Travel back to a time where the Eiffel Tower was a looming construction zone before becoming an international landmark.

Viewers travel above Paris to learn about its history as part of the first augmented-reality effort to accurately capture Paris through centuries.

Mingle with the crowd at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.

The Bastille, a symbol of protection and freedom in Paris history, was a fortress built in the 14th century to protect the city against English invasions. Later in the 18th century, the Bastille was stormed by French revolutionaries seeking freedom from its oppressive government, a movement celebrated on July 14 each year in France.

Eight towers framed the Bastille, a 14th-century fortress located in a strategic gateway on the eastern bank of Paris. Although the original building was destroyed, Dassault Systèmes’ 3-D experts relied on topographical Paris maps and other historical photographs to reconstruct this fortress, also used as a royal castle and prison throughout Paris’s early history.

Viewing the Bastille fortress in a 3-D virtual website allows website visitors to travel through time and discover new angles through which to study the Bastille’s architectural components. (A 3-D exercise practiced endlessly by architects and product designers before they reach a final and complete 3-D design that mimics real life.)

The 3-D reconstruction of the Bastille and its surroundings relied on accurate historical sources such as photographs taken during the 1889 Universal Exposition of a life-size reproduction of the Bastille and its extensions.

Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most visited sites in the city showcased here as a reconstructed historical monument with panoramic views in 3-D.

A bird’s-eye view of Paris is part of a scientific 3-D program to accurately share Paris’ historical periods in an interactive way.


Travel Back In Time, And Take A Virtual 3-D Tour Of Paris Through The Ages

Planning a trip to Paris, or boning up on French revolutions in advance of "Les Miz" the movie? There’s a 3-D app for that.

Trailers for the movie version of Les Miz, which is scheduled for release at Christmas, are already playing in theaters. If they’re stoking your appetite for French history, or simply making you wish you were in Paris instead of, say, lower Manhattan, this is the app you’ll want to download.

Dassault Systèmes, the French software company that last spring debuted the impressive 3-D tour of the pyramids of Giza is back at it, this time with a virtual tour of Paris through the ages. Originally launched at the end of September on nine giant 3-D screens at Paris’s Hotel de Ville, the program just added a tour of the famed French prison, the Bastille, to its repertoire.

The 3DExperience, as Dassault Systèmes refers to it, is interactive and can be accessed across multiple systems and platforms. There’s a website, an iPad app, 3-D-powered films, educational materials, and 3-D "touch" terminals for museums and universities.

The coolest thing about the "experience" is the ability to go back as far as 2,000 years in time and roam the streets during the French Revolution, check out how the construction is going on Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower, or view the latest display of severed heads hanging from fences during the Gallic era. Didier Busson, an archaeologist in the department of architecture and archaeology history in Paris, narrates a guided tour with a detailed account of each building and its neighborhood.

The technology developed by Dassault Systèmes is also being used by the French documentary film studio Gedeon Programmes to create historically accurate docudramas, including the just-released "Paris: The Great Saga," which captures 5,000 years in that romantic, stormy, wildly photogenic city.

Order up a croissant and go for a spin!

[Images: Dassault Systèmes]

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  • adammorrison

    This is pretty cool, but doesn't hold a candle to Ubisoft's digital recreation of historic cities in their Assassin's Creed series. Maybe they'll decide AS4 takes place in 19th century Paris :)