• Posted:Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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See the lesser-known sights of Paris

Posted in: Travel
See the lesser-known sights of Paris
I'm a big fan of wandering off the beaten track, it's the best reason for travelling, although it generally works better in a city that you know quite well and have already spent time in, looking at all the more touristy things on offer. Those staying in Paris hostels for the umpteenth time probably know what I'm talking about. There's only so many times you can look up at the Eiffel Tower in wonder - I bet the native Parisians don't even notice it any more.

So, if that sounds familiar, consider following the words of wisdom of one journalist who has gone on a Jewish tour of the city, forsaking the more obvious monuments of choice. Linda Tucker of the Jewish Week recommended that people head to a plaza on the Quai de Grenelle, where a sculpture stands in honour of those involved in the Rafle du Velodrome d'Hiver. It was commissioned by French president Francois Mitterand and made by Walter Spitzer - himself a survivor of the event - in 1993, depicting a group of men, women and children.

Ms Tucker also referred to a monument on Charles de Gaulle Esplanade, which was made by Shlomo Selinger and displays lots of Jewish representations and symbols, with the three stone blocks forming the Hebrew letter shin - or Shaddai - which indicates the Guardian of the Doors of Israel.

Those interested in learning more about the Holocaust might also like to step into the Memorial de la Shoah, which is the biggest research centre in Europe and can be found in the Marais district of the city. It includes a museum, a remembrance monument and a documentation centre, with the exhibition hall displaying films, posters and photographs. Between March and August, a documentary is being put on showing the films made by the Germans at the concentration camps.

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