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Paris Rooftops, Windows, and Doors

When we visited Paris last year, I became obsessed with the rooftops. Each building seemed to have a unique mix of windows, cast iron railings, balconies, and chimneys–so many chimneys!

I wasn’t sure what I loved most about these architectural details, but I took a ton of photos of them and planned to share them in a post.

Then I forgot.

Yesterday, my friend shared a link she found with several lovely photos of Paris rooftops. It turns out, I’m not the only traveler enchanted by those rooftops!

I think it maybe because these elements make the buildings feel so lived-in. Which makes sense, because from floor to ceiling, these buildings are very much lived-in!

Though there are few tall buildings in Paris, the city is actually twice as dense as New York City. For many years, the city enforced strict height restrictions which led to most buildings being no more than about 5 or 6 stories high. Parisians utilize into every square foot of space of that residential space and pack tiny residential units into the narrowest of spaces, including the attics.

Because we were constantly up and down, we had the opportunity to see the city from lots of different vantage points which allowed us to get up close and personal with these roofs, windows and doors. Many of the buildings had the historic styling that is so characteristic of the old city, but there were a lot of interesting, modernist construction sprinkled in. I loved the mix of old and new, well-maintained and nearly crumbling.

Here are some photos of pretty (gritty, and interesting!) Paris rooftops and buildings:

Paris Travel Inspiration: Lovely Rooftops, Windows & Doors

Paris Travel Inspiration: Lovely Rooftops, Windows & Doors

Paris Travel Inspiration: Lovely Rooftops, Windows & Doors

Lovely Paris Rooftops

Lovely Paris Rooftops

Lovely Paris Rooftops

Unique Paris rooftops

Unique Paris rooftops

Unique Paris rooftops

Lovely Paris Rooftops

Lovely Paris Rooftops

Modern Paris Windows

View from the rooftop deck at Printemps department store in Paris

View from the rooftop deck at Printemps department store in Paris

View from the rooftop deck at Printemps department store in Paris

Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix cathedral in Menilmontant, Paris

Modern windows in Paris

Modern windows in Paris

Ornate doorway in Paris
View from the roof of the Printemps department store in Paris

An ornate doorway in Paris

An ornate doorway in Paris

Ornate Paris rooftops

Paris windows

Paris rooftops, windows, and doors

Lovely Paris windows

Rooftops of Monmartre, Paris

Colorful stained glass roof of the Galleries Lafayette, in Paris

Paris rooftops

Cat climbing in an open rooftop window -- Menilmontant, Paris

Cat climbing in an open rooftop window -- Menilmontant, Paris

The mosaic door of the Saint-Jean de Montmartre cathedral, Paris

Gargoyles on the roof of The Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Gargoyles on the roof of The Sacré-Cœur Basilica

A street scene in Montmartre, Paris

Paris graffiti by "SuperBoris"

Revolutionary bookstore in Paris

Windows of Montmartre, Paris

Over the rooftops of Paris


What is your favorite city for architecture?

Comments

  1. I love these! Nice capture of the cat going in the window. My favorite city for architecture is Prague.
    Jenna recently posted…My Top 40 Travel TipsMy Profile

    • Cassie Kifer says:

      Thanks, Jenna! I’m a cat lover, so I was excited to get that shot :) I haven’t been to Prague, but Kev is going this fall so I’m eager to see his photos!

  2. Wow, what amazing pictures you have taken of Paris. I am in love with gargoyles and you have captured them perfectly. Thanks for taking me there!
    Nick Dean recently posted…DIY – How to Shine and Care for Your Shoes At HomeMy Profile

    • Cassie Kifer says:

      You’re welcome! I loved the gargoyles, too–and all the buildings with sculptures of human bodies built into them!

  3. So beautiful! You really made me want to book my next trip there.
    margalit francus recently posted…A Taste of Paradise -Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream ,HollywoodMy Profile

  4. I’ve always loved that about Paris. The way that the buildings are majestic and and restricted by height. I think if there were too many Montparnasse towers then I would get quite upset.

    I would like to know who super boris is, he seems to have a big ego :)
    Vincent Ng recently posted…The Benefits of Repinning Old Pins on PinterestMy Profile

    • Cassie Kifer says:

      Vincent, exactly! Montparnasse is such an eyesore. I read the construction of Montparnasse was actually the reason for those height restrictions–Parisians wanted to prevent the city from permitting another such skyscraper in the old part of the city.

      And I’m so curious about Boris, too! I didn’t even share the best shot, the one we saw every time we stepped out of the subway stop near our apartment: http://photos.everintransit.com/Paris-France/i-7ZKbfQZ/A

  5. steve zimmett says:

    love the photos taken by By Cassie Kifer

  6. These are great! I think you definitely ‘looked up’ a lot more than we did – some super cool angles here.
    NZ Muse recently posted…Where can you fly for $500? $1000? Or more?My Profile

  7. I absolutely love Parisian rooftops also. My rooftop pic on my post http://www.aholeinmyshoe.com/2014/04/09/paris-in-springtime-just-another-cliche/ is my favourite.
    Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe recently posted…Oh ViennaMy Profile

  8. I love these photos!
    Stephanie recently posted…TBEX TakeawaysMy Profile

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