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It's impossible to forget the fire of Notre-Dame that burned on April 15th, 2019. People from all over the world joined Parisians in watching the tragedy unfold with live news updates documenting the destruction minute by minute. As we approach the 4 year anniversary of the fire, questions still remain about what caused it, what was destroyed, how they are going to fix it, and - most importantly - when will it reopen.

What caused the fire?

There are quite a few theories as to what caused the fire: a popular myth at the time was that a loose cigarette started it all! After extensive investigation, however, the real answer was significantly less dramatic. The cause of the fire was ultimately determined to be accidental, and likely related to ongoing renovations taking place at the cathedral. Specifically, it is believed that an electrical short-circuit sparked the flames that quickly spread throughout the medieval wooden roof structure.

Despite the heroic efforts of hundreds of firefighters, the blaze ultimately caused significant damage to the iconic cathedral, including the loss of its spire and much of its roof.

What was destroyed?

In the aftermath of the fire, the scale of the destruction became clear. Much of the cathedral's roof and wooden interior had been destroyed, leaving gaping holes in the once-majestic structure. The famed rose window, a testament to the skill of medieval glassmakers, had fortunately survived, but the heat and smoke had caused significant damage to its delicate tracery and surrounding masonry.

The treasures and artifacts of Notre-Dame were also put at risk by the fire. The cathedral housed a vast collection of artworks, religious relics, and historical documents, many of which had been saved by quick-thinking staff and emergency services personnel. Out of 25 paintings, 22 were removed for restoration.

How are they going about repairs?

Scaffolding of 600 tons, 42000 square meters of interior walls, and 8000 organ pipes contribute to the hefty 846 million euros in restoration costs of Notre Dame. Amidst the ashes and chaos, a determined effort began to restore this symbol of French heritage. The repair process was a herculean task, requiring skilled craftsmen to work tirelessly in perilous conditions to secure the fragile structure and remove the debris.

The restoration was a delicate dance between cutting-edge technology and traditional methods, as skilled artisans worked painstakingly to rebuild the intricate stonework and replace the charred wooden beams with new ones made from the same type of oak used in the original construction.

Researchers are even using technology to recreate the acoustic qualities of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which were lost when the building was damaged by fire in 2019. The acoustics team working on the restoration say the holes left by the fire destroyed about 20% of the building’s sound quality. The researchers are using a computer model that incorporates the acoustic properties of the cathedral, including changes over time, to simulate what the space would have sounded like in the past. Visitors to the building will eventually be able to hear a virtual recreation of Pérotin’s Viderunt Omnes as it would have sounded in 1198.

When will it reopen?

The cathedral's parvis and archaeological crypt are now open to the public, but the towers and treasures are closed until further notice. The Pont au Double footbridge is accessible again, and the cathedral is expected to fully reopen in April 2024. You are able to see a lot of the cathedral from surrounding bridges, we recommend walking across the bridge called Pont de la Tournelle.

The restoration work is being supervised by architect Philippe Villeneuve, and the forecourt and surroundings will be redeveloped with a focus on green spaces and enhancing the monument's facade. Masses are currently celebrated at the church of Saint-Germain L’Auxerrois during the restoration work.

If you are interested in visiting the outside of this iconic monument on your trip to Paris, it is a stop on our 4 hour walking tour.

By Julia Orr

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The illuminated landmarks of Paris are a sight to behold. The Eiffel Tower, which sparkles every hour from nightfall until 1 am, is a remarkable sight to behold at night. The narrow, cobbled streets and hidden alleys of Paris become even more enchanting as the darkness descends. The dimly lit cafes, cozy bars, and live music venues create a warm and inviting atmosphere, and Paris becomes even more enchanting than usual.

With that in mind, we at Strolls have created a unique itinerary to celebrate some of the best things in Paris at night.

6:00 pm 🌆☁️ The Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck is one of the best places to experience the breathtaking beauty of Paris. Located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, the tower stands over 50 stories above the sidewalk, offering panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. The observation deck provides a 360-degree view of Paris, giving visitors the opportunity to see many of the city's famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The best time to visit the observation deck is during sunset when the sky turns to shades of pink, orange, and purple. Visitors can take the elevator to the top of the tower and enjoy the panoramic view from the comfort of the observation deck, which is enclosed with large windows, allowing for uninterrupted views of the city.

Aside from the observation deck, the Montparnasse Tower also offers a variety of other attractions, including a souvenir shop, a café, and a gourmet restaurant. The café and restaurant are both located on the 56th floor of the tower, and offer an unforgettable dining experience with a view that is hard to beat.

The Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck is open every day from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm, and tickets cost 19€ for adults. Visitors are advised to book their tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the ticket counter. Overall, the observation deck is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Paris from a unique perspective. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, watching the sunset from the Montparnasse Tower is an experience you won't soon forget.

8:00 pm 🍝🥗 Dinner at Les Tantes Jean!

Les Tantes Jeanne is a restaurant that prides itself on sublimating exceptional meats, with Kobe beef being its signature dish. Kobe beef is a rare delicacy of unparalleled tenderness, considered by many to be the best meat in the world. Raised in the Hyōgo province in Japan, Kobe beef is subjected to strict and exclusive breeding methods, including being fed rice and beer for two years and hand-massaged daily with sake-soaked straw while listening to classical music.

These practices result in a fatty and relaxed meat with a unique taste, making it far superior to other Japanese beef breeds, including Wagyu. Due to its very limited export, Kobe beef is a rare delicacy in Europe, with only a handful of restaurants, including Les Tantes Jeanne in Paris, offering it as a filet or entrecote. The chef at Tantes Jeanne sublimates Kobe beef with wonders of the vegetable garden and a beech wood smoked purée, along with other exceptional meats such as Kagoshima, Australian Wagyu, and home-aged meats like Galicia, Normande, Limousine, Aubrac, and Black Angus.

11:00PM 🌹🥂The Moulin Rouge is not just a movie, but a legendary cabaret in Paris that has been enchanting audiences for over 130 years! The cabaret is easily accessible by public transport, and there are several metro stations and bus stops in the area. Located at 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, the cabaret is easily accessible by public transport, and there are several metro stations and bus stops in the area.

The Moulin Rouge is known for its extravagant shows that combine music, dance, and elaborate costumes to create a mesmerizing experience. The shows typically run for 90 minutes and include a variety of acts, such as can-can dancers, acrobats, and singers. The choreography is impressive and the performers are incredibly talented, making for an unforgettable night out.

The cabaret's famous red windmill and its vintage decor add to the charm of the venue, transporting visitors back to the glamorous era of the Belle Époque. The atmosphere inside the Moulin Rouge is lively and energetic, with guests from all over the world mingling and enjoying the show together.

The Moulin Rouge shows run every day at 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm, and tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. It's recommended to book in advance, especially for the 11:00 pm show, as it tends to sell out quickly. There are several ticket options available, including show-only tickets and dinner-and-show packages.

Overall, a show at the Moulin Rouge is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shouldn't be missed. Whether you're a fan of cabaret, dance, or simply want to immerse yourself in the vibrant Parisian nightlife, the Moulin Rouge is a wild, dramatic, spectacle.

02:00AM 🍸🎼 When you’ve finished the Moulin Rouge but don’t want the night to end, walk down the street to 12 Rue Frochot, 75009. Lulu White is a legendary jazz bar located in the trendy Pigalle neighborhood of Paris. The bar is named after Lulu White, a notorious American madam who ran a brothel in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The decor of the bar is inspired by the era of the Roaring Twenties, with plush red velvet couches, dim lighting, and vintage artwork adorning the walls.

At Lulu White, patrons can enjoy live jazz music performed by talented local musicians, adding to the ambiance of the bar. The music selection varies from classic jazz standards to modern interpretations, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

One of the main attractions of Lulu White is its extensive cocktail menu. The bar's skilled mixologists craft unique and delicious cocktails that are as visually stunning as they are tasty. The signature cocktails at Lulu White pay homage to the era of prohibition, with names like "The Bee's Knees" and "The Last Word." In addition to cocktails, the bar also serves a variety of wines, beers, and spirits.

Lulu White is a popular spot for locals and tourists who want to experience the vibrant Parisian nightlife. The bar stays open until at least 3 am every night, making it the perfect destination for those who want to continue their night out after a visit to the nearby Moulin Rouge or other nearby nightlife hotspots. Whether you're a jazz enthusiast or simply looking for a fun night out, Lulu White is definitely worth a visit

Whether it's enjoying a glass of wine while people-watching, listening to live jazz music in a tiny bar, or simply strolling along the Seine River - we hope you enjoy the City of Love at night as much as we do. Happy Strolling!

By Julia Orr

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Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Paris is renowned for its rich art and cultural heritage, which is reflected in the numerous museums and galleries scattered throughout the city. From ancient artifacts to contemporary art, there's something for every art and culture enthusiast.

However, most visitors just see the highlights and never find those hidden gems that few have the time to find and enjoy! Today we share with you some of our favourite and most often missed treasures in famous museums so that you can find them during your next visit!

93 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

Open: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday (9am-6pm) and Friday (9am-9:45pm)

Closed: Tuesday

This world-famous museum houses one of the largest art collections in the world, including the iconic Mona Lisa painting. The Louvre's collections span a wide range of art and artifacts from ancient world.

💎 Our favourite hidden gem is the Egyptian Antiquities department. This section of the museum houses an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts, including statues, a sarcophagi, and mummies!!!

1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris

Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (9:30am-6pm) and Thursday (9:30am-9:45pm)

Closed: Monday

This museum is a must-visit for lovers of impressionist and post-impressionist art. It houses an impressive collection of works by famous artists such as Monet, Degas, and Van Gogh. The museum is housed in a former railway station, which adds to its unique atmosphere.

💎 Our favourite hidden gem at Musée d'Orsay is the Salle des Fêtes, or Ballroom, located on the top floor of the museum. This grand room was once used for elegant social events and is adorned with ornate decorations and intricate gold leaf details. Today, the Ballroom is used for special exhibitions and events and offers visitors a glimpse into the opulent world of 19th-century Parisian high society.

Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris

Open: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (11am-9pm) and Thursday (11am-11pm)

Closed: Tuesday

This modern art museum is located in the heart of Paris and is easily recognizable by its colorful exterior. The museum's collection includes works by Picasso, Matisse, and Kandinsky, as well as contemporary artists such as Warhol and Lichtenstein. The museum's collection of modern art is the highlight, but...

💎 It also has an impressive collection of contemporary design and architecture. The museum's design and architecture collection includes models, sketches, and photographs of buildings and structures from around the world.

77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris

Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (10am-6:30pm)

Closed: Monday

As the name shows, this museum is dedicated to the works of the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. It houses a collection of sculptures, including the iconic "The Thinker" and "The Kiss," as well as paintings, drawings, and photographs.

💎 In addition to the famous sculptures of Auguste Rodin, it also has a beautiful garden that is home to several sculptures and provides a peaceful oasis in the heart of Paris. Visitors can wander through the garden and admire the sculptures while enjoying the serene surroundings.There is even a café to have a snack and some drinks after your visit. ☕️

Jardin des Tuileries, 75001 Paris

Open: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (9 am–6 pm)

Closed: Tuesday

Previously a royal greenhouse,

this museum is located in the Tuileries Garden and is famous for its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. While the water lilies murals by Monet are the main attraction!

💎 Did you know that there is a beautiful collection of works by other famous artists such as Renoir, Cézanne, and Matisse? These works are displayed in smaller galleries and offer a chance to see lesser-known works by these artists.

37 Quai Jacques Chirac, 75007 Paris

Open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, (10:30am-7pm ) Thursday (10:30am-10pm)

This museum is dedicated to the art and culture of non-European civilizations, including Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The museum's collection includes artifacts, sculptures, and paintings, as well as audiovisual displays that showcase the diversity of these cultures.

💎 One of the hidden gems of this museum is the outdoor garden, which is home to over 170,000 plants from around the world. The outside of the museum is decorated in a giant living plant wall. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the garden and admire the diverse flora while learning about the cultures that are represented in the museum's collection.

5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris

Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (10:30am-6pm); Saturday, Sunday (9:30am-6pm)

Closed: Monday

This museum is dedicated to the works of the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The building itself is a beautiful example of classic French architecture, and the museum's collection includes over 5,000 works by the artist, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

💎 But did you know that there is a collection of works by other artists who influenced and/or were influenced by Picasso. The painting shown for example, is by Paul Cezanne, and is considered a masterpiece in the museum's collection. These works are displayed in the museum's permanent collection and provide a broader context for Picasso's work. Until July 2nd, 2023 there is a Faith Ringgold exhibition allowing museum goers to compare how her art was inspired by Picasso's forms.

In conclusion, it doesn't matter how many times you've been to Paris and visited these incredible museums, there is always something more to discover! If you wish to have our expertise to find these and so many other hidden the gems that most people miss remember to check our website to book the best tour for you and discover the city of lights with a passionate local guide!

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