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Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis. Best places, museums and attractions

Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis

Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis, with their eight bridges, they unite the left bank and the bank of the Seine. They are two areas exactly at the antipodes. The first, chaotic and always in ferment with the Palace of Justice, the Prefecture, the Court of Commerce; the second, where peace and tranquility are breathed. The itinerary takes about half a day.


Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis

With the Metro get off at the stop Pont Marie o Sully-Morland and start the tour, starting from the quiet island St-Louis where you can admire beautiful seventeenth-century buildings. Do not miss the Hotel de Jassaud at the 19 of Quai de Bourbon: frontoni of the façade, balcony and portal have been declared a national monument. At the center of the islet, Rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile it is a lively and happy street with many galleries and bookshops.

Do not miss a stop at “Berthillon”, one of the best and most famous ice cream in Paris. Of course, an unusual row will await you, and prices quite expensive. Not far from here, the church does not go unnoticed; a clock can be seen outside, as if it were a sign.

Crossing Pont St-Louis access to the Ile de la Cité, where, immediately, the real masterpiece of Gothic art appears: the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris. It is, absolutely, among the most beautiful and harmonious French Gothic buildings, with a plan with five naves. The visit to the cathedral is obviously a must for anyone who goes to Paris, just like the Eiffel Tower.

Notre Dame Paris

You can admire the western façade with its sculpted portals, the Gallery of the Kings, the rose window and the famous two towers, 69 meters high. Grotesque figures overlook the façade. These are the chimeras, frightening mythological monsters flanked by the amazing ‘gargouilles’, the grinning figures of Notre Dame. In the part of the transept we find the Portal of the Cloister of 1250, the Red Gate of 1270, the Portal of St Etienne, the rosettes (including the largest and best known, the north rose window of 13 meters in diameter). Coming to the summit, you can enjoy a breathtaking view.

Following the serious fire on April 15, 2019, the building and the entire surrounding area are closed to the public. Consolidation and safety works are still in progress. All that remains is to contemplate its beauty from the narrow streets of the Île de la Cité, from the bridges of the Seine, from the quays of the left bank and from the Île Saint Louis.

More information on the official website.

The Conciergerie, the Palais de Justice and the Ste-Chapelle Church are concentrated in the small size of the island. We recommend a visit during your tour of Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis. Place Dauphine is located at the top of the island, and has a triangular shape: here you will find numerous cafes and wine bars to relax and stop for a break. Do not miss the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in the city, much loved by artists, and whose name evokes a film that is part of the pearls of the Cinema: “the Lovers of the Pont Neuf”.

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