Located at the very center of Paris, the 1st arrondissement is both the historic and tourist center of the city. Perhaps a bit surprisingly (or perhaps not), it also holds the title of the least densely populated district of Paris: most buildings in the district are commercial, cultural, or public, but not residential.
There is quite a lot to see in the 1st arrondissement. The world’s most visited museum, the Louvre, is located here (its principal courtyard entrance marked by the famous pyramid by I.M.Pei), as do a hanful of other museums.
Even those on the tightest possible schedules absolutely have to see two magnificent squares in the center of Paris - the Place de la Concorde designed by 18th century architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel (it was “furnished” in the mid-19th century by Jacques-Ignace Hittorf) and the Place Vendôme, featuring a column celebrating Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz.
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