Every travel itinerary in Paris usually includes all well-known spots in the city, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Louvre Museum. In reality, there are alternative ways to experience Paris if we have visited those popular attractions multiple of times. Any seasoned traveller will choose the less-travelled paths. Anyone who is eager to learn something new about Paris can visit these alternative attractions. The Lutece Arena allows us to return into a time before Paris became Paris. At the time, the area is occupied by a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii, which the city would finally take its name in the 4th century.
When Julius Caesar, the famed Roman emperor conquered the area, the city was known as Lutetia or Lutecia. An amphitheatre that could more than 16,000 spectators was built by the Romans in 2nd century AD. For the benefit of local Roman population, it was a place that’s similar to Coliseum in Rome, where gladiators fought and prisoners fed to beasts of prey. Men-eating events ceased altogether after the Roman Empire crumbled. During the Barbarian invasion, the arena was badly damages and it became a cemetery. In order to defend Paris, a large rampart was constructed upon the ruins in 12th century.
To the great surprise among all archaeologists, the arena was finally re-discovered. When it was first unearthed, the local authority didn’t have the necessary funds to fully excavate the ruins. A series of attempts was made for the following years to improve the site. Unfortunately, the ruin remains “stealthy”, but discovering itself can feel like an adventure right in the urban areas of Paris. First of all, we could open mapping software in our smartphone and go to the Monge station with subway. Next, we could go to No. 47 Rue Monge by foot. Look for a hallway and walk along its corridor.
This is the area where the sandy surface of the arena was. We could imagine the ghosts of ferocious beasts who eager for human prey. We could see around for anything that has been unearthed from the ancient arena. After this achievement, we could walk outside and reward ourselves with a decent lunch at nearby eating places! While savouring our meal, we could take an amazing mental leap to about 2000 years ago. The Botanical Gardens are another alternative attraction in Paris. It is a place that will tickle the interest of any plant-loving travellers.
The place was constructed under the reign of Louis XIV, who also presided over the construction of the Versailles Palace. The Botanical garden or the Jardin des Plantes is essentially a group of individual garden with its own peculiar charm. There are also other structures in the area, including the Magny Mansion and the Botanical School. It is a home to variety of medicinal plants, trees, vegetables and flowers. The Alpine Garden stands out amongst these beauties. It features plants from different countries, including Japan, Moroccos, the United States and Balkan states.