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PAR    580    PAR

cathedral of Notre Dame, in the old city,—a large
and lofty edifice, with two high and massive tow-
ers, presenting a style of architecture imposing
and curious, and well executed for its early date;
—the church of St. Eustache, a model of light
and graceful classic architecture ;—the churches
of St. Roch and St. Sulpice, modern edifices in a
grand and noble style ;—that of St. Genevieve,
built near the close of the last century,—dese-
crated during the Revolution into a Pantheon for
the remains of the great men of France, with the
simple and sublimely affecting inscription—“ Aux
grands hommes la patrie reconnoissante,” and
re-desecrated in 1830;—admired for its dome,—
sustained by the mass of the building in the form
of a Greek cross at its intersection—its principal
fagade and peristyle of twenty fluted Corinthian
columns imitated from the Pantheon at Rome.
Paris boasts Several palaces, of which the princi-
pal are the Tuileries, with its vast open court and
imposing fagade on the one side, and its public
garden, adorned with alleys of forest trees, terra-
ces , plantations, basins, and copies in marble and
bronze of the most celebrated pieces of sculp-
ture;—the Louvre, with its gallery of works of
art, and its colonnade, regarded as a specimen of
the nearest approach to perfection in architecture ;
the Palace or Chamber of Deputies, with a grand
Corinthian portico, and several statues of colossal
size,—the beautiful Palais Bourbon—both conti-
guous, immediately on the left bank of the Seine;
—the old and majestic Luxembourg, or Chamber
of Peers, with its two grand pavilion wings and
central quadrangle surmounted by a cupola, and
its splendid garden opening on the observatory ;
the Palace of Justice, in the old city, inhabited by
kings of the present dynasty down to the twelfth
in succession, now occupied by the courts of jus-
tice; the Palis Royal, inhabited and recently
repaired by the duke of Orleans, with its adjoin-
ing public garden, galleries and shops,—concen-
trating as in a focus, wealth and idleness, litera-
ture, industry and the arts, gaming and every
other species of dissipation and depravity.

The chief public edifices are the Hospital or
Hotel of Invalids, with its gilded dome, its orna-
mented facade, with central Ionic pilasters, and
a planted esplanade extending before it;—the
Hotel des Monnaies, or mint, in which also all
national medals are struck, with its colonnade,
arcades, and statues, forming a noble facade to-
wards the Seine, on its left bank ;—the Observa-
tory. communicating by a grand avenue with the
Luxembourg;—the Exchange,already mentioned,
built in a simple and noble style, forming a paral-
lelogram
212 feet long and 126 broad, with a
peristyle of sixty-six Corinthian columns.

Three of the sixteen bridges over the Seine
merit particular notice :—the bridge of the Gar-
den of Plants, formerly called Pont d’Austerlitz,
with five arches of iron, remarkable for its ele-
gance and solidity; the Pont d’Jena, changed to
that of “ the Invalids,” at the instance of Blucher,
who was actually laying a train to blow it up in
1815; and between these, from the Louvre to the
Institute, the Pont des Arts, incomparably light
and graceful, and used only by foot passengers.

Ofthe public monuments of art, the most per-
fectly beautiful is
tbe bronze column in the Place
Vendome, modelled
npon that of Trajan at Rome,
but exceeding its
proportions by a twelfth. The
most remarkable merit in this column, perhaps
is, that, presenting in relief on its pedestal the
unclassic trophies of modern war, in every va-
riety of arms and costume, it yet seems perfectly
in the classic and antique style and taste. The
triumphal arch of the Carousel, modelled upon
that of Septimius Severtis at Rome, is unexcep-
tionably beautiful in itself, but small in proportion
to the surrounding area, and rendered for a time
still more disproportionate by the removal of the
celebrated Venetian horses of Lysippus with their
car from its summit, in 1815. These, however,
have been recently replaced by an exact copy in
bronze. It has. like its model, three arcades in
front, with an additional transverse arcade. The
modern triumphal arch at Neuilly exceeds the
arch of the Carousel, and even those of Louis
XIV. at the gates of St. Denis and St. Martin, in
grandeur and advantage of position, rather than
beauty. Colossal statues have been re-erected to
Henry IV. on the Pont Neuf, and Louis XIV. in
the Place des Victoires.

Judging by the daily congregation of thousands
ofboth sexes in the open air,—young men idly lol-
ling or lounging,—old men, with even a cer
tain air of gravity, wasting life in the coffee-
houses and public gardens,—the gaming-houses
equally public and crowded,—one would be dis-
posed to pronounce the people of Paris a race the
most frivolous, idle, and depraved. But the loung
ers and gamesters are, to a considerable extent,
congregated from all parts of Europe; and the
old men are small annuitants, content with their
actual means of subsistence,—without further in-
crease by industry or speculation. Science, liter-
ature, and the fine arts, are at the same time cul
tivated in a still greater proportion of numbers by
the studious and the industrious, and with every
advantage which schools of public instruction, li
hraries, and museums, can afford. The public
schools and colleges forming component branch-
es of one great system of public education in med-
icine, jurisprudence, and the military art, abstract
and experimental science, literature, the fine and
useful arts, from the institute down to the two ad-
mirable institutions for the instruction of the blind
and the deaf and dumb, with appropriate and some
noble edifices devoted to them, and lectures by
eminent professors, either gratuitous or on mod-
erate terms, are too numerous to be detailed. The
chief public libraries are five in number:—the Roy
al Library, containing 500,000 vols., 100,000
MSS., 100,000 medals, and 1,500,000 engrav-
ings ; the Mazarine Library, 93,000 vols., and

41.000 MSS.; the Library of the Arsenal, 170,000
vols., 6,000 MSS.; the Library of St. Genevieve,

110.000 vols., and 2,000 MSS.; the City Library,

42.000 vols. The principal museums are that, or
rather those, of the Garden of Plants,—an incom-
parable temple of natural science in every branch,
raised chiefly by the illustrious Buffon, and his
worthy successor, the late count Lacepede ; the
Louvre, still containing 1,200 pictures and 500
pieces of sculpture, among which are many chefs
d’ceuvre ; and the Conversatory of Useful Arts
(Arts'et Metiers,) containing specimens or models
of the machinery and instruments used in every
branch of manufacture.

Paris is the great centre, not only of French but
of continental intellect in literature and science.
From its press issue the most valuable, if not the
greatest number, of literary publications ; and it
has a still more decided lead in scientific research
and discovery. Paris is also as decidedly the
first manufacturing town of France. Its princi-
pal manufacturing establishments called royal, are
three:—the Gobelins tapestry, to which that ot





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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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