Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012


What a long day... I was up and busy at 5:00. I would love to start running again in the mornings, but it is still a bit chilly! I had an in-service to attend at 6:30 so Sherrie took Trey to school. I got to work and started immediately. The in-service was about our new pharmacy service on the Nursing Center side of the building. Work was amazingly crazy.... I had seven admissions and had to go to a facility on the south side to do an evaluation. I went to another in-service at 6:00 and then had a dinner meeting. I was meeting a business associate for dinner to discuss future business opportunities... I know that's pretty generic, but I have to be vague in this case. You will all know soon enough anyway! :-) I came home and was exhausted, but that did not stop me from working on my marketing meeting minutes for today's meeting! I have to give a big shout out to my buddy Mike! He took Trey to the Drake concert for me so I didn't have to go! ;-) 54 and beautiful in Paris!

Love you all!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday, February 27th, 2012


Up at 5:00 and straight to work. I called the facility to get my numbers for Monday morning and was quite surprised at the answer I got. I got cleaned up and ready for work. Sherrie is still doing clinicals so she left before us. I took the back roads to work after I dropped Trey off. I was looking for anything to snap a picture of, but it was still pretty dark. Work was unbelievably busy! The great thing is my new employee is catching on really quickly and doing awesome. I worked through lunch getting ready for my weekly conference call... The call went really well, but I had a ton of questions that went unanswered. I was suppose to fight my buddy Tyson tonight, but he text me on my way home and said he was in the ER. He hurt his poor little back at work! I think he was scared. I made a salad and did a little work, before starting some laundry and doing some dusting. Tomorrow is going to be crazy. I have an in service at 6:45 and then have a dinner meeting tomorrow evening. Mike is taking Trey to the Drake Concert and Sherrie has to work late. 45 and clear in Paris tonight. The picture above is from the Eiffel Tower tonight and my poor hand after Crepe Myrtle pruning yesterday! I am attaching more from the upcoming France trip!

I love you all!


Palace of Versailles ( /vɛərˈsaɪ/ vair-SY or /vərˈsaɪ/; French: [vɛʁˈsaj]), or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles.
When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.
The earliest mention of the name of Versailles is found in a document dated 1038, the Charte de l'abbaye Saint-Père de Chartres (Charter of the Saint-Père de Chartres Abbey) (Guérard, 1840), in which one of the signatories was a certain Hugo de Versailliis (Hugues de Versailles), who was seigneur of Versailles. During this period, the village of Versailles centred on a small castle and church and the area was governed by a local lord. Its location on the road from Paris to Dreux and Normandy brought some prosperity to the village but, following an outbreak of the Plague and the Hundred Years' War, the village was largely destroyed and its population sharply declined (Bluche, 1991; Thompson, 2006; Verlet, 1985)
In 1575, Albert de Gondi, a naturalized Florentine who gained prominence at the court of Henry II, purchased the seigneury of Versailles. In the early seventeenth century, Gondi invited Louis XIII on several hunting trips in the forests surrounding Versailles. Pleased with the location, Louis ordered the construction of a hunting lodge in 1624. Designed by Philibert Le Roy, the structure, a small château, was constructed of stone and red brick with a based roof. Eight years later, Louis obtained the seigneury of Versailles from the Gondi family and began to make enlargements to the château (Batiffol, 1913; Bluche, 1991; Marie, 1968; Nolhac, 1901; Verlet, 1985). Louis XIV had played and hunted at the site as a boy.[2] This structure would become the core of the new palace. Louis XIII's successor, Louis XIV, had a great interest in Versailles. He settled on the royal hunting lodge at Versailles and over the following decades had it expanded into one of the largest palaces in the world (Félibien, 1703; Marie, 1972; Verlet, 1985). Beginning in 1661, the architect Louis Le Vau, landscape architect André Le Nôtre, and painter-decorator Charles Le Brun began a detailed renovation and expansion of the château. This was done to fulfill Louis XIV's desire to establish a new centre for the royal court. Following the Treaties of Nijmegen in 1678, he began to gradually move the court to Versailles. The court was officially established there on 6 May 1682. By moving his court and government to Versailles, Louis XIV hoped to extract more control of the government from the nobility, and to distance himself from the population of Paris. All the power of France emanated from this centre: there were government offices here, as well as the homes of thousands of courtiers, their retinues, and all the attendant functionaries of court (Solnon, 1987). By requiring that nobles of a certain rank and position spend time each year at Versailles, Louis prevented them from developing their own regional power at the expense of his own and kept them from countering his efforts to centralise the French government in an absolute monarchy (Bluche, 1986, 1991; Bendix, 1978; Solnon, 1987). The meticulous and strict court etiquette that Louis established, which overwhelmed his heirs with its petty boredom, was epitomised in the elaborate ceremonies and exacting procedures that accompanied his rising in the morning, known as the Lever, divided into a petit lever for the most important and a grand lever for the whole court. Like other French court manners, étiquette was quickly imitated in other European courts (Benichou, 1948; Bluche, 1991; Solnon 1987).
The expansion of the château became synonymous with the absolutism of Louis XIV (Bluche, 1986, 1991). In 1661, following the death of Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of the government, Louis had declared that he would be his own chief minister. The idea of establishing the court at Versailles was conceived to ensure that all of his advisors and provincial rulers would be kept close to him. He feared that they would rise up against him and start a revolt. He thought that if he kept all of his potential threats near him, they would be powerless. After the disgrace of Nicolas Fouquet in 1661 – Louis claimed the finance minister would not have been able to build his grand château at Vaux-le-Vicomte without having embezzled from the crown – Louis, after the confiscation of Fouquet’s state, employed the talents of Le Vau, Le Nôtre, and Le Brun, who all had worked on Vaux-le-Vicomte, for his building campaigns at Versailles and elsewhere. For Versailles, there were four distinct building campaigns (after minor alterations and enlargements had been executed on the château and the gardens in 1662–1663), all of which corresponded to Louis XIV’s wars (Bluche, 1986, 1991; Verlet, 1985). The first building campaign (1664–1668) commenced with the Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée of 1664, a fête that was held between 7 and 13 May 1664. The fête was ostensibly given to celebrate the two queens of France – Anne of Austria, the Queen Mother, and Marie-Thérèse, Louis XIV’s wife, but in reality honored the king’s mistress, Louise de La Vallière. The celebration of the Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée is often regarded as a prelude to the War of Devolution, which Louis waged against Spain. The first building campaign (1664–1668) involved alterations in the château and gardens to accommodate the 600 guests invited to the party (Nolhac, 1899, 1901; Marie, 1968; Verlet, 1985). The second building campaign (1669–1672) was inaugurated with the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended the War of Devolution. During this campaign, the château began to assume some of the appearance that it has today. The most important modification of the château was Le Vau’s envelope of Louis XIII’s hunting lodge. The enveloppe – often referred to as the château neuf to distinguish it from the older structure of Louis XIII – enclosed the hunting lodge on the north, west, and south. The new structure provided new lodgings for the king and members of his family. The main floor – the piano nobile – of the château neuf was given over entirely to two apartments: one for the king, and one for the queen. The Grand appartement du roi occupied the northern part of the château neuf and Grand appartement de la reine occupied the southern part. The western part of the enveloppe was given over almost entirely to a terrace, which was later enclosed with the construction of the Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces). The ground floor of the northern part of the château neuf was occupied by the appartement des bains, which included a sunken octagonal tub with hot and cold running water. The king’s brother and sister-in-law, the duke and duchesse d’Orléans occupied apartments on the ground floor of the southern part of the château neuf. The upper story of the château neuf was reserved for private rooms for the king to the north and rooms for the king’s children above the queen’s apartment to the south (Nolhac, 1901; Marie, 1972; Verlet, 1985). Significant to the design and construction of the grands appartements is that the rooms of both apartments are of the same configuration and dimensions – a hitherto unprecedented feature in French palace design. It has been suggested that this parallel configuration was intentional as Louis XIV had intended to establish Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche as queen of Spain, and thus thereby establish a dual monarchy (Johnson, 1981). Louis XIV’s rationale for the joining of the two kingdoms was seen largely as recompense for Philip IV's failure to pay his daughter Marie-Thérèse’s dowry, which was among the terms of capitulation to which Spain agreed with the promulgation of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, which ended the war between France and Spain that began in 1635 during the Thirty Years’ War. Louis XIV regarded his father-in-law’s act as a breach of the treaty and consequently engaged in the War of Devolution. Both the grand appartement du roi and the grand appartement de la reine formed a suite of seven enfilade rooms. Each room is dedicated to one of the then known celestial bodies and is personified by the appropriate Greco-Roman deity. The decoration of the rooms, which was conducted under Le Brun's direction depicted the “heroic actions of the king” and were represented in allegorical form by the actions of historical figures from the antique past (Alexander the Great, Augustus, Cyrus, etc.) (Berger, 1986; Félibien, 1674; Verlet, 1985). With the signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678, which ended the Dutch War, the third building campaign at Versailles began (1678–1684). Under the direction of the architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Palace of Versailles acquired much of the look that it has today. In addition to the Hall of Mirrors, Hardouin-Mansart designed the north and south wings, which were used, respectively, by the nobility and Princes of the Blood, and the Orangerie. Le Brun was occupied not only with the interior decoration of the new additions of the palace, but also collaborated with Le Nôtre's in landscaping the palace gardens (Berger, 1985; Thompson, 2006; Verlet, 1985). As symbol of France’s new prominence as a European super-power, Louis XIV officially installed his court at Versailles in May of 1682 (Bluche, 1986, 1991). Fourth building campaign Soon after the crushing defeat of the War of the League of Augsburg (1688–1697) and owing possibly to the pious influence of Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV undertook his last building campaign at Versailles. The fourth building campaign (1699–1710) concentrated almost exclusively on construction of the royal chapel designed by Hardouin-Mansart and finished by Robert de Cotte and his team of decorative designers. There were also some modifications in the appartement du roi, namely the construction of the Salon de l’Œil de Bœuf and the King’s Bedchamber. With the completion of the chapel in 1710, virtually all construction at Versailles ceased; building would not be resumed at Versailles until some twenty years later during the reign of Louis XV (Nolhac, 1911; Marie, 1976, 1984; Verlet, 1985). After the death of the Louis XIV in 1715, the five-year old king Louis XV, the court, and the Régence government of Philippe d’Orléans returned to Paris. In May 1717, during his visit to France, the Russian czar Peter the Great stayed at the Grand Trianon. His time at Versailles was used to observe and study the palace and gardens, which he later used as a source of inspiration when he built Peterhof on the Bay of Finland west of Saint Petersburg (Verlet, 1985). During the reign of Louis XV, Versailles underwent transformation, but not on the scale that had been seen during the reign of Louis XIV. When the king and the court returned to Versailles in 1722, the first project was the completion of the Salon d'Hercule, which had been begun during the last years of Louis XIV's reign but was never finished due to the king’s death. Significant among Louis XV’s contributions to Versailles were the petit appartement du roi; the appartements de Mesdames, the appartement du dauphin, and the appartement de la dauphine on the ground floor; and the two private apartments of Louis XV – petit appartement du roi au deuxième étage (later transformed into the appartement de Madame du Barry) and the petit appartement du roi au troisième étage – on the second and third floors of the palace. The crowning achievements of Louis XV’s reign were the construction of the Opéra and the Petit Trianon (Verlet, 1985). Equally significant was the destruction of the Escalier des Ambassadeurs (Ambassadors' Stair), the only fitting approach to the State Apartments, which Louis XV undertook to make way for apartments for his daughters. The gardens remained largely unchanged from the time of Louis XIV; only the completion of the Bassin de Neptune between 1738 and 1741 was the most important legacy Louis XV made to the gardens (Marie 1984; Thompson, 2006; Verlet 1985). Towards the end of his reign, Louis XV, under the advice of Ange-Jacques Gabriel, began to remodel the courtyard façades of the palace. With the objective revetting the entrance of the palace with classical façades, Louis XV began a project that was continued during the reign of Louis XVI, but which did not see completion until the 20th century (Verlet, 1985). Much of Louis XVI’s contributions to Versailles were largely dictated by the unfinished projects left to him by his grandfather. Shortly after his ascension, Louis XVI ordered a complete replanting of the gardens with the intention of transforming the jardins français to an English-style garden, which had become popular during the late 18th century (Verlet, 1985). In the palace, the library and the salon des jeux in the petit appartement du roi and the decoration of the petit appartement de la reine for Marie-Antoinette are among the finest examples of the style Louis XVI (Verlet, 1945; 1985)
French Revolution On 6 October 1789, the royal family had to leave Versailles and to move to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, as a result of the Women's March on Versailles.[3] During the early years of the French Revolution, preservation of the palace was largely in the hands of the citizens of Versailles. In October 1790, Louis XVI ordered the palace to be emptied of its furniture, requesting that most be sent to the Tuileries Palace. In response to the order, the mayor of Versailles and the municipal council met to draft a letter to Louis XVI in which they stated that if the furniture was removed, it would certainly precipitate economic ruin on the city (Gatin, 1908).[4] A deputation from Versailles met with the king on 12 October after which Louis XVI, touched by the sentiments of the residents of Versailles, rescinded the order. However, eight months later, the fate of Versailles was sealed. On 21 June 1791, Louis XVI was arrested at Varennes after which the Assemblée nationale constituante accordingly declared that all possessions of the royal family had been abandoned. To safeguard the palace, the Assemblée nationale constituante ordered the palace of Versailles to be sealed. On 20 October 1792 a letter was read before the National Convention in which Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière, interior minister, proposed that the furnishings of the palace and those of the residences in Versailles that had been abandoned be sold and that the palace be either sold or rented. The sale of furniture transpired at auctions held between 23 August 1793 and 30 nivôse an III (19 January 1795). Only items of particular artistic or intellectual merit were exempt from the sale. These items were consigned to be part of the collection of a museum, which had been planned at the time of the sale of the palace furnishings.
In 1793, Charles-François Delacroix deputy to the Convention and father of the painter Eugène Delacroix proposed that the metal statuary in the gardens of Versailles be confiscated and sent to the foundry to be made into cannon (Gatin, 1908). The proposal was debated but eventually it was tabled. On 28 floréal an II (5 May 1794) the Convention decreed that the château and gardens of Versailles, as well as other former royal residences in the environs, would not be sold but placed under the care of the Republic for the public good (Fromegot, 1903). Following this decree, the château became a repository for art work seized from churches and princely homes. As a result of Versailles serving as a repository for confiscated art works, collections were amassed that eventually became part of the proposed museum (Fromegot, 1903).
Among the items found at Versailles at this time a collection of natural curiosities that has been assembled by the sieur Fayolle during his voyages in America. The collection was sold to the comte d’Artois and was later confiscated by the state. Fayolle, who had been nominated to the Commission des arts, became guardian of the collection and was later, in June 1794, nominated by the Convention to be the first directeur du Conservatoire du Muséum national de Versailles (Fromageot, 1903). The next year, André Dumont the people's representative, became administrator for the department of the Seine-et-Oise. Upon assuming his administrative duties, Dumont was struck with the deplorable state into which the palace and gardens had sunk. He quickly assumed administrative duties of the château and assembled a team of conservators to oversee the various collections of the museum (Fromageot, 1903). One of Dumont’s first appointments was that of Huges Lagarde (10 messidor an III (28 June 1795), a wealthy soap merchant from Marseille with strong political connections, as bibliographer of the museum. With the abandonment of the palace, there remained no less than 104 libraries which contained in excess of 200,000 printed volumes and manuscripts. Lagarde, with his political connections and his association with Dumont, became the driving force behind Versailles as a museum at this time. Lagarde was able to assemble a team of curators including sieur Fayolle for natural history and, Louis Jean-Jacques Durameau, the painter responsible for the ceiling painting in the Opéra, was appointed as curator for painting (Fromageot, 1903). Owing largely to political vicissitudes that occurred in France during the 1790s, Versailles succumbed to further degradations. Mirrors were assigned by the finance ministry for payment of debts of the Republic and draperies, upholstery, and fringes were confiscated and sent to the mint to recoup the gold and silver used in their manufacture. Despite its designation as a museum, Versailles served as an annex to the Hôtel des Invalides pursuant to the decree of 7 frimaire an VIII (28 November 1799), which commandeered part of the palace and which had wounded soldiers being housed in the petit appartement du roi (Gatin, 1908) In 1797, the Muséum national was reorganised and renamed Musée spécial de l’École française (Dutilleux, 1887). The grands appartements were used as galleries in which the morceaux de réception submitted by artists seeking admission to the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture during the 17th and 18th centuries, the series The Life of Saint Bruno by Eustache Le Sueur and the Life of Marie de Médicis by Peter Paul Rubens were placed on display. The museum, which included the sculptures in the garden, became the finest museum of classic French art that had existed (Verlet, 1985). With the advent of Napoléon and the First Empire, the status of Versailles changed. Paintings and art work that had previously been assigned to Muséum national and the Musée spécial de l’École française were systematically dispersed to other locations and eventually the museum was closed. In accordance to provisions of the 1804 Constitution, Versailles was designated as an imperial palace for the department of the Seine-et-Oise. While Napoléon did not reside in the château, apartments were, however, arranged and decorated for the use of the empress Marie-Louise. The emperor chose to reside at the Grand Trianon. The château continued to serve, however, as an annex of the Hôtel des Invalides (Mauguin, 1940–1942; Pradel, 1937; Verlet, 1985). Nevertheless, on 3 January 1805, Pope Pius VII, who came to France to officiate at Napoléon's coronation, visited the palace and blessed the throng of people gathered on the parterre d'eau from the balcony of the Hall of Mirrors (Mauguin, 1940–1942). The Bourbon Restoration saw little activity at Versailles. Areas of the gardens were replanted but no significant restoration and modifications of the interiors were undertaken, despite the fact that Louis XVIII would often visit the palace and walk through the vacant rooms (Manse, 2004; Thompson, 2006). Charles X chose the Tuileries Palace over Versailles and rarely visited his former home (Castelot, 2001). Louis-Philippe opening the Galerie des Batailles, 10 June 1837 (painted by François-Joseph Heim) With the Revolution of 1830 and the establishment of the July Monarchy, the status of Versailles changed. In March 1832, the Loi de la Liste civile was promulgated, which designated Versailles as a crown dependency. Like Napoléon before him, Louis-Philippe chose to live at the Grand Trianon; however, unlike Napoléon, Louis-Philippe did have a grand design for Versailles. In 1833, Louis-Philippe proposed the establishment of a museum dedicated to “all the glories of France,” which included the Orléans dynasty and the Revolution of 1830 that put Louis-Philippe on the throne of France. For the next decade, under the direction of Eugène-Charles-Frédéric Nepveu and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine, the château underwent irreversible alterations (Constans, 1985; 1987; Mauguin, 1937; Verlet, 1985). The museum was officially inaugurated on 10 June 1837 as part of the festivities that surrounded the marriage of the Prince royal, Ferdinand-Philippe d’Orléans with princess Hélène of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and represented one of the most ambitious and costly undertakings of Louis-Philippe’s reign. Over, the emperor at the king’s home – Napoléon at Louis XIV’s; in a word, it is having given to this magnificent book that is called French history this magnificent binding that is called Versailles (Victor Hugo). Later, Balzac characterised, in less laudatory terms, the effort as the “hospital of the glories of France” (Balzac, 1853). The aile du Midi, was given over to the galerie des Balles, which necessitated the demolition of most of the apartments of the Princes of the Blood who lived in this part of the palace during the Ancien Régime. The galerie des Batailles was an epigone of the Grande galerie of the Louvre and was intended to glorify French military history from the Battle of Tolbiac (traditionally dated 495) to the Battle of Wagram (5–6 July 1809). While a number of the paintings displayed in the galerie des Batailles were of questionable quality, a few masterpieces, such as the Battle of Taillebourg by Eugène Delacroix, were displayed here. Part of the aile du Nord was converted for the Salle des Croisades, a room dedicated to famous knights of the Crusades and decorated with their names and coats of arms. The apartments of the dauphin and the dauphine as well as those of Louis XV’s daughters on the ground floor of the corps de logis were transformed into portrait galleries. To accommodate the displays, some of the boiseries were removed and either put into storage or sold. During the Prussian occupation of the palace in 1871, the boiseries in storage were burned as firewood (Constans, 1985; 1987; Mauguin, 1937; Verlet,1985). During the Second Empire, the museum remained essentially intact. The palace did serve as the backdrop for a number of state events including the visit by Queen Victoria. Pierre de Nolhac arrived at the Palace of Versailles in 1887 and was appointed curator of the museum 18 November, 1892.[7] Upon arrival at the Palace, he planned to introduce real historical galleries, organized scientifically, in contrast to the approach of Louis-Philippe, who had created the first galleries in a manner aimed at glorifying the history of France. At the same time, Nolhac began to restore the palace to its appearance before the Revolution. To achieve these two goals, Nolhac removed rooms, took down the artworks and gave the rooms some historical scenery. He explained in his memoirs, for example that "the first room sacrificed was that of the kings of France which had walls lined with effigies, real and imaginary, of our kings since Clovis".[8] The revolution wrought by Nolhac produced a new awareness of the castle. Members of high society and nobility, such as the Duke of Aumale and the Empress Eugenie flocked to see new developments. Nolhac also working to bring in foreign personalities. On 8 October 1896, Tsar Nicolas II and his wife arrived at Versailles. Nolhac also organized events aimed at raising the awareness of potential donors to the Palace. The owner of the New York Herald, Gordon Bennett, gave 25,000 francs for restructuring the eighteenth century rooms. The development of private donations led to the creation of the Friends of Versailles in June 1907. Under the aegis of Gérald van der Kemp, chief conservator of the museum from 1952 to 1980, the Palace witnessed some of its most ambitious conservation and restoration projects: new roofing for the galerie des glaces; restoration of the chambre de la reine; restoration of the chambre de Louis XIV; restoration of the Opéra (Lemoine, 1976). At this time, the ground floor of the aile du Nord was converted into a gallery of French history from the 17th century to the 19th century. Additionally, at this time, policy was established in which the French government would aggressively seek to acquire as much of original furniture and artwork that had been dispersed at the time of the Revolution of 1789 as possible (Kemp, 1976; Meyer, 1985). With the past and ongoing restoration and conservation projects at Versailles, the Fifth Republic has enthusiastically promoted the museum as one of France’s foremost tourist attractions (Opperman, 2004). The palace, however, still serves political functions. Heads of state are regaled in the Hall of Mirrors; the Sénat and the Assemblée nationale meet in congress in Versailles to revise or otherwise amend the French Constitution, a tradition that came into effect with the promulgation of the 1875 Constitution.[9] Public establishment of the museum and Château de Versailles Spectacles recently organised the Jeff Koons Versailles exhibition. Jeff Koons said that "I hope the juxtaposition of today's surfaces, represented by my work, with the architecture and fine arts of Versailles will be an exciting interaction for the viewer. Elena Geuna and Laurent Le Bon, curators of the exhibition present it as follow: "It is the city aspect that underlies this entire venture. In recent years, many a cultural institution has attempted a confrontation between a heritage setting and contemporary works. The originality of this exhibition seems to us somewhat different, as regards both the chosen venue and the way it has been laid out. Echo, dialectic, opposition, counterpoint... Not for us to judge!"  As a result of Le Vau’s enveloppe of Louis XIII’s château, the king and the queen had new apartments in the new addition, known at the time as the château neuf. The grands appartements, which are known respectively as the grand appartement du roi and the grand appartement de la reine, occupied the main or principal floor of the château neuf. Le Vau’s design for the state apartments closely followed Italian models of the day, as evidenced by the placement of the apartments on the next floor up from the ground level – the piano nobile – a convention the architect borrowed from 16th and 17th century Italian palace design (Berger, 1986; Verlet, 1985). Grand appartement du roi Le Vau’s plan called for an enfilade of seven rooms, each dedicated to one of the then known plan ets and their associated titular Roman deity. Le Vau’s plan was bold as he designed a heliocentric system that centred on the Salon of Apollo. The salon d’Apollon originally was designed as the king’s bedchamber, but served as a throne room. During the reign of Louis XIV (until 1689), a solid silver throne stood on a Persian carpet covered dais on the south wall of this room (Berger, 1986; Dangeau, 1854–1860; Josephson, 1926; 1930; Verlet, 1985).
The ravages of war and neglect over the centuries have left their mark on the palace and its park. Modern French governments of the post-World War II era have sought to repair these damages. They have on the whole been successful, but some of the more costly items, such as the vast array of fountains, have yet to be put back completely in service. As spectacular as they might seem now, they were even more extensive in the 18th century. The 18th-century waterworks at Marly— the Machine de Marly that fed the fountains— was possibly the biggest mechanical system of its time. The water came in from afar on monumental stone aqueducts, which have long ago fallen in disrepair or been torn down. Some aqueducts were never completed for want of resources or due to the exigencies of war. The search for sufficient supplies of water was never fully realised even during the apogee of Versailles' glory as the seat of government, as the fountains could not be operated together satisfactorily for any significant periods of time.Versailles became the home of the French nobility and the location of the royal court – thus becoming the centre of French government. Louis XIV himself lived there, and symbolically the central room of the long extensive symmetrical range of buildings was the King's Bedchamber (La Chambre du Roi), which itself was centred on the lavish and symbolic state bed, set behind a rich railing not unlike a communion rail.[citation needed] Indeed, even the principal axis of the gardens themselves was conceived to radiate from this fulcrum. All the power of France emanated from this centre: there were government offices here; as well as the homes of thousands of courtiers, their retinues and all the attendant functionaries of court. By requiring that nobles of a certain rank and position spend time each year at Versailles, Louis prevented them from developing their own regional power at the expense of his own, and kept them from countering his efforts to centralize the French government in an absolute monarchy. At various periods before Louis XIV established absolute rule, France, like the Holy Roman Empire lacked central authority and was not the unified state it was to become during subsequent centuries.[citation needed] During the Middle Ages some local nobles were often more powerful than the French King and, although technically loyal to the King, they possessed their own provincial seats of power and government, culturally influential courts and armies loyal to them and not the King, and the right to levy their own taxes on their subjects.[citation needed] Some families were so powerful, they achieved international prominence and contracted marriage alliances with foreign royal houses to further their own political ambitions.[citation needed] Although nominally Kings of France, de facto royal power had at times been limited purely to the region around Paris. Life at Versailles was intrinsically determined by position, favour and above all one's birth. The Chateau was a sprawling cluster of lodgings for which courtiers vied and manipulated. Today, many people see Versailles as unparalleled in its magnificence and splendour; yet few know of the actual living conditions many of Versailles august residents had to endure. Modern historians have, on more than one occasion, compared the palace to a vast apartment block. Apart from the royal family, the majority of the residents were senior members of the household. On each floor, living units of varying size, some 350 in all, were arranged along tiled corridors and given a number. Each door had a key, which was to be handed in when the lodging was vacated. Many courtiers would trade lodgings and group together with their allies, families or friends. The Noailles family took over so much of the Southern Wing's attic that the corridor leading to all the lodgings on that floor was nicknamed "Noailles Road" by courtiers of the time. Rank and status dictated everything in Versailles; not least among that list was one's lodgings. Louis XIV envisaged Versailles as a seat for all the Bourbons, as well as his troublesome nobles. These nobles were, so to say, placed within a "gilded cage" (Duc de Saint-Simon). Luxury and opulence was not always in the description given to their residences. Many nobles had to make do with one or two room apartments, forcing many nobles to buy town-houses in Versailles proper and keeping their palace rooms for changes of clothes or entertaining guests, rarely sleeping there. Rooms at Versailles were immensely useful for an ambitious courtier as they allowed palace residents easy and constant access to the monarch, essential to their ambitions, and gave them constant access to the latest gossip and news. The smell at Versailles was said to be "unique out of all the palaces in Europe" (duc Saint-Simon). There were no functioning toilets until 1768. By the time of the French Revolution in 1789 there were only 9, and those belonged to the King and his closest family members. The rest of the palace simply had to live with the constant smell of the privy-chambers clinging to their clothes, apartments and the general atmosphere. Although banned, chamber pots were constantly emptied out of the nearest window.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday, February 26th, 2012


I did not sleep very well at all! I tossed and turned all night. I rolled outta bed at 4:30 and started working. I was looking at the Ama Dablam trip trying to figure out how to make that happen. I got cleaned up and Trey and I headed to church. Sherrie was suppose to go but she is a sinner and stayed home! As soon as Trey and I got home we changed and headed to the Edmond property to clean it up. We started the mower and it spewed oil out of the mower which is a bad sign... I ended up only trimming the crepe myrtles and picking up trash. We were done in just over an hour. We came home and I cleaned up. Since I didn't sleep well I had a bangin headache, so Trey "Allowed" me to take a little siesta. I got up at 2:30 and headed out to Arcadia. My D200 has been giving me fits, and I needed to get some bugs worked out. It was crazy windy, so there was not much to shoot, so I went to Wal-Mart and then came home. I noticed the wind was laying down, so I unloaded the groceries and headed back out. I drove around Jones, Oklahoma and found a few pretty things. I came back home to watch the NBA Allstar game with Trey and start working on my reports for my call tomorrow. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is going to be a long week! I am not adding a France section tonight! 36 and clear in Paris tonight!

I love you!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday, February 25th, 2012


What a beautiful day... I got up at 6:00 and did a little work before waking Sherrie and Trey up at 7:30. Sherrie got ready to head to work and Trey and I went to Mitch park to exercise. I did almost 6 miles and Trey went a couple. I came home and cleaned up, and headed out to run some errands. I had a lunch meeting with my friend Ivy and her sister to discuss a photoshoot that I am doing for them next week. We went to a place in the Asian district called Lee's Sandwich. I had never heard of it before, but DANG!!!! I was impressed. This place was 1/2 a city block long and they sold everything you could imagine. They have a bakery, do desserts, make drinks... And these french baguettes. OH MY! I wish I could explain them, but I can tell you I had grilled chicken, dichon, carrots, and jalapenos! Did I mention that out of 300 people in this restaurant... I was the only Caucasian. ;-) I left there and headed out to El Reno to get the trailer from Curtis house and then back to the city.... I did make a stop at Whole Foods today and even though I did not get my cranberry cheddar, I got Trey some crack wafers, and I got some Yukon gold potatoes. I came home and loaded the lawn trailer before coming in cleaning house and cooking an amazing dinner. I made stuffed flank steak, salad and mashed taters.... I have been working on some numbers for a presentation next week.I have not told very many people but I was invited on an Ama Dablam Expedition in November. The climb is 30 days and would cost $15,000. Would give anything to do it.... I am going to start training like I'm going and we will see what happens! I am going to put the next section of the France trip on! This part has the Eiffel Tower on it! 41 and clear in Paris!

All my Love!


Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel)
Location Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, [tuʁ ɛfɛl], nickname La dame de fer, the iron lady) is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest building in Paris[10] and the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair. The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. However, due to the addition, in 1957, of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct. The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by elevator. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants. The tower has become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city. The structure was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Three hundred workers joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets, in a structural design by Maurice Koechlin. Eiffel was assisted in the design by engineers Émile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin and architect Stephen Sauvestre.[11] The risk of accident was great as, unlike modern skyscrapers, the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. However, because Eiffel took safety precautions, including the use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May. The tower was much criticised by the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. Newspapers of the day were filled with angry letters from the arts community of Paris. One is quoted extensively in William Watson's US Government Printing Office publication of 1892 Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture: "And during twenty years we shall see, stretching over the entire city, still thrilling with the genius of so many centuries, we shall see stretching out like a black blot the odious shadow of the odious column built up of riveted iron plates."[12] Signers of this letter included Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, Charles Gounod, Charles Garnier, Jean-Léon Gérôme, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Alexandre Dumas. Novelist Guy de Maupassant—who claimed to hate the tower[13]—supposedly ate lunch in the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure. Today, the Tower is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art. One of the great Hollywood movie clichés is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the tower. In reality, since zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to 7 stories, only a very few of the taller buildings have a clear view of the tower.
Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years; it was to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it could be easily demolished) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit. The military used it to dispatch Parisian taxis to the front line during the First Battle of the Marne.

Thomas Edison visited the tower. He signed the guestbook with the following message—

To M Eiffel the Engineer the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu, Thomas Edison. 1910

Father Theodor Wulf measured radiant energy at the top and bottom of the tower, discovering at the top more than was expected, and thereby detecting what are today known as cosmic rays.[14] 4 February 1912 Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt died after jumping 60 metres from the first deck of Eiffel tower with his home-made parachute. 1914 A radio transmitter located in the tower jammed German radio communications during the lead-up to the First Battle of the Marne. 1925 The con artist Victor Lustig "sold" the tower for scrap metal on two separate, but related occasions. The tower lost the title of the world's tallest structure when the Chrysler Building was completed in New York City. 1925 to 1934 Illuminated signs for Citroën adorned three of the tower's four sides, making it the tallest advertising space in the world at the time.
1940–1944 Upon the German occupation of Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut by the French so that Adolf Hitler would have to climb the steps to the summit. The parts to repair them were allegedly impossible to obtain because of the war. In 1940 German soldiers had to climb to the top to hoist the swastika, but the flag was so large it blew away just a few hours later, and was replaced by a smaller one. When visiting Paris, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. It was said that Hitler conquered France, but did not conquer the Eiffel Tower. A Frenchman scaled the tower during the German occupation to hang the French flag. In August 1944, when the Allies were nearing Paris, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Von Choltitz disobeyed the order. Some say Hitler was later persuaded to keep the tower intact so it could later be used for communications. The lifts of the Tower were working normally within hours of the Liberation of Paris. 3 January 1956 A fire damaged the top of the tower. 1957 The present radio antenna was added to the top. 1980s A restaurant and its supporting iron scaffolding midway up the tower was dismantled; it was purchased and reconstructed on St. Charles Avenue and Joesphine Street in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana, by entrepreneurs John Onorio and Daniel Bonnot, originally as the Tour Eiffel Restaurant, later as the Red Room and now as the Cricket Club (owned by the New Orleans Culinary Institute). The restaurant was re-assembled from 11,000 pieces that crossed the Atlantic in a 40-foot (12 m) cargo container. 31 March 1984 Robert Moriarty flew a Beechcraft Bonanza through the arches of the tower.[16] 1987 A.J. Hackett made one of his first bungee jumps from the top of the Eiffel Tower, using a special cord he had helped develop. Hackett was arrested by the Paris police upon reaching the ground.[17] 27 October 1991Thierry Devaux, along with mountain guide Hervé Calvayrac, performed a series of acrobatic figures of bungee jump (not allowed) from the second floor of the Tower. Facing the Champ de Mars, Thierry Devaux was using an electric winch between each figure to go back up. When firemen arrived, he stopped after the sixth bungee jump.[18] New Year's Eve 1999 The Eiffel Tower played host to Paris' Millennium Celebration. On this occasion, flashing lights and four high-power searchlights were installed on the tower, and fireworks were set off all over it. An exhibition above a cafeteria on the first floor commemorates this event. Since then, the light show has become a nightly event. The searchlights on top of the tower make it a beacon in Paris' night sky, and the 20,000 flash bulbs give the tower a sparkly appearance every hour on the hour.[19] 28 November 2002
The pig iron structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tonnes while the entire structure, including non-metal components, is approximately 10,000 tonnes. As a demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7,300 tonnes of the metal structure were melted down it would fill the 125 metre square base to a depth of only 6 cm (2.36 in), assuming the density of the metal to be 7.8 tonnes per cubic metre. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7.1 in) because of thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. At the time the tower was built many people were shocked by its daring shape. Eiffel was criticised for the design and accused of trying to create something artistic, or inartistic according to the viewer, without regard to engineering. Eiffel and his engineers, however, as experienced bridge builders, understood the importance of wind forces and knew that if they were going to build the tallest structure in the world they had to be certain it would withstand the wind. In an interview reported in the newspaper Le Temps, Eiffel said: Now to what phenomenon did I 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.[23] Researchers have found that Eiffel used empirical and graphical methods accounting for the effects of wind rather than a specific mathematical formula. Careful examination of the tower shows a basically exponential shape; actually two different exponentials, the lower section overdesigned to ensure resistance to wind forces. Several mathematical explanations have been proposed over the years for the success of the design; the most recent is described as a nonlinear integral equation based on counterbalancing the wind pressure on any point on the tower with the tension between the construction elements at that point.[24][25] As a demonstration of the tower's effectiveness in wind resistance, it sways only 6–7 cm (2–3 in) in the wind.
Maintenance Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50 to 60 tonnes of paint every seven years to protect it from rust. The height of the Eiffel Tower varies by 15 cm due to temperature.  Aesthetic considerations In order to maintain a uniform appearance to an observer on the ground, three separate colours of paint are used on the tower, with the darkest on the bottom and the lightest at the top. On occasion the colour of the paint is changed; the tower is currently painted a shade of bronze.[27] On the first floor there are interactive consoles hosting a poll for the colour to use for a future session of painting. The only non-structural elements are the four decorative grillwork arches, added in Stephen Sauvestre's sketches, which served to reassure visitors that the structure was safe, and to frame views of other nearby architecture
Tourism Popularity More than 200,000,000 people have visited the tower since its construction in 1889,[31] including 6,719,200 in 2006.[26] The tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world.Ground to the second level The original elevators to the first and second floors were provided by two companies. Both companies had to overcome many technical obstacles as neither company (or indeed any company) had experience with installing elevators climbing to such heights with large loads. The slanting tracks with changing angles further complicated the problems. The East and West elevators were supplied by the French company Roux Combaluzier Lepape, using hydraulically powered chains and rollers. The North and South elevators were provided by the American company Otis using car designs similar to the original installation but using an improved hydraulic and cable scheme. The French elevators had a very poor performance and were replaced with the current installations in 1897 (West Pillar) and 1899 (East Pillar) by Fives-Lille using an improved hydraulic and rope scheme. Both of the original installations operated broadly on the principle of the Fives-Lille lifts.[33][34] The Fives-Lille elevators from ground level to the first and second levels are operated by cables and pulleys driven by massive water-powered pistons. The hydraulic scheme was somewhat unusual for the time in that it included three large counterweights of 200 tonnes each sitting on top of hydraulic rams which doubled up as accumulators for the water. As the elevators ascend the inclined arc of the pillars, the angle of ascent changes. The two elevator cabs are kept more or less level and indeed are level at the landings. The cab floors do take on a slight angle at times between landings. The principle behind the elevators is similar to the operation of a block and tackle but in reverse. Two large hydraulic rams (over 1 metre diameter) with a 16 metre travel are mounted horizontally in the base of the pillar which pushes a carriage (the French word for it translates as chariot and this term will be used henceforth to distinguish it from the elevator carriage) with 16 large triple sheaves mounted on it. There are 14 similar sheaves mounted statically. Six wire ropes are rove back and forth between the sheaves such that each rope passes between the 2 sets of sheaves 7 times. The ropes then leave the final sheaves on the chariot and passes up through a series of guiding sheaves to above the second floor and then via a pair of triple sheaves back down to the lift carriage again passing guiding sheaves. This arrangement means that the elevator carriage, complete with its cars and passengers, travels 8 times the distance that the rams move the chariot, the 128 metres from the ground to the second floor. The force exerted by the rams also has to be 8 times the total weight of the lift carriage, cars and passengers, plus extra to account for various losses such as friction. The hydraulic fluid was water, normally stored in three accumulators, complete with counterbalance weights. To make the elevator ascend, water was pumped using an electrically driven pump from the accumulators to the two rams. Since the counterbalance weights provided much of the pressure required, the pump only had to provide the extra effort. For the descent, it was only necessary to allow the water to flow back to the accumulators using a control valve. The lifts were operated by an operator perched precariously underneath the lift cars. His position (with a dummy operator) can still be seen on the lifts today. The Fives-Lille elevators were completely upgraded in 1986 to meet modern safety requirements and to make the elevators easier to operate. A new computer controlled system was installed which completely automated the operation. One of the three counterbalances was taken out of use, and the cars were replaced with a more modern and lighter structure. Most importantly, the main driving force was removed from the original water pump such that the water hydraulic system provided only a counterbalancing function. The main driving force was transferred to a 320 kW electrically driven oil hydraulic pump which drives a pair of hydraulic motors on the chariot itself, thus providing the motive power. The new lift cars complete with their carriage and a full 92 passenger load weigh 22 tonnes. Due to elasticity in the ropes and the time taken to get the cars level with the landings, each elevator in normal service takes an average of 8 minutes and 50 seconds to do the round trip, spending an average of 1 minute and 15 seconds at each floor. The average journey time between floors is just 1 minute. The original Otis elevators in the North and South pillars in their turn proved to be inferior to the new (in 1899) French elevators and were scrapped from the South pillar in 1900 and from the North pillar in 1913 after failed attempts to re-power them with an electric motor. The North and South pillars were to remain without elevators until 1965 when increasing visitor numbers persuaded the operators to install a relatively standard and modern cable hoisted system in the north pillar using a cable-hauled counterbalance weight, but hoisted by a block and tackle system to reduce its travel to one third of the elevator travel. The counterbalance is clearly visible within the structure of the North pillar. This latter elevator was upgraded in 1995 with new cars and computer controls. The South pillar acquired a completely new fairly standard electrically driven elevator in 1983 to serve the Jules Verne restaurant. This was also supplied by Otis. A further four-ton service elevator was added to the South pillar in 1989 by Otis to relieve the main elevators when moving relatively small loads or even just maintenance personnel. The East and West hydraulic (water) elevator works are on display and, at least in theory, are open to the public in a small museum located in base of the East and West tower, which is somewhat hidden from public view. Because the massive mechanism requires frequent lubrication and attention, public access is often restricted. However, when open, the wait times are much less than the other, more popular, attractions. The rope mechanism of the North tower is visible to visitors as they exit from the elevator .The original spiral stairs to the third floor which were only 80 centimetres wide. Note also the small service elevator in the background. The original elevators from the second to the third floor were also of a water-powered hydraulic design supplied by Léon Edoux. Instead of using a separate counterbalance, the two elevator cars counterbalanced each other. A pair of 81 metre long hydraulic rams were mounted on the second level reaching nearly half way up to the third level. An elevator car was mounted on top of the rams. Ropes ran from the top of this car up to a sheave on the third level and back down to a second car. The result of this arrangement was that each car only travelled half the distance between the second and third levels and passengers were required to change elevators halfway walking between the cars along a narrow gangway with a very impressive and relatively unobstructed downward view. The ten-ton cars held 65 passengers each or up to four tons. One interesting feature of the original installation was that the hoisting rope ran through guides to retain it on windy days to prevent it flapping and becoming damaged. The guides were mechanically moved out of the way of the ascending car by the movement of the car itself. In spite of some antifreeze being added to the water that operated this system, it nevertheless had to close to the public from November to March each year. The original Hydraulic pump for the Edoux lifts The original elevators complete with their hydraulic mechanism were completely scrapped in 1982 after 97 years of service. They were replaced with two pairs of relatively standard rope hoisted cars which were able to operate all the year round. The cars operate in pairs with one providing the counterbalance for the other. Neither car can move unless both sets of doors are closed and both operators have given a start command. The commands from the cars to the hoisting mechanism are by radio obviating the necessity of a control cable. The replacement installation also has the advantage that the ascent can be made without changing cars and has reduced the ascent time from 8 minutes (including change) to 1 minute and 40 seconds. This installation also has guides for the hoisting ropes but they are electrically operated. The guide once it has moved out of the way as the car ascends automatically reverses when the car has passed to prevent the mechanism becoming snagged on the car on the downward journey in the event it has failed to completely clear the car. Unfortunately these elevators do not have the capacity to move as many people as the three public lower elevators and long lines to ascend to the third level are common. Most of the intermediate level structure present on the tower today was installed when the elevators were replaced and allows maintenance workers to take the elevator half way. The replacement of these elevators allowed the restructuring of the criss-cross beams in upper part of the tower and further allowed the installation of two emergency staircases. These replaced the dangerous winding stairs that were installed when the tower was constructed. Restaurants The tower has two restaurants: Le 58 tour Eiffel, on the first floor 311 ft (95 m) above sea level; and the Le Jules Verne, a gastronomical restaurant on the second floor, with a private lift. This restaurant has one star in the Michelin Red Guide. In January 2007, the multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse was brought in to run Jules Verne. Attempted relocation According to interviews given in the early 1980s, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau negotiated a secret agreement with French President Charles de Gaulle for the tower to be dismantled and temporarily relocated to Montreal to serve as a landmark and tourist attraction during Expo 67. The plan was allegedly vetoed by the company which operated the tower out of fear that the French government could refuse permission for the tower to be restored to its original location. Main article: List of Eiffel Tower replicas As one of the most iconic images in the world, the Eiffel Tower has been the inspiration for the creation of over 30 duplicates and similar towers around the world. Communications Since the beginning of the 20th century, the tower has been used for radio transmission. Until the 1950s, an occasionally modified set of antenna wires ran from the summit to anchors on the Avenue de Suffren and Champ de Mars. They were connected to long-wave transmitters in small bunkers; in 1909, a permanent underground radio centre was built near the south pillar and still exists today. On 20 November 1913, the Paris Observatory, using the Eiffel Tower as an antenna, exchanged sustained wireless signals with the United States Naval Observatory which used an antenna in Arlington, Virginia. The object of the transmissions was to measure the difference in longitude between Paris and Washington, D.C.[37] Today, both radio and television stations broadcast their signals from the top of the Eiffel. Image copyright claims The tower and its representations have long been in the public domain. However, a French court ruled, in June 1990, that a special lighting display on the tower in 1989, for the tower's 100th anniversary, was an "original visual creation" protected by copyright. The Court of Cassation, France's judicial court of last resort, upheld the ruling in March 1992.[38] The Société d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SETE) now considers any illumination of the tower to be under copyright.[39] As a result, it is no longer legal to publish contemporary photographs of the tower at night without permission in France and some other countries. The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of Documentation for what was then the Société nouvelle d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SNTE), Stéphane Dieu, commented in January 2005, "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn't used in ways we don't approve." However, it also potentially has the effect of prohibiting tourist photographs of the tower at night from being published,[40] as well as hindering non-profit and semi-commercial publication of images of the tower. Besides, French doctrine and jurisprudence traditionally allow pictures incorporating a copyrighted work as long as their presence is incidental or accessory to the main represented subject,[41] a reasoning akin to the De minimis rule. Thus, SETE could not claim copyright on photographs of panoramas of Paris incorporating the lit tower. In popular culture Main article: Eiffel Tower in popular culture As a global landmark, the Eiffel Tower is featured in media including films, video games, and television shows. In a commitment ceremony in 2007, Erika Eiffel, an American woman famously "married" the Eiffel Tower. Her relationship with the tower has been the subject of extensive global publicity. Taller structures Although it was the world's tallest structure when completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has since lost its standing both as the tallest lattice tower and as the tallest structure in France.

Friday, February 24th, 2012

A couple shots from some recent shoots!


I had to let Boomer out at 3:39 and so I decided to start working.... I thought If I got ahead of the game I could get out on time. Sherrie, Trey and I had dinner plans at 5:30. So, Yeah.... Get up early bust out all the morning reports and work through the new stuff, and BOOM! Get out on time! HAHAHA! Not gonna happen! I got to work and all heck broke lose. I had forgotton we had our Monthly Operational Review call at 11:00 am. I had to get my numbers together and then get on the call. We did well, but I got beat up on our census for January. The funny thing is our budgeted number is higher than we can attain due to our infection control policy. So essentially if we have 31 beds but the state say's we can only have two patients in our unit, because of it's design, then we have four patients with multi-drug-resistant- organisms..... How can you hold me accountable to an inflated number? Well the answer is.... "Too Bad!" It really went pretty good! Anyway... The afternoon got busy with running around like a chicken with my head cut-off. We were suppose to get three admits and never got orders on two of them so they will be coming today! We got a cll at stright up 5:00 and there was a patient that one of our big hospitals was trying to force on us. The patient was on some VERY high cost meds, and I needed to get approval from my boss on bringing this patient in. I dedcided to put it on hold until Monday... On my way home my boss call and said that was the right decision! Sherrie and Trey ended up going to Steve's Rib and I met them there. I had a chicken sandwich and then we came home! We usually go to the grocerie store on Friday nights, but I just didn't have any energy. We came home and as soon as I sat down I fell asleep! It was a long day! I am getting ready to go ride for a while, then have to run to the office, meet my friend Ivy and her sister for lunch to discuss a photoshoot, run to the outlet mall and get a pair of jeans and then run to El Reno to pick-up my lawn trailer from my brothers house! Soooooo pretty busy day!  I am attaching another section from our upcoming France trip! 52 and partly cloudy in Paris!

Love you all!


Place de la Concorde

The Place was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 as a moat-skirted octagon between the Champs-Élysées to the west and the Tuileries Gardens to the east. Decorated with statues and fountains, the area was named Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time. The square showcased an equestrian statue of the king, which had been commissioned in 1748 by the city of Paris, sculpted mostly by Edmé Bouchardon, and completed by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle after the death of Bouchardon. The stone is made of a combination of lime and blue stone. The chemical compounds have let it survive for so long under acid rain. At the north end, two magnificent identical stone buildings were constructed. Separated by the rue Royale, these structures remain among the best examples of Louis XV style architecture. Initially, the eastern building served as the French Naval Ministry. Shortly after its construction, the western building became the opulent home of the Duc d'Aumont. It was later purchased by the Comte de Crillon, whose family resided there until 1907. The famous luxury Hôtel de Crillon, which currently occupies the building, took its name from its previous owners; it was the headquarters of the German High Command during World War II. During the French Revolution the statue of Louis XV of France was torn down and the area renamed "Place de la Révolution". The new revolutionary government erected the guillotine in the square, and it was here that King Louis XVI was executed on 21 January 1793. Other important figures guillotined on the site, often in front of cheering crowds, were Queen Marie Antoinette, Princess Élisabeth of France, Charlotte Corday, Madame du Barry, Georges Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Antoine Lavoisier, Maximilien Robespierre, Louis de Saint-Just and Olympe de Gouge. The guillotine was most active during the "Reign of Terror", in the summer of 1794, when in a single month more than 1,300 people were executed. A year later, when the revolution was taking a more moderate course, the guillotine was removed from the square. The execution of Louis XVI in the then Place de la Révolution. The empty pedestal in front of him had supported a statue of his grandfather, Louis XV, torn down during one of the many revolutionary riots.The square was then renamed Place de la Concorde under the Directory as a symbolic gesture of reconciliation after the turmoil of the French Revolution. It underwent a series of name changes in the nineteenth century, but the city eventually settled on Place de la Concorde.
• To the west of the Place is the famous Champs-Élysées.
• To the east of the Place are the Tuileries Gardens. The Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume and the Musée de l'Orangerie, both in the Tuileries Gardens, border the Place
• North of the Place: two identical stone buildings, separated by the Rue Royale. The eastern one houses the French Naval Ministry, and the western one is the Hôtel de Crillon. The Rue Royale leads to the Église de la Madeleine. The Embassy of the United States is located in the corner of the Place at the intersection of Avenue Gabriel and Rue Boissy d'Anglas
• The northeastern corner of the Place is the western end of the Rue de Rivoli
• South of the Place: the River Seine, crossed by the Pont de la Concorde, built by Jean-Rodolphe Perronnet between 1787–1790 and widened in 1930-1932. The Palais Bourbon, home of the French National Assembly, is across the bridge, on the opposite bank of the river
• At each of the eight angles of the octagonal Place is a statue, initiated by architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorff, representing a French city:
o Brest and Rouen by Jean-Pierre Cortot
o Lyon and Marseille by Pierre Petitot
o Bordeaux and Nantes by Louis-Denis Caillouette
o Lille and Strasbourg by James Pradier. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, when Alsace-Lorraine was lost to Germany, the Strasbourg statue was covered in black mourning crepe on state occasions,[1] and was often decorated with wreaths; this practice did not end until France regained the region following World War I.The Obelisk of Luxor stands on top on a pedestal that recounts the special machinery and manœuvres that were used to transport it.The center of the Place is occupied by a giant Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramses II. It is one of two the Egyptian government gave to the French in the nineteenth century. The other one stayed in Egypt, too difficult and heavy to move to France with the technology at that time. In the 1990s, President François Mitterrand gave the second obelisk back to the Egyptians. The obelisk once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple. The Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Mehmet Ali, offered the 3,300-year-old Luxor Obelisk to France in 1829. It arrived in Paris on 21 December 1833. Three years later, on 25 October 1836, King Louis Philippe had it placed in the center of Place de la Concorde, where a guillotine used to stand during the Revolution.The obelisk, a red granite column, rises 23 metres (75 ft) high, including the base, and weighs over 250 metric tons (280 short tons). Given the technical limitations of the day, transporting it was no easy feat — on the pedestal are drawn diagrams explaining the machinery that was used for the transportation. The obelisk is flanked on both sides by fountains constructed at the time of its erection on the Place.
Early morning on 1 December 1993, the French AIDS fighting society Act Up Paris carried out a fast and unwarned commando-style operation. A giant pink condom was unrolled over the whole monument.Missing its original cap, believed stolen in the 6th century BC, the government of France added a gold-leafed pyramid cap to the top of the obelisk in 1998. Without warning, in 2000 French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands, climbing shoes and no safety devices, scaled the obelisk all the way to the top.Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation (1840) with the Eiffel Tower in the background.The two fountains in the Place de la Concorde have been the most famous of the fountains built during the time of Louis-Philippe, and came to symbolize the fountains in Paris. They were designed by Jacques-Ignace Hittorff, a student of the Neoclassical designer Charles Percier at the École des Beaux-Arts. The German-born Hittorff had served as the official Architect of Festivals and Ceremonies for the deposed King, and had spent two years studying the architecture and fountains of Italy.Hittorff's two fountains were on the theme of rivers and seas, in part because of their proximity to the Ministry of Navy, and to the Seine. Their arrangement, on a north-south axis aligned with the Obelisk of Luxor and the Rue Royale, and the form of the fountains themselves, were influenced by the fountains of Rome, particularly Piazza Navona and the Piazza San Pietro, both of which had obelisks aligned with fountains. Both fountains had the same form: a stone basin; six figures of tritons or naiads holding fish spouting water; six seated allegorical figures, their feet on the prows of ships, supporting the pedestal, of the circular vasque; four statues of different forms of genius in arts or crafts supporting the upper inverted upper vasque; whose water shot up and then cascaded down to the lower vasque and then the basin. The north fountain was devoted to the Rivers, with allegorical figures representing the Rhone and the Rhine, the arts of the harvesting of flowers and fruits, harvesting and grape growing; and the geniuses of river navigation, industry, and agriculture.The south fountain, closer to the Seine, represented the seas, with figures representing the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; harvesting coral; harvesting fish; collecting shellfish; collecting pearls; and the geniuses of astronomy, navigation and commerce.ferences in popular culture
In the Star Trek universe, the Place de la Concorde is the location of the offices of the President of the United Federation of Planets.
In The Devil Wears Prada, Andrea Sachs throws her phone into one of the Fontaines de la Concorde.In the Maximum Ride series (book), the seventh book, ANGEL, includes the Place de la Concorde as a rally area to a crime organization known as the Doomsday Group.In Tom Clancy's Endwar the Place de la Concorde is across the bidge from the spawn point and is a major firefight zone. The zone is also showcased in the trailer, russians use the square for cover and the Luxor Obelisk is heavily damaged. Later in the trailer a transport aircraft crashes in the center of the square. In the end a missle lands in the background and destroys the square.

The avenue runs for 1.91 km (1.18 mi) through the 8th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor,[3] to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l'Étoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées forms part of the Axe historique.One of the principal tourist destinations in Paris, the lower part of the Champs-Élysées is bordered by greenery (Carré Marigny) and by buildings such as the Théâtre Marigny and the Grand Palais (containing the Palais de la Découverte). The Élysée Palace is slightly to the north, but not on the avenue itself. Further to the west, the avenue is lined with cinemas, cafés and restaurants, and luxury specialty shops. The Champs-Élysées ends at the Arc de Triomphe, built by Napoleon Bonaparte to honour his victories. The Champs-Élysées was originally fields and market gardens, until 1616, when Marie de Medici decided to extend the axis of the Tuileries Garden with an avenue of trees. As late as 1716, Guillaume Delisle's map of Paris shows that a short stretch of roads and fields and market garden plots still separated the grand axe of the Tuileries gardens from the planted "Avenue des Thuilleries," which was punctuated by a circular basin where the Rond-point des Champs-Élysées stands today; already it was planted with some avenues of trees to the Seine river through woods and fields. In 1724, the Tuileries Garden axis and the avenue were connected and extended, leading beyond the Place de l'Étoile; the "Elysian Fields" were open parkland flanking it, soon filled in with bosquets of trees formally planted in straight rank and file. To the east, the unloved and neglected "Vieux Louvre" (as it is called on the maps), still hemmed in by buildings, was not part of the axis. In a map of 1724, the Grande Avenue des Champs-Elisée stretches west from a newly-cleared Place du Pont Tournant soon to be renamed for Louis XV and now the Place de la Concorde. By the late 18th century, the Champs-Élysées had become a fashionable avenue; the bosquet plantings on either side had thickened enough to be given formal rectangular glades (cabinets de verdure). The gardens of houses built along the Faubourg Saint-Honoré backed onto the formal bosquets. The grandest of them was the Élysée Palace. A semicircle of house-fronts now defined the north side of the Rond-Point. Queen Marie Antoinette drove with her friends and took music lessons at the grand Hôtel de Crillon on the Place Louis XV.[4] The avenue from the Rond-Point to the Étoile was built up during the Empire. The Champs-Élysées itself became city property in 1828, and footpaths, fountains, and gas lighting were added. Over the years, the avenue has undergone numerous transitions, most recently in 1994, when the sidewalks were widened.The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, because of its size and proximity to several Parisian landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, has been the site of several notable military parades, the most infamous being the march of German troops celebrating the Fall of France on 14 June 1940, and the two most famous, the subsequent marches of Free French and American forces after the liberation of the city, respectively, the French 2nd Armored Division on 26 August 1944, and the US 28th Infantry Division on 29 August 1944.
Premier offices and retail In 1860, the merchants along the avenue joined together to form the Syndicat d'Initiative et de Défense des Champs-Élysées, changed to an association in 1916 to promote commercially the avenue. In 1980, the group changed its name to the Comité des Champs-Élysées and to "Comité Champs-Élysées" in 2008. It is the oldest standing committee in Paris. The committee has always dedicated itself to seek public projects to enhance the avenue's unique atmosphere, and to lobby the authorities for extended business hours and to organize special events. Today, the committee in coordination with other professional organisations could review with the Parisian administration over the addition of new business which size is over 1000 square meters to the avenue.Because of the high rents, few people live on the Champs-Élysées; the upper stories tend to be occupied by offices. Rents are particularly high on the north side of the avenue, because of better exposure to sunlight. The baroque-influenced regular architecture of the grandiose Champs-Élysées is typical of the Haussmann boulevard architecture of the Second Empire and Third Republic. The avenue is located right next to the Palais de l'Élysée, the presidential palace, with its rounded gate, and the Grand Palais, erected in the late 19th century. While walking among the gardens and tree-lined promenades one can even encounter an open-air marionette theatre for children, a French tradition popular through the ages.The avenue is also one of the most famous streets in the world for upscale shopping. Adidas, Benetton, the Disney Store, Nike, Zara, Cartier, Bel Air Fashion, Toyota, continental Europe's largest Gap, and Sephora occupy major spaces.[5] Traditionally home to popular brands, as well as luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Lancel, Guerlain, Lacoste, Hôtel de la Païva, Élysée Palace and Fouquet's, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées confirms its world-class appeal as a prime real estate location: it has lately seen the opening of new big upscale shops such as the biggest Adidas store in the world.The arrival of global chain stores in recent years has strikingly changed its character, and in a first effort to stem these changes, the City of Paris (which has called this trend "banalisation") decided in 2007 to prohibit the Swedish clothing chain H&M from opening a store on the avenue,[5] however an H&M store has been open since 6 October 2009.[6] In 2008, American clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch was given permission to open a store. Every year on Bastille Day, the largest military parade in Europe passes down the Champs-Élysées, reviewed by the President of the Republic.[8]
Every year during Advent, Christmastide, and Epiphany, the 'Champs-Élysées' Committee contribute for the Holidays seasons lighting of the Champs-Élysées. This generally occurs from late November until early January. The 2007 lighting of the Champs-Élysées was very successful, with lighting tubes which acted like snow falling from the trees.
Since 1975, the last stage of the Tour de France has finished on the Champs-Élysées, with riders typically making six to eight circuits back and forth on the avenue, with a furious final sprint. The subsequent awards ceremony also takes place directly on the Avenue.
Huge and spontaneous gatherings occasionally take place on the Champs-Élysées in celebration of popular events, such as New Year's Eve, or when France won the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile) is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l'Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.[3] There is a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe (in English: "Triumphal Arch") honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
The Arc de Triomphe is the linchpin of the historic axis (Axe historique) – a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which goes from the courtyard of the Louvre, to the Grande Arche de la Défense. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and its iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments, with triumphant patriotic messages. The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The small vault is 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. It is the second largest triumphal arch in existence (after Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang).[4] Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The Arc de Triomphe is so colossal that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919, (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured on newsreel.The Arc is located on the right bank of the Seine at the centre of a dodecagonal configuration of twelve radiating avenues. It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon at the peak of his fortunes. Laying the foundations alone took two years and, in 1810, when Napoleon entered Paris from the west with his bride Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, he had a wooden mock-up of the completed arch constructed. The architect, Jean Chalgrin, died in 1811 and the work was taken over by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. During the Bourbon Restoration, construction was halted and it would not be completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe, between 1833 and 1836, by the architects Goust, then Huyot, under the direction of Héricart de Thury. On 15 December 1840, brought back to France from Saint Helena, Napoleon's remains passed under it on their way to the Emperor's final resting place at the Invalides.[8] Prior to burial in the Panthéon, the body of Victor Hugo was exposed under the Arc during the night of 22 May 1885.The sword carried by the Republic in the Marseillaise relief broke off on the day, it is said, that the Battle of Verdun began in 1916. The relief was immediately hidden by tarpaulins to conceal the accident and avoid any undesired ominous interpretations[citation needed]. On 7 August 1919, Charles Godefroy successfully flew his biplane under the Arc.[9] Jean Navarre was the pilot who was tasked to make the flight, but he died on 10 July 1919 when he crashed near Villacoublay while training for the flight.Following its construction, the Arc de Triomphe became the rallying point of French troops parading after successful military campaigns and for the annual Bastille Day Military Parade. Famous victory marches around or under the Arc have included the Germans in 1871, the French in 1919, the Germans in 1940, and the French and Allies in 1944[10] and 1945. A United States postage stamp of 1945 shows the Arc de Triomphe in the background as victorious American troops march down the Champs-Élysées and U.S. airplanes fly overhead on 29 August 1944. After the interment of the Unknown Soldier, however, all military parades (including the aforementioned post-1919) have avoided marching through the actual arch. The route taken is up to the arch and then around its side, out of respect for the tomb and its symbolism. Both Hitler in 1940 and de Gaulle in 1944 observed this custom. By the early 1960s, the monument had grown very blackened from coal soot and automobile exhaust, and during 1965–1966 it was cleaned through bleaching.In the prolongation of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a new arch, the Grande Arche de la Défense, was built in 1982, completing the line of monuments that forms Paris's Axe historique. After the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, the Grande Arche is the third arch built on the same perspective.The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin (1739–1811), in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture (see, for example, the triumphal Arch of Titus). Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire. The main sculptures are not integral friezes but are treated as independent trophies applied to the vast ashlar masonry masses, not unlike the gilt-bronze appliqués on Empire furniture. The four sculptural groups at the base of the Arc are The Triumph of 1810 (Cortot), Resistance and Peace (both by Antoine Étex) and the most renowned of them all, Departure of the Volunteers of 1792 commonly called La Marseillaise (François Rude). The face of the allegorical representation of France calling forth her people on this last was used as the belt buckle for the honorary rank of Marshal of France. Since the fall of Napoleon (1815), the sculpture representing Peace is interpreted as commemorating the Peace of 1815. In the attic above the richly sculptured frieze of soldiers are 30 shields engraved with the names of major Revolutionary and Napoleonic military victories.[11] The inside walls of the monument list the names of 660 people, among which are 558 French generals of the First French Empire;[12] the names of those who died in battle are underlined. Also inscribed, on the shorter sides of the four supporting columns, are the names of the major victorious battles of the Napoleonic Wars. The battles that took place in the period between the departure of Napoleon from Elba to his final defeat at Waterloo are not included.There was at the top of the Arc from 1882 to 1886, a monumental sculpture of Alexandre Falguière, "Le triomphe de la Révolution" (the Triumph of the Revolution), a chariot drawn by horses preparing "to crush Anarchy and Despotism", that remained only four years up there before falling in ruins.Inside the monument, a new permanent exhibition conceived by the artist Maurice Benayoun and the architect Christophe Girault opened in February 2007.[13] The steel and new media installation interrogates the symbolism of the national monument, questioning the balance of its symbolic message during the last two centuries, oscillating between war and peace. The Unknown Soldier Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, Paris Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the WW1. Interred here on Armistice Day 1920,[14] it has the first eternal flame lit in Western and Eastern Europe since the Vestal Virgins' fire was extinguished in the fourth century. It burns in memory of the dead who were never identified (now in both World Wars). According to a 2008 television programme, presented by Griff Rhys Jones, “the flame has only been extinguished once, by a drunken Mexican football supporter on the night that France beat Brazil here in Paris,”[15] most likely referring to the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final.
A ceremony is held Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every 11 November on the anniversary of the armistice signed between France and Germany in 1918. It was originally decided on 12 November 1919 to bury the unknown soldier's remains in the Panthéon, but a public letter-writing campaign led to the decision to bury him beneath the Arc de Triomphe. The coffin was put in the chapel on the first floor of the Arc on 10 November 1920, and put in its final resting place on 28 January 1921. The slab on top carries the inscription ICI REPOSE UN SOLDAT FRANÇAIS MORT POUR LA PATRIE 1914–1918 ("Here lies a French soldier who died for the fatherland 1914–1918").
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy of the United States paid their respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, accompanied by French President Charles de Gaulle. After the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy, Mrs Kennedy remembered the eternal flame at the Arc de Triomphe and requested that an eternal flame be placed next to her husband's grave at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. President Charles de Gaulle went to Washington to attend the state funeral, and witnessed Jacqueline Kennedy lighting the eternal flame that had been inspired by her visit to France. The Arc de Triomphe is located on Paris's Axe historique, a large perspective that runs from the Louvre to the Arche de la Défense.
• The four main sculptures of the monument are:
• Le Départ de 1792' (or La Marseillaise), by François Rude
• Le Triomphe de 1810, by Jean-Pierre Cortot
• La Résistance de 1814, by Antoine Étex
• La Paix de 1815, by Antoine Étex

The Arc de Triomphe is accessible by the RER and Métro, with exit at the Charles de Gaulle—Étoile station. Because of heavy traffic on the roundabout of which the Arc is the centre, it is recommended that pedestrians use one of two underpasses located at the Champs Élysées and the Avenue de la Grande Armée.A lift will take visitors almost to the top – to the attic, where there is a small museum which contains large models of the Arc and tells its story from the time of its construction. 46 steps remain to climb in order to reach the top, the terrasse, from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of Paris.

Les Invalides

Les Invalides (French pronunciation: [lezɛ̃valid]), officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France's war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte (lists below).
ContentsLouis XIV ordering the construction of Les Invalides
Louis XIV initiated the project by an order dated 24 November 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The selected site was in the then suburban plain of Grenelle (plaine de Grenelle). By the time the enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards, the largest being the cour d'honneur ("court of honour") for military parades. It was then felt that the veterans required a chapel. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant's designs after the elder architect's death. The chapel is known as Église Saint-Louis des Invalides. Daily attendance was required.Shortly after the veterans' chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature (see gallery). Inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. Mansart raised its drum with an attic storey over its main cornice, and employed the paired columns motif in his more complicated rhythmic theme. The general programme is sculptural but tightly integrated, rich but balanced, consistently carried through, capping its vertical thrust firmly with a ribbed and hemispherical dome. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.The interior of the dome (see gallery) was painted by Le Brun's disciple Charles de La Fosse with a Baroque illusion of space (sotto in su) seen from below. The painting was completed in 1705.The north front of the Invalides: Mansart's dome above Bruant's pedimented central block On the north front of Les Invalides (illustration, right) Hardouin-Mansart's chapel dome is large enough to dominate the long façade, yet harmonizes with Bruant's door under an arched pediment. To the north, the courtyard (cour d'honneur) is extended by a wide public esplanade (Esplanade des Invalides) where the embassies of Austria and Finland are neighbours of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all forming one of the grand open spaces in the heart of Paris. At its far end, the Pont Alexandre III links this grand urbanistic axis with the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. The Pont des Invalides is next, downstream the Seine river. The Hôpital des Invalides spurred William III of England to emulation, in the military Greenwich Hospital of 1694.The buildings still comprise the Institution Nationale des Invalides [2], a national institution for disabled war veterans. The institution comprises:
• a retirement home
• a medical and surgical centre
• a centre for external medical consultations.
The most notable tomb at Les Invalides is that of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). Napoleon was initially interred on Saint Helena, but King Louis-Philippe arranged for his remains to be brought to France in 1840, an event known as le retour des cendres. Napoléon's ashes were first buried in the Chapelle Saint-Jérôme in the Invalides until his final resting place, a tomb made of red quartzite and resting on a green granite base, was finished in 1861. Some members of Napoleon's family, several military officers who served under him, and other French military heroes are also buried at Les Invalides:
• Henri Gratien, Comte Bertrand (1773–1844), army general during the First French Empire who accompanied Napoleon to Elba and then St Helena. He brought Napoleon's body back to France in 1840.
• Joseph Bonaparte (1768–1844), Napoleon's elder brother.
• Jérôme Bonaparte (1784–1860), Napoleon's youngest brother.
• Napoleon II (1811–1832) son of Napoleon.
• Thomas Bugeaud (1784–1849), Marshal of France and conqueror of Algeria.
• François Canrobert (1809–1895), Marshal of France.
• Geraud Duroc (1774–1813), general who fought with Napoleon.
• Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760–1836), army captain, author of France's national anthem, La Marseillaise.
• Ferdinand Foch (1851–1929), Marshal of France, Allied Supreme Commander in the First World War.
• Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne (1611–1675), better known as Turenne, Marshal General of France under Louis XIV and one of France's greatest military leaders.
• Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban's heart (1633–1707), designer of Louis XIV's military fortifications.
• Pierre Auguste Roques (1856–1920), founder of the French Air Force and Minister of War in 1916.
• Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque (1902–1947), Marshal of France, hero of World War II, commander of the famous 2nd Armored Division.
• Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (1889–1952), Marshal of France, commander of the French First Army during World War II and later commander in the First Indochina War.The hearts of the following are interred in the vaults of Les Invalides while their bodies rest elsewhere:
• Jean Beryrand, lord of Senneric 1691
• General Jean Baptiste Kléber
• General Jean-Joseph Ange d'Hautpoul 1807
• Major general de Bisson 1811
• Major general Jean Baptiste Eblé (1813)
• Lieutenant general Baraguay d'Hilliers (1813)
• Marie Maurille de Sombreuil, countess of Villelume (1823)
• Lieutenant-general of Conchy (1823)
• Major general Négrier 1848
Works inspired or influenced by Les Invalides
• The present dome of the United States Capitol, designed by Thomas U. Walter, was inspired in part by the dome at Les Invalides. Both are "wedding-cake" style double-shelled domes with an oculus in the inner shell allowing those below to view a circular painting on the inner surface of the outer dome. The Capitol dome's architect Thomas U. Walter, had previously visited Les Invalides, and is said to have been struck by it.
• San Francisco City Hall Built in 1914-1915, opened in the latter year.
• The United States Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland USA, built 1904-1908, architect Ernest Flagg. The chapel was enlarged in 1940, changing it from a Greek cross to a Roman cross. The new section was designed by Philadelphia architect Paul Cret. John Paul Jones is buried in the crypt in a sarcophagus made of marble from the Pyrenees donated by the people of France.
• Panteón de los Héroes built in 1864 and finished in 1936. Cultural Patrimony of Asunción it's an oratory of the Assumption of Mary and inside it rest somsome of the greatest heroes of Paraguay like Francisco Solano López, José Félix Estigarribia and others. Designed by the Italian architect Alessandro Ravizza.