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A Parisian photo diary

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Paris has long been held in public esteem as a beacon of chic style, the arts and romance. It is the domain of Coco Chanel and Brigitte Bardot, Victor Hugo and Claude Debussy. Situated on the River Seine it flows out across the Île-de-France, making the region the wealthiest and most populated in the country.

Thousands of tourists each year are captivated by its charm. A stroll along the Left Bank reveals the Assemblée Nationale, the pretty Jardin du Luxembourg and the historic Montparnasse district, while on the sophisticated Right Bank are the inimitable Champs-Élysées and Musée du Louvre. Phil Brooks takes a leisurely wander through the city and shows us some of Paris' finest perspectives.

Commissioned by Napoleon, the Arc de Triomphe is now one of Paris' most famous monuments and stands at the intersection of 12 avenues at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.

The personification of Paris is flanked by ancient gods on the roof of the Gare du Nord.

The magnificent dome of Les Invalides stands high above the surrounding buildings and casts a beautiful golden reflection across the city in the early morning.

Paris' highest point needs no introduction...

...while below ground, the bones of hundreds of Parisians lay at rest in the catacombs.

The Jardin du Luxembourg, where Marius looks for Cosette in Hugo's classic Les Misérables.

Another star of Hugo's fiction, a gargoyle watches over the city from the heights of Notre Dame

Of course, no Paris trip would be complete without a visit to the notorious Moulin Rouge.

The pretty streets of Monmartre are closely associated with some of France's most famous artists.

Today, artists still fill its squares, drawing portraits and caricatures for willing subjects.

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