Travel in Europe - Paris 信步巴黎 - 4

来源:中国英语学习网  日期:2007-01-16  阅读 次  作者:Ben  评论   划词
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Just across the street from Les Invalides, sits one of the best small museums in Europe. The Rodin Museum is filled with work by the greatest sculptors since Michelangelo. Influenced by both the classical and modern, this 19th century artist's work is sensuous and involving. Rodin spent the last year of his life here and donated the collection to the French government. Both the beautiful 18th century house and its peaceful garden are filled with his work. I'm a regular here.

For a totally different experience, cross the street to the Hotel des Invalides which chronicles the history of France's wars.

This is Europe's largest military museum. We can wander through a collection of armaments captured from France's enemies all the way back to the 17th century.

Under the grand dome, the Emperor Napoleon lies majestically dead surrounded by the tombs of other great French soldiers. I find these relics of war thought-provoking, patriotism against patriotism, the nameless dead and the romantic heros.

The first complete war economy gave Napoleon an army of 600, 000 men. He marched them into Russia , came back with, barely a handful.

The revolution of 1789 had brought to an end the old notion that some were born to rule and others to be ruled. The bourgeoisie had carved itself a healthy slice of Europe's social and economic pie and Paris was the capital of Europe.

People talked of the New Rome and Napoleon encouraged the neoclassical style to further this symbolism.

The most imposing symbol was the Arc de Triomphe. Napoleon had this built around 1807 to commemorate his military victories. Not content with mere copies of antient Roman arches , for Napoleon, bigger was better.

In fact, it's the largest triumphal arch in the world. It's part of the neoclassical revival, forever associated with the Napoleonic Empire. A revival which, in keeping with the age of reason, turned churches into temples of reason and at least on paper guaranteed that the government was by, for, and of the people.

Excavations at Pompeii had helped to restore care and interest in Roman life and when the revolution had thrown out the French aristocracy, it had also thrown out their baroque frills. Society was ready for the realistic, dignified and simple qualities which typified the neoclassical movement.


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