PARIS has its own twin city - in 3D virtual reality - as a project by Dassault Systems brings the city of light to life through the ages.
The Paris 3D Saga project shows the city through more than 2,000 years of history in an interactive journey through time.
It shows the stages of the building of the Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower, the various versions of the Louvre from the Philippe Auguste fortress in 1190 to the royal residence of Charles V in 1369, the Renaissance palace of Henri IV in 1600 and its transformation into a museum after the Revolution.
The project is available online or on 3D TVs but the best viewing position is in the Dassault HQ in Vélizy, which is not open to the public. It has a 360 degree, 3D immersion chamber where the city comes to life in every aspect - like on Google Street View. Zoom into the medieval city and see how the Ile-de-la Cité has changed - and the Roman chapel that is thought to be under the present-day Notre-Dame.
Archaeologist and project scientific advisor Didier Busson said of the Notre-Dame reconstruction: "This is the first time we really have a new scientific truth that appears. In my opinion, 3D is the only way to understand how this great gothic cathedral was built."
An early working version of the project can be seen at http://paris.3ds.com - but for the full experience a 3DTV is needed although an iPad version is also available. Some software may also have to be downloaded.
Another view of Paris can be seen on the photo website Paris 26Megapixels which has Paris in a ultra-high definition photograph that can be zoomed in to see very fine detail.
Paris, la ville à remonter le temps: Paris 3D par sciencesetavenir