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Paris by night by 15000 by 520 pixels
December 13, 2005 8:15 AM   Subscribe

This utterly stunning panorama of Paris by night (WARNING! 15000x520 image, 1.8mb) is almost too good to be true. You can see so many landmarks it's ridiculous - this version has them labelled for your convenience. I traced it back to Arnaud Friche's gallery of panoramic photographs of Paris, churches and cathedrals, and other cities. There are so many beautiful hi-res photographs here that I won't waste any more of your time talking about them.
posted by BlackLeotardFront (66 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those panoramic shots are simply amazing. Thanks for the links.
posted by purephase at 8:27 AM on December 13, 2005


La Tour St. Jaques?
Espece de merde, d'ou ca vien?
posted by Busithoth at 8:28 AM on December 13, 2005


What about the warning for annoying music?
posted by NationalKato at 8:28 AM on December 13, 2005


Wow. just wow. Thanks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:31 AM on December 13, 2005


I have never heard of Arnuad Frich before, so I was trying to find more information about him and I came across this site about root-pinhole cameras. It's not the actual device used to create these photographs, but it's an interesting breakdown of how these cameras work.
posted by purephase at 8:34 AM on December 13, 2005


I found a few of these on Google Images a while back - it's great to see them together on the same page.
posted by fire&wings at 8:36 AM on December 13, 2005


terrific! thanks for this.....i am ready to go back....
posted by pondage at 8:40 AM on December 13, 2005


The odd spotting on top of the old eloquent building are all the Tv antennas ...you'd think the tenants could share un.
Black&White photos high light my spotting on the building tops better. For some reason it reminds me of the movie The Lady and The Tramp.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:42 AM on December 13, 2005


So I wonder where is this shot taken from?
posted by uni verse at 8:48 AM on December 13, 2005


a beautiful city.
posted by Paris Hilton at 8:55 AM on December 13, 2005


Gorgeous photo, but also could've used a warning about the lame music...
posted by blastrid at 8:56 AM on December 13, 2005


Oo la la!
posted by mazola at 8:56 AM on December 13, 2005


"[Paris] was built, so far as Jack could tell, on the principle that there was nothing you couldn't accomplish if you crowded a few tens of millions of peasants together on the best land in the world and then never stopped raping their brains out for a thousand years.

Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver
posted by sourwookie at 9:02 AM on December 13, 2005


Merci!
posted by nixerman at 9:02 AM on December 13, 2005


How is that city ever gonna live up to that when I go there in a few months?
posted by travosaurus at 9:02 AM on December 13, 2005


travosaurus, the city's built for walking, and will live up to it handily, I think. Most main avenues have landmarks (or points of interest, anyway) at both ends, so you have something to walk to/from all over the place.

I miss the city...
oh, and I forgot to thankee for the link earlier,
thanks!
posted by Busithoth at 9:09 AM on December 13, 2005


These are great. Thanks for the links.
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:13 AM on December 13, 2005


Beautiful photos - almost feel like i don't even need to visit Paris now. Almost. Thanks for sharing!
posted by geeky at 9:17 AM on December 13, 2005


Incroyable!
posted by VulcanMike at 9:19 AM on December 13, 2005


So I wonder where is this shot taken from?

From Notre-Dame cathedral, obviously. Or not that far from it.

La Tour St. Jaques?
Espece de merde, d'ou ca vien?


Is this an actual question ?
posted by XiBe at 9:19 AM on December 13, 2005


thanks! great post.
posted by farishta at 9:22 AM on December 13, 2005


Weird how all the world's big cities now are lit with that flat orange-white sodium glow. A little depressing. Still, a beautiful city.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:22 AM on December 13, 2005


Weird how all the world's big cities now are lit with that flat orange-white sodium glow.

It's better than the pre-modern age alternative, which was pretty much inky blackness and extraordinarily dangerous streets at night. Move more than 20 feet from the door of a pub or church and you were pretty much in no man's land. Does the word "footpad" ring a bell? The city nightscape is a modern marvel, a new thing on the cultural stage.

One good book that explores some of this is:
Cultures of Darkness: Night Travels in the Histories of Transgression
posted by meehawl at 9:35 AM on December 13, 2005


xibe, yeah, when did that thing pop up?
I have no memory of it, (or the jussieu tower, either).

Maybe it's just the vantage point, but I thought Montparnasse was the only skyscraper in the city.
posted by Busithoth at 9:35 AM on December 13, 2005


Disappointing.

No ferrari going 145 Miles per hour or nuthin...

:-(
posted by Skygazer at 9:50 AM on December 13, 2005


Weird how all the world's big cities now are lit with that flat orange-white sodium glow.

That's so when you come stumbling drunk out of a bar at night ,you can't find your car. Since these lights change the appearance of many car paints.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:51 AM on December 13, 2005


So I wonder where is this shot taken from?

It looks like from the building next to Notre Dame. The one just north of it in this Google Map.
posted by smackfu at 10:00 AM on December 13, 2005


C'est superb, non?

Brilliant. Can't see the splicing!
posted by jonthegeologist at 10:05 AM on December 13, 2005


How is that city ever gonna live up to that when I go there in a few months?

No worries, it will live up to it and then some. For one thing you'll be looking up at things like the cathedrals, and the sheer size of them will get you. Paris is a beautiful city, particularly at night.

I personally recommend a visit to Sainte Chappelle. It's now very much tucked away by surrounding buildings and you could easily miss it, or worse, dismiss it as yet another historic church. However it boasts 600 square meters (6,456 sq ft) of stained glass, and the view from inside is jaw-dropping. The pictures here and here don't do it justice.
posted by Zinger at 10:07 AM on December 13, 2005


I second zinger's recommendation.
It's centrally located, and kind of mind-blowing, if you can wrap your brain around the fact that it's not a movie set. Cute place for kings to observe, the glass there still displays my favorite hues of Red and Blue in the spectrum. Truly, awesome.

It's pretty cool, also, that it's located next to France's upper courts.
posted by Busithoth at 10:19 AM on December 13, 2005


Sigh. I've only been to Paris once, on a whirlwind 8 hour tour (I took the chunnel train over while visiting with friends in London). This makes me really want to go back for an extended visit.

Wonderful link!
posted by aladfar at 10:25 AM on December 13, 2005


Like Zinger said: Saint-Chappelle is awesome. The view and atmosphere as good if not better than Notre Dame, in large part because it is never as crowded.
posted by whatzit at 10:28 AM on December 13, 2005


Saint-Chapelle also has (or used to have) a resident string quartet that played Mozart and Bach (violin and double violin concertos) in the evening - well worth going to at least once (although my visit was ruined by tourists applauding and shouting 'bravo' after every movement, so that they abandoned after the first movement of the double and played the second movement as an encore ...).
posted by carter at 10:32 AM on December 13, 2005


P.S. - thanks for the pics!
posted by carter at 10:32 AM on December 13, 2005


carter, while I've enjoyed the quartet as well (nice reverb in the place) the light coming through the windows is really something to behold.

by the way, people have been referencing the lighting of the city...

I have always found the French have a fantastic sense of lighting as far as buildings go. the Eiffel Tower was one of the best examples (though I'm no fan of the beacon they stuck on top and definately could do without the flashies they put all over it). Watching the tower's lights go off (around 1am) was always a great part of an evening walk for me.

The sandstone buildings are illumnated wonderfully throughout the city, though, I always found.
posted by Busithoth at 10:43 AM on December 13, 2005


I have always found the French have a fantastic sense of lighting as far as buildings go.

If by fantastic you mean "bright" then yeah. Look up next time, the most common method of uplighting a building is going to the French equivilent of Home Depot, buying a whack load of 500 watt halogen work lights and uplighting the buildings with them. Crude but very effective. Then again, a simple solution is required to retrofit things built a couple hundred years ago.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:50 AM on December 13, 2005


Impressive stitching and blending work, especially considering the widely-varying light the photographyer faced from shot to shot.
posted by brain_drain at 10:54 AM on December 13, 2005


keith, exactly.
plus, I used to think it might just be that the buildings are inherently beautiful, and lit up you notice them more. but I'm not so sure. you haven't been to city hall, have you? I think there's more sublety than you may be aware of to the methods used. There are shadows, and they're used to good effect.

Now, if you want crude, just take a bateau mouche (riverboat lined with insanely strong floodlights along both sides, for those who've not been) along the river. Then, it'd look as you describe. But if you're looking at a building already when one of these passes by, you'll notice the difference.
posted by Busithoth at 10:58 AM on December 13, 2005


Busithoth - yes I agree - and I have a boatload of blurry interior pics of the windows somewhere ;) I also went to St-Germain-des-Prés (for Russian choral music and Mozart's requiem) and thought both the church and acoustics to be fabulous.

I think the natural light in Paris in general is wonderful, especially after a storm.
posted by carter at 11:01 AM on December 13, 2005


Thanks for the post. No, Paris will never disappoint, especially at night. Paris is why the French are arrogant, and they're almost, almost justified in being that way.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:03 AM on December 13, 2005


Paris after dark belies what a crock the North American "dark skies" fetish is.

Or maybe not, being that we generally have nothing worth lighting.
posted by Keith Talent at 11:10 AM on December 13, 2005


Paris is so hawt!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:11 AM on December 13, 2005


I have always found the French have a fantastic sense of lighting as far as buildings go.
The reflection of light is how I looked at it. iirc one the oldest photo's known was taken in Paris. Also, the father of impressionism painting is Monet who is known for capturing the light in his paintings.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:13 AM on December 13, 2005


Thanks.
posted by cribcage at 12:02 PM on December 13, 2005


stunning panorama of Paris by night

(Sophomoric Chuckle)
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:00 PM on December 13, 2005


Does anyone know if there is in fact a Hilton in Paris? Rudimentary Google says no, but I am unwilling to search for Paris Hilton while at work.
posted by Sparx at 1:49 PM on December 13, 2005


yes, there is a hilton in Paris.
-sigh-
posted by Busithoth at 1:59 PM on December 13, 2005


Thanx Busithoth: I find that oddly reassuring.
posted by Sparx at 2:20 PM on December 13, 2005


no problem.
posted by Busithoth at 2:32 PM on December 13, 2005


What's the difference between the Hilton Paris and Paris Hilton?

Not everyone has been inside the Hilton Paris.

(Apologies to Surrey girls and Ferraris.)
posted by Keith Talent at 3:01 PM on December 13, 2005


By the way, the lead photo is not an especially beautiful one; and certainly nothing like actually being in those locations at night: it looks much, much more beautiful and dream-like.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:01 PM on December 13, 2005


Not everyone has been inside the Hilton Paris.
Yea...in 1999 while I was there, the front entrance had French police stationed there holding machine guns, fwiw.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:31 PM on December 13, 2005


Or maybe not, being that we generally have nothing worth lighting.
Mt. Rushmore, the best the US has to light, imho. At 3am was the time I saw it lit up. The neat part was seeing the night's black sky glaring the heavenly stars shinning brightly above. For all you star gazers, impressive - because nature's beauty was not filtered away by human lighting.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:42 PM on December 13, 2005


I spent a long weekend in Paris back in 2000 and this link brought back a flood of memories. Thank you much!

I've plans to spend a couple weeks visiting friends in London in April...Paris in the springtime...mmmm.....
posted by phoenixc at 5:56 PM on December 13, 2005


Glad you all enjoyed it, with the notable exceptions of ParisParamus (who understandably prefers the original) and possibly CynicalKnight (whose objection is .. I'm not sure).

Sorry if there was music, I didn't hear any. You have to know I would have put something if I did.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:32 PM on December 13, 2005


Nor did I hear music. Thanks BlackLeotardFront. I thought I was the only soundless one.
posted by Cranberry at 8:11 PM on December 13, 2005




This site made my little heart go all pitter-patter, thinking back to those three months I lived (and worked) in Paris. What an amazing place. I'd go back in a second, if I could afford it! (The dollar was a lot stronger back then, just before the Euro went into circulation.)

Contrary to the impressions many Americans get of the French (or Parisians, rather), I found them most civilized and polite. And I didn't even speak any French. At least I did try to though, which they seemed to appreciate...as opposed to, " EXCUSE ME, DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?"

Come to think of it, some Parisians did have the annoying habit of cutting in line right in front of you, then looking back at you as if to say, "so what?" That pissed me off.
posted by tritisan at 12:17 AM on December 14, 2005


tritisan- your post mirrors my thoughts, although I speak broken french ... such a beautiful city.

Thank you for the post BlackLeotardfront; images of Paris always take me back to better times. A literal translation barely scratches the surface, but one could say:

J'ai perdu mon coeur à Paris
posted by AllesKlar at 12:38 AM on December 14, 2005


Busithoth : xibe, yeah, when did that thing pop up?
I have no memory of it, (or the jussieu tower, either).

Maybe it's just the vantage point, but I thought Montparnasse was the only skyscraper in the city.


You were mistaken : la tour Saint Jacques is legitimate, old Paris location, and not at all a skyscraper. It might look like so on the picture, but it's in fact being refurbished at that moment.
It's actually 52 meters high (170 feet), and dates all the way back to 1523. Here are a few pics.
posted by XiBe at 5:00 AM on December 14, 2005


Oh, and as for the tour de Jussieu, it's part of the university of the same name. The whole building (it's big, the tower is only a small part of it, reserved to the administration of the university), is quite ugly, but can't be compared to la tour Montparnasse either. It's 26 stages-high, and was built in the 70's. The whole university is fugly, and the center of much controversies since its inception.
posted by XiBe at 5:11 AM on December 14, 2005


XiBe, what's the current consensus view on the new National Library? Good? Bad? Neither?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:43 AM on December 14, 2005


Holy crap, I didn't recognize St. Jaques (or it's name after all this time). That Jussieu building, though, I must have just ignored willingly everytime I walked the quais. Thanks for the refresher, though. (and the lesson on Jussieu, I think I only really grew familiar with the subway stop)
posted by Busithoth at 11:14 AM on December 14, 2005


ParisParamus : asa far as I can tell, it's pretty much accepted. People recognize it was a pharaonic waste a money, badly designed (slipery walkways and panels put on windows to prevent books from light), plus the really good part is reserved to the elite, so, well... But it gave a new life to this area of Paris, people pic-nic there, it's become much more cultural over there.

Busithoth : it's right here.
posted by XiBe at 4:14 PM on December 14, 2005


XiBe, thanks again. I walked Paris dozens of times, using the train stations as my benchmark, and yet I can't remember seeing this thing peeking above the other buildings. ah well.

given the number of times I've pored over this photo since it was posted, I think it's safe to say I need to head back soon.
posted by Busithoth at 9:40 PM on December 14, 2005


It does look superb, is it really that beautiful?? Or am i just being a cynic!
posted by maxmix at 1:57 AM on December 15, 2005


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