Known adoringly as the City of Light, Paris attracts visitors from all over the world. They come to marvel at her beauty, and it is this that is captured in the pages of this beautifully photographed volume. Covering all the most important sights and arrondissements, The Secrets of Paris documents the infinitely varied face of this remarkable metropolis – from the grand Hausmann-era Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe, to the delightful staircases of Montmartre, from the Gothic splendor of Notre Dame to the ultra-modern Grande Arche de la Défense.
The Secrets of Paris takes you on an amazing journey through the rich history and architectural heritage of the city. Stunning photographs are brought to life by Michael Kerrigan’s insights into Paris’s historic past and contemporary life. The Roman amphitheatre of ancient Lutetia, the Medieval Latin Quarter and the Sorbonne, the exquisite Beaux-Arts Musée d’Orsay and the futuristic Centre Georges Pompidou are all here. Also evoked is the atmosphere of Paris, from intimate bars and bistros – once the backdrop to artists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso – to street markets and the food shops of Place de la Madeleine, to wide boulevards filled with racing traffic and lined with dazzling Belle-Époque cafés. Quiet, hidden gems are also revealed. The Village Saint-Paul or the Square Georges-Cain, both in the Marais, or the Cour Damoye in the Bastille, are tranquil, picturesque, almost forgotten havens in the heart of the sprawling city and to visit them can feel like stepping back in time. The Secrets of Paris is a stunningly diverse pictorial guide to this captivating city.
Michael Kerrigan is the author of Modern Art and 100 Great Art Masterpieces and has written widely on European culture, literature and history. He also reviews for the Times Literary Supplement and the Guardian, London. He lives in Edinburgh.