La Recherche sur le Papier de l' Ile de France
France is considered to be one of the most notable countries in the world. It is known for its history in war, monarchy, architecture, landscape, and the beauty of the language itself. France is regarded as the most visited country for vacation and tourists attractions today. Although Paris is the capital of France, a lower province called Ile De France also garners a lot of attention from tourists and informational means. Not only is Ile De France enriched by an enchanting palace, it differs from other French provinces in terms of geography, history, and culture. Over the course of this paper, one will observe the genuineness of the French province, Ile-De-France in all its richness.
To first begin this research paper about Ile-De-France, some important background information must be given. The name "Ile-de-France" has received its name from the ancient Frankish, "little France". It was renamed to the literal Ile-de-France to preserve its nickname from its Frankish roots. It is one of twenty-six administrative regions of France, and is mostly composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area. In 1961, Ile-De-France was created as the "District of the Paris Region". It was renamed after the historic province of "Isle de France" in 1976, when its administrative status was united with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. According to the official French website, "[t]he name first appeared in 1387, replacing the older "Pays de France" when the word pays began to mean 'nation' rather than 'region'.Literally, the name means "Isle of France":meaning the inland peninsula delimited by the Seine, Oise, Ourcq and Marne rivers" (online source). Despite the name change, Île-de-France is still popularly referred to by French people as the Parisian Region. Most of its inhabitants are regarded as "Franciliens". Ninety percent of its territory is covered by the Paris metropolitan area which extends beyond its borders in places.
Ile-de-France is the country's most populated area, but one with numerous sights and wonders. Ile De France is an administrative region with eight departments: Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, and Val D'Oise with 11.7 million inhabitants. The surface of the province is 12, 000 km² and the region counts close to the fifth of the national population. It has more residents than Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal or Sweden, and a comparable population to the US state of Ohio or the Canadian province of Ontario. It is the fourth most populous country subdivision in the European Union after England (of the UK), North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria (both of Germany).
Ile-De-France remains a big natural region. More than 80% of the surfaces remain organized of natural spaces, and less than 20% of earth is urbanized. According to La France Contemporaine, "l'Ile de France don't la superficie represente seulment 2% du territoire national, contient 20% de la population, une desite sept fois plus grande que celle de Lyon, la deuxieme ville francaise (Edmiston and Dumenil 36)."
Most people visit Ile-De-France because it is the host of many enchanting tourist attractions. The city and region contain numerous iconic landmarks, world-famous institutions and popular parks. It is most famous for its sites such as Chartres, Fountainbleau, and Château de Versailles, and the country's capital, Paris.
The Notre Dame of Chartres is a Gothic-styled cathedral, which dates from the late end of the 12th century. It was built and used by the Druids as a religious site. The Chartres Cathedral overlooks surrounding plains and is an architectural achievement. Though the cathedral's structure is splendid, the interior's stained windows are considered to posses some of Europe's best. Fontainebleau was first built as a royal hunting lodge. Over much cultivation, Fontainbleau has become a grand palace with much elegance and is also noticed for its interior design.
The most famous of these tourist attractions are the Château de Versailles, The Château de Versailles is an expansive and appealing palace which was established by King Louis XIV in 1682. It has since grown to become the most awe inspiring palace in the world. In 1682, the Château de Versailles became the official residence of the Court of France. The palace is historic and a unique home of the French monarchy.
The Château de Versailles is one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. The splendor, architecture, and grounds of Versailles are unequalled in the modern world. It was originally built to serve as Louis XIII's personal hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it. Louis the XIV also moved the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. Each of the three French kings who lived in Chateau de Versailles added further developments to make it more beautiful until the French Revolution.
Château de Versailles has four main sections: the Palace, the Garden, the Grand Trianon, and Marie-Antoinette's Estate.
The Palace was where the king and his court resided. Most visitors focus on the Palace, which was the residence of the king and his court. According to dimensionguide.com, the Palace contains over has 700 rooms, more than 2,000 windows, 1,250 fireplaces, 67 staircases, and covers an area of 19,800 acres of land" (Online Source). The Palace is also famous for Le Galerie des Glaces. Dimension guide reveals that it is 75 meters in length with 17 arcades that alternate beautifully with 17 windows" (online source). Other highlights of the interior are Royal Opera, Marble Staircase, Mars Drawing Room, Venus and Diana Drawing Rooms, and the Royal Chapel.
Behind the Palace is the start of the formal gardens and are laid out with a geometrical shape. The garden has about 1,400 fountains and ornamental lakes. The gardens lead towards the Grand Canal which is over a mile long. The waters for the fountains are drawn from the River Seine and about "6.2 million litres of water is needed in every hour to run these fountains" (Dimensions Guide). There are also 300 various statues, busts, and vases that dotted throughout the expanse of the gardens.
The Grand Trianon was built and occupied by Louis XIV. It is a small, classical palace, and private residence for him and his family to escape from the commotion of the court. It was built in the late 17th century. It is a one story building and is also known as the Marble Trianon. The official site of the Châteaux de Versailles explains that "Italian architecture heavily influenced the architecture of the building". (Online)
The last section of the Châteaux de Versailles is Marie-Antoinette's Estate, King Louis XVI's wife. She loved the area and she could return to the pleasures of simple, rural pursuits, away from the pomp of Versailles: "In her Trianon domain... she found the heaven of privacy that enabled her to escape from the rigours of court etiquette. Nobody could come there without her invitation." (versialles). The beauty of Châteaux de Versailles is considered to be the most extravagant castle to have ever been built.
As mentioned before, Paris is the capital of France. It has obtained the nickname "the City of Lights". It is the one of the most visited cities and tourist destinations in the world. According to the official "Ile-De-France website, there is approximately 45 million tourists that visit the Paris region annually where about 60% of whom are foreign visitors (online source). Paris is located in Northern France, on the Seine river at the centre or the heart of the region of Ile-De-France. The city of Paris is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe today.
The culture of Ile-De-France is one that is heavily seen in the country's capital, Paris which also influences the rest of France. The Parisian culture places emphasis the performing arts such as music, drama and theatre, and dance. In an article entitled, "The World's Music", Angel Romero describes the recognition of Parisian music: "Paris is one of the great European capitals for world music. For many years, the city has attracted numerous musicians from former colonies in West Africa and North Africa" (online source). Since many Algerian and Morrocan immigrants have settled in Paris, the music trend is continually being influenced by other foreign cultures to create new types of music. The music ranges from classical, to folk, and even to Europe's most popular night club music, electronic. There are many famous music festivals that Paris produces. The first notable one is Fête de la Musique and is withheld once a year on June 21st. It is celebrated throughout France during midsummer, playing music in the streets, concert halls, parks, clubs, and bars. The second festival is called the Paris Jazz Festival where attendants can lounge around at a park called Parc Floral de Paris. It is a free jazz concert that is put on during the middle of May throughout July. Ile-de-France has also puts on an annual church festival that takes place from June through September, in the churches of St. Lousi-en-L'Ile and St. Germain-de-Pres. They are often guest ensembles and choirs that visit from all over the world playing both early and Baroque masterpieces. Music from different religious traditions such as gospel or Gregorian chant are also put on. The Techno Parade is the one of the only music festivals put on where there are parades of floats playing electronic music. It takes place on the third Saturday of September.
The theatre and drama plays are also emphasized in Paris, Ile-De-France. Many of the Parisian theatres are recreations of old style vaudeville shows. One of the most famous theatres was the Moulin Rouge which was open since 1889. It is where the French CanCan was created and is still regarded as a colourful show. There are also many classical concerts during the season of operas and ballets. Many other famous theatres include Théâtre des Deux Anes, which was famous for its 1920's style look and satirical plays. Folies-Bergère is one of the more famous theatres in Paris, particularly for its former Broadway hits such as Fame and Grease.
According to an online webpage entitled, "Travel Guide", it indicates that the Paris National is the Opera house which puts on many international performances. Such performances include experimental and classical operas, ballets, and some major concerts as well. It was built in the late 19th Century and featured "The Phantom of the Opera" (online source).
Parisian traditions are another large aspect of Ile-De-France region. Such traditions are the festivals that Paris hosts. Such festivals are Journees du Patrimoine, Tour de France, Bastille Day, and the Circus of Tomorrow. The Circus of Tomorrow is a friendly competition between the Bejing and Moscow circuses. According to a website called Sprachcaffe, a more formal tradition includes the beheading of champagne bottles at weddings:
The tradition originated in the time of Napoleon when the Hussards under the famous general's command began celebrating victories by swinging a sabre and thus neatly slicing the top off a champagne bottle. According to legend, the Hussards, skilled cavalry, would ride up at full gallop to one of the ladies holding up the bottle and with one swipe, behead the bottle." Online Source
Since so many tourists visit Paris, it has dramatically increased the number of street performers, artists, and musicians. The street performers commonly engage in small time circus acts such as juggling torches, puppet shows, pet shows, and illusionists and magicians. Street artists often paint the faces of children like an animal or other famous cartoon characters. Artists also create other sketches and portraits of adults or will even paint them. Musicians often serenade bystanders with their guitar talents or sometimes an entire band may choose to participate in performing at the public squares. Sometimes the musicians will play mini classical instruments such as the violin or a ukulele.
The Ile-de-France is also a region. According to a website entitled, The World Wide Gourmet, Il-de-France represents an assortment of original recipes. It is a region known for its specialty foods such as soup, main course meals, and desserts. Since France is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, one could also expect to find rich sea food. Ile-De-France introduced fried whitebait, eel stew, and Bercy turbot. Along with fish, delicacy meat entrees include Côtes de Porc Charcutière, Navarin d'agneau, Rognons de Veau, Pot au Feu Henry IV, Boeuf à la ficelle, et Gibelotte de Lapin. Most of the specialty meats include a lot of beef. Notable desserts include Nanterre brioche, Opéra cake, Paris-Brest, Tarte Bourdaloue, Saint-Honoré, Lemon Tart, Parisian brioche, Poached pears. The region is recognized for its authentic ingredient, the cultivated white mushroom, known in French as the "champignon de Paris" (online source).
Paris, was the home of one of France's most inventive and spectacular painters of the 19th century art movement, Claude-Monet. He was born on November 14th, 1840 in Paris and his parents were both second generation Parisians. However, in 1845, his family moved to Le Havre in Normandy.
In 1857, he met Eugène Boudin, a fellow artist who became his mentor and taught him to use oil paints. Boudin taught Monet "en plein air" (outdoor) techniques for painting becoming an impressionist painter. Like many of the impressionist painters of the time, Monet too was also captivated by the beautiful scenery that Ile-De-France possessed. His paintings include scenery from the notorious rivers of Seine Valley, Ile-De-France: he painted up and down the banks of the Seine, producing paintings such as Break-up of the ice on the Seine. Monet had spent a few years painting more impressionist art in Argenteuil just north of Paris before he moved downriver to a house in Giverny in 1883. Monet was extremely passionate about painting controlled nature such as his own gardens in Giverny; complete with its water lilies, pond, and bridge. Today, Monet's house has been remodelled to match some of the ideas he had possessed and is a tourist attraction for artists from all over the world that are familiar with his revolutionary artistry.
Over the course of this research paper, one can recognize that Ile-De-France has is an extraordinary province, and quite the municipal one at that.
Rooms have been restored to Monet's original designs: the kitchen with its blue tiles, the buttercup-yellow dining room, and Monet's bedroom on the second floor. The house was fully and glamorously restored only in the 1970s, thanks to the millions contributed by fans and patrons (who were often Americans). Reproductions of his works, and some of the Japanese prints he avidly collected, crowd its walls. During this era, French culture had come under the spell of Orientalism, and these framed prints were often gifts from visiting Japanese diplomats, whom Monet had befriended in Paris.
Three years after buying his house and cultivating its garden - which the family called the "Clos Normand" - the prospering Monet purchased another plot of land across the lane to continue his gardening experiments, even diverting the Epte to make a pond. The resulting garden à la japonaise (reached through a tunnel from the "Clos"), with flowers spilling out across the paths, contains the famous "tea-garden" bridge and water-lily pond, flanked by a mighty willow and rhododendrons. Images of the bridge and the water lilies-in French, nymphéas-in various seasons appear in much of Monet's later work. Looking across the pond, it's easy to conjure up the grizzled, bearded brushsmith dabbing at his canvases-capturing changes in light and pioneering a breakdown in form that was to have a major influence on 20th-century art.
The garden is a place of wonder, filled with butterflies, roosters, nearly 100,000 plants bedded every year, and more than 100,000 perennials. No matter that nearly 500,000 visitors troop through it each year; they fade into the background thanks to all the beautiful roses, purple carnations, lady's slipper, aubrieta, tulips, bearded irises, hollyhocks, poppies, daises, lambs' ears, larkspur, and azaleas, to mention just a few of the blooms (note that the water lilies flower during the latter part of July and the first two weeks of August). Even so, during the height of spring, when the gardens are particularly popular, try to visit during midweek. If you want to pay your respects, Monet is buried in the family vault in Giverny's village church.
Performing arts such as drama, food, and architecture, and famous people and paintings festivals, traditions, wine region
Establishment of Ile de France:
- History: Name of Ile De France, Le Chteaux de Versailles, Monarchy + interesting facts
- Culture: traditions/ festivals, food, Tourist Attractions
- Present Ile de France
The Ile-de-France is a historic region and former province of north central France. Paris and its suburbs dominate the region.
"le-de-France." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 27 Feb. 2010
Dumnil, Annie, and William Edmiston. La France contemporaine. 3 ed. Boston, MA: Heinle, 2004. Print.