The Old and New

When walking down the streets of Paris I was struck by a scene that consisted of modern and ancient architecture. Paris is special because of the culture that it creates through its history and its ability to build onto the history. For example, the construction of the Arc de Triomphe started in 1806 and it is located in the center of what is now a busy intersection with a never-ending rush of cars.

The museums are a mixture of old and new. The Musee De l’Armee explained the recent history of World War II, but also contained Napoleon’s Tomb. The Musee De La Resistance was located were Marshal Leclerc had his command post for the resistance movement. The symbolic location of resistance houses modern multiple screen resistance footage and also authentic letters, posters, and other resistance memorabilia. The museums mixture of old and new symbolizes a more continual history instead of the common method of separating history into different eras.

The main tourist attractions provide a rich history that stays alive because of the culture. The Musee d’Orsay was once a railway station built around 1900, but today it houses a large collection of impressionist artwork that includes paintings, sculptures, and photography. The Louve Palace was built in the 12th century and in 1793 it opened as a museum. It contains artwork from all over the world and from different time periods. The deep history of the Louve also has a modern twist. The iconic La Pyramide Inversee outside of the Louve, seen in movies such as The Da Vinci Code, was only completed in 1993 and attendance has sky rocketed since then.

The people of France are simply an extension of the city. Every time I got on the metro I saw a variety of newspapers. The Parisians are informed about what is happening in the news today and, from my interpretation of the museums, history is a continuous story for them. The Parisians also take great pride in their language and have created an organization to regulate the words used in the language, yet the people are willing to learn other languages. While in Paris I had very few problems communicating with the French people because of the vast amount of people that could speak English. This mixture of old and new customs mirrors the old and new attractions of the museums.IMG_1426

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