Paris, the beautiful capital of la belle France, and the point of attraction for wealthy pleasure seekers from all the continents. Thanks to revolutionary fires, but more especially to the energy and artistic taste of Baron Hauss- mann, Prefect of the Seine under Napoleon III, who acquired ( and exercised vigorously) authority to obliterate extensive sections of unsightly and insanitary streets and alleys, and replaced them with broad and straight high ways, handsome boulevards and costly monuments of the architect's skill. The public spirit, perseverance and heedlessness of expense shown in this great undertaking, together with subsequent beautifying work on either side of the Seine, and the bridges crossing it, have made of Paris a city of magnificence unequaled by any other of the capitals of Europe.
In Paris it is easy to find one's way about, especially on the right bank of the Seine. From the Arc de Triomphe the grand Avenue des Champs Elyse'es terminates in the Place de la Concorde, which adjoins the gardens of the Tuileries and the immense block of the Palais du Louvre. Follow the Rue de Rivoli for a mile farther, and you come to the Place de la Bastille; take the Grand Boulevards to the left, follow them for a couple of miles, and the traveler will find himself at the Madeleine, close again to the Place de la Concorde.
The traveler with limited time at his disposal cannot do better than avail himself of the sightseeing " brakes," which in three days will give him a good general idea of the principal sights, and then he should go over the ground again by himself more leisurely. There are many interesting excursions outside the city, among which are the magnificent Bourbon Palace of Versailles; the porcelain factory at Sevres; the old palaces and museums at St. Germain; the ancient abbey church of St. Denis, where most of the kings of France were buried, from Clovis to Louis XV; the Donjon at Vincennes, and the Napoleonic chateaux of Fontainebleau, Chantilly and Compiegne.
As Paris and its environs, including the Chateaux District of the Loire, largely represent France, a knowledge of French history will greatly enhance the enjoyment of most of the places visited ; for, notwithstanding her many destructive revolutions, the French have managed to save a number of relics of bygone days. Ten days or a fortnight is not too much time to spend in Paris and its surroundings. The season commences with the opening of the Salon of Fine Arts, May 1, and ends with the Grand Prix de Paris (horse-race) at Longchamps, about the middle of June. The city is then at its best, and it is almost impossible to tear one's self away from it and its fascinating pleasures.