come and talk about the new trends, debates and ideas that came across. It was fascinating to stand where all the critical thinking and ideas where shared between dexterous artists.

The Rodin Museum  

I must say this is one of my favorites museums. Every sculpture provides a feeling, an expression, and portrays a history. Rodin is the father of Modern sculpture because he created sculptures with movement. His sculptures were like images captured in camera. Like a moment that was freeze. One of my favorite sculptures is the Thinker. I believe all of the sculptures show the ideas of a Romantic artist. Rodin presents emotion,  and individualism, in his sculptures. For the thinker, it intrigues me to know what he is thinking even though, he is just a sculpture made of stone. The imagination of thinking he is so caught up in his ideas and thoughts involves me in the sculpture. 

Watching a painting is so different than a sculpture. The sculptures is a 3D image that has every angle to appreciate. In a painting there is only one side to view it. Even though I love to watch paintings, the sculptures catch my attention because I just see them as persons caught in time and stone. 

Giacometti's Walking Man is very different from Rodin's. Giacometti's is so simple with no face emotions. His body has no muscles to show, I cannot see if the sculpture is tired or walking or just standing still, if he is happy, or something. He is just stone. In the other side, Rodin's Walking Man has his muscles tense which means they are in use. It gives the idea that the statue is walking indeed. The details in the body's muscles mades the sculpture look so real. It looks as a mold of a man's body.  I enjoyed looking at every sculpture such as His Cathedral Hands where he makes a tribute to his hands. The irony is that he sculpts hands with his own hands to understand the meaning of his work. In my opinion Rodin is a clever man because of the way he captures the sculpture's personality, expressions and feelings. It is not an easy task, but he gets to succeed. 

Quai d'Orsay Museum  

Quai d'Orsay is a museum with many artwork from the impressionist painters Manet, Degas, Caillebotte and Van Gogh.
Some of the artists' artwork was display in the Salon of Rejected Pieces. This salon was created for the impressionists' artwork that was rejected from the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts. They were rejected due to the new ideas' of artists. Impressionisms portray the individuality, ordinary subjects. They differ form Classical arts by the free colorful sweep paint brushes.  Degas'  The Star is an example of individual artist. Painters started to paint what they wanted instead of what the Church and Monarchy mandated. I see them as the rebels of art. Their creation of making brushes that can be seen from a close angle, but creates a masterpiece is innovative. Van Gogh's paintings are  perfect examples of the impressionism art. The heavy and colorful strokes can be seen in a close up, but from far away it becomes art. The painting gets its form and becomes a masterpiece. I find it complicated and very imaginative to make impressionism painting. The paintings do not resemble to a photo as the Classic paintings do. 
In the 19th century, some critics said that Impression was just a fashion and not art. They believed that Impression was just temporary. It will not last and will become uglier by the passing of time. What really happened was that Impressionism era was consider ugly and later on beautiful just as art tends to be. Art endures and is appreciated thru time. It is always beautiful distinct to fashion. Fashion's beauty tends to fade away. For me Impressionism is one of my favorite eras. In my personal taste, I like Degas due to the paintings of ballerinas and horses. The moment I see them I feel is me in there riding the horse or dancing. They are my favorite hobbies and Degas makes a great job portraying motion to his paintings. It seems that I am there watching the ballerina ending her performance thanking the pubic or that I am there racing with the others in the painting Horse Race by Degas. 
Museum of Modern Art


In the Museum of Modern art Pompidou, the works of art were confusing to me. I could not relate, either understand the meaning of the paintings. They look so abstract and distorted. I know that the Impressionism Era was radical with its different ideas of art and yes they were blurry paintings, but I could still understand and admire the paintings. 

I find modern art extremely radical. As it is stated in the book, Modern art is " individualism, positivism, secularism, rationalism, bureaucracy, capitalism, and democracy." This art is so individualism that I do not understand it. Some paintings are colorful that makes me emotionally happy, but there is other that focus on body parts. I liked visiting the museum because it gives me the opportunity to be open minded  

Like Impressionism, Modern Art is known as radical. I feel this art is so innovative that it is hard for me to admire. I must said I did liked Gerhard Richter Clouds, they looked so real it was hard for me to believe it was a painting. The Tote Death painting caught my attention. The man under a rock representing his death. It is hard for me to understand why does death paintings caught my attention. Maybe I forgot how to live because I think about death all the time. Seeing the man laying there motionless makes me feel sad. It makes me imagine that  might be me someday because death is the only thing we have ensure in this life. 

The Museum of French Cinema  

 The French cinema is one of the greatest cinema of all time. A movie portrays life in a sequence of pictures in motion. While Degas capture a ballerina on stage in a painting, the cinema captured all the performance. It is true that in art, there is a manipulation of feelings and thinking. A painting, a sculpture manipulates my feelings depending on the beauty, symbolism, expressions, and meaning. A movie's story affect me too. It gives an insight into another's life that I might relate to. It can also be a life that has nothing to do with me, but the problems and emotions of the story makes me part of the movie. Yes I cry, laugh, be scared and be sad by watching a movie. Movies manipulate feelings and ideas. 

In my personal opinion, I love French movies more than the American and Mexican. French movies leave the spectator wanting more. French movies leave to the spectator to choose the ending. Like in the Grand Bleu by Luc Besson, the ending of this movie is up to you. I have seen it more than three times.  Jacques and Enzo being friends, but the rivalry in competing who achieved to go deeper in the water. Johana falling in love with Jacques, but Jacques loving the ocean more than her. At the end, he just leaves into open sea with some dolphins. I do not know if he returns, if he dies from starvation in the ocean, if he marries Johana. French movies leaves to your imagination to decide the ending. In contrast to Mexican or American movies where there are specific endings for the movies most of them happy endings. I like when I create my own ending and decide what is best for the characters. 

In the museum, Charlie Chaplin was featured with his movies. He was a great actor, he always makes me laugh. In the movie Modern Times  critics claimed that "this film defies technology using technology." Well of course because the film is about industry. The new machines being made and the assembly line where Charlie Chaplin works. The entire movie evolved in future technologies and this technology is being recorded by cameras, audio and artifacts which is technology also that made the movie capable of playing. The cinema is attached to technology, there is no option to work without it. Movies break the obsession with realism paintings because movies gave a clear image of realism in motion. Now they could have the motion of real life in a film. 

Natural History Museum  

Visiting the Natural History Museum was an "open eyes" experienced. Seeing all the skeletons and different species made me realize that the Earth does not evolve for humans to live. I found a skeleton of a human because I know we animals also. Humans are part of the food chain as every other animal. We have a different brain capacity, but that does not mean we are superior. I do believe that we have a higher capacity for some reason. The Earth cannot take care of itself and less when we take its resources. Being a human is hard work. As I passed thru all the different animals I come to see that they are animals with instincts. Yes, we are lucky to develop a brilliant mind, but sometimes it is exhausting being a human. Then, I realize how lucky I am to share that opportunity to develop my mind. As I come by the in danger of extinction species, I come to think if those animals are in danger because they cannot adapt to the environment or because of human disasters of pollution and human necessities that lack resources for animals. I come across a dilemma, Why if humans are the advanced animal with sufficient capacity to think critically, why is our environment deteriorating? Having visited so many museums and interesting places in Paris, Blois and Tours, I came to realize that the brain works in so many ways and that I wish some day I will think and understand what the great minds thought. If the entire human race tried to effort to develop a clever mind our world would not be suffering as it is right now.

The ideas of monarchy's power will enlighten some countries leaders. They must know that power, money and ambition are not the most important things in life. In that case they will create revolution and death. That as King Louis XIV help the arts flourished, the leaders should do the same to increase the humans nourishing in minds. To have the clever minds work for the government to achieve to built better countries. 

Giverny and Blois 

 Giverny is a place where nature conveys art into a landscape. In Giverny, the nature around is a painting in motion. I find it difficult to try and paint nature. The flowers, the symmetry of colors, the specific traits of every plant. Claude Monet's House in Giverny where he lived more than 40 years is a perfect landscape of art. His house and gardens cover in beautiful and colorful flowers. The symmetry and colors creating a pattern that you could only see in a painting. Watching Monet's house give me a sense of awareness of earth. I have never seen nature this way. The way of looking at nature as a privilege and not something that belongs to me and that it will always be there for me. 

It is hard to believe than anyone can be an artist. I do believe that the earth needs its ambassadors and those must be the humans. Humans have the obligation to take care of the environment. I will not want for any flora and fauna to die. Now that I have looked and loved nature in its beauty. I want to help nature just as Alÿs helped created awareness. I am not creative and I have no idea in which way I could create awareness. If I had to do some action I will dress myself with only mud and plants and I will walk around thru town. Yes it sounds crazy, but maybe it will get the point across. I want the people to know and remember that humans do not own the Earth. It is the Earth who owns us. It is not the earth who needs us. It is us who need the Earth. Why not help the earth if we benefit from it? If the Earth dies, we die with it. I want to be a steward of awareness. The environment dominates us, but humans still believe they can continue harming the earth and nothing bad will happen. It is time to stop being egocentric and think for others. 

The last week of my study abroad I went to Blois. Blois is a province outside of Paris. I liked Blois because it shows the old France. In Blois it was easier to practice my french because it was the only way to communicate. I loved that it was only choice because it persuade me to speak it and from practice comes perfection. The excursion that I loved the most was to the Castle of Chambord. To get to the castle I had to ride a bike for 15 km. It was exhausting, but worth it. Riding thru the bike track I found myself surrounded by nature. I saw so many trees, a pond and found clean air. Once I was in the bike I could not stop even if I was sore, I did not wanted to stop. I could feel so much freedom. I will never forget that bike ride because I cannot have that experienced in Brownsville or Matamoros. Truth, it made me feel alive and I wish I could live in France. Once I got to the castle I could not help it, but admire its architecture. The Renaissance architecture style with its domes in the roofs made the castle look very peculiar. I like the castle with its multiple windows because it is sure that there is beautiful lighting inside the castle. 

Paris is an amazing city. In the following video I show images of places I visited in Paris, Blois and Tours. I hope you enjoy it. I know it is long, but everything seems important to me. Thank You for having the time to read my blog about my experience in PARIS.


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