The Gare Montparnasse Paris-Montparnasse, is one of the six large Paris railway termini, is located in the 14th and 15th arrondissements of Paris. The station opened in 1840, was rebuilt in 1852 and was relocated in 1969 to a new station just south of the original location — where subsequently the prominent Montparnasse Tower was constructed; the original station is noted for the Montparnasse derailment, where a steam train crashed through the station in 1895, an event captured in known photographs — and reproduced in full scale in several locations. The station serves intercity TGV trains to the west and south-west of France including Tours, Bordeaux and Nantes, suburban and regional services on the Transilien Paris – Montparnasse routes. There is a metro station; the station opened in 1840 as Gare de l'Ouest being renamed. A second station was built between 1848 and 1852. On 25 August 1944, the German military governor of Paris, General von Choltitz, surrendered his garrison to the French General Philippe Leclerc at the old station, after disobeying Adolf Hitler's direct order to destroy the city.
During the 1960s, a newer station integrated into a complex of office buildings was built. In 1969, the old station was torn down and the Tour Montparnasse built on its site. An extension was built in 1990 to host the TGV Atlantique; the Gare Montparnasse became famous for the derailment on 22 October 1895, of the Granville–Paris Express, which overran the buffer stop. The engine careered across 30 metres of the station concourse, crashed through a 60-centimetre thick wall, shot across a terrace and smashed out of the station, plummeting onto the Place de Rennes 10 metres below, where it stood on its nose. Two of the 131 passengers sustained injuries, along with two conductors; the only fatality was a woman on the street below, Marie-Augustine Aguilard, temporarily taking over her husband's work duty while he went out to get the newspapers. She was killed by falling masonry; the railway company paid for her funeral and provided a pension to look after her two children. The accident was caused by a faulty Westinghouse brake and the engine driver, trying to make up lost time.
A conductor was given the engine driver a 50-franc fine. Replicas of the train crash are recreated outside the Mundo a Vapor museum chain buildings in Brazil, in the southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, in the city of Canela. From Paris Montparnasse train services depart to major French cities such as: Le Mans, Saint-Brieuc, Saint-Malo, Lorient, Angers, Saint-Nazaire, Poitiers, La Rochelle, Angoulême, Toulouse and Granville; the station is served by suburban trains heading to the west and south-west of Paris. High speed services Paris – Bordeaux – Dax – Lourdes – Tarbes High speed services Paris – Bordeaux – Dax – Bayonne – Biarritz – Hendaye – Irun High speed services Paris – Bordeaux – Agen – Toulouse High speed services Paris – Bordeaux – Arcachon High speed services Paris – Tours – Poitiers – Angoulême – Bordeaux High speed services Paris – Poitiers – La Rochelle High speed services Paris – Tours High speed services Paris – Le Mans – Rennes – St Brieuc – Brest High speed services Paris – Le Mans – Vannes – Lorient – Quimper High speed services Paris – Rennes – St Malo High speed services Paris – Le Mans – Rennes High speed services Paris – Nantes – St-Nazaire – Le Croisic High speed services Paris – Le Mans – Angers – Nantes Discount High Speed Services Paris - Poitiers - Saint-Pierre-des-Corps- Angoulême - Bordeaux Discount High Speed Services Paris - Le Mans Discount High Speed Services Paris - Le Mans - Laval - Rennes Intercity services Paris – Dreux – Argentan – Granville Regional Services Paris to Granville with numerous stops Regional services Paris – Versailles – Rambouillet – Chartres – Le Mans Regional services Paris – Versailles – St-Quentin-en-Yvelines – Rambouillet Regional services Paris – Versailles – Plaisir – Dreux Regional services Paris – Versailles – Plaisir – Mantes-la-Jolie Regional services Paris – Versailles – Plaisir Adjacent metro station: Montparnasse – BienvenüeNearby station: Pasteur Transportation in France List of stations of the Paris RER List of stations of the Paris Métro Gare d'Austerlitz Gare de l'Est Gare de Lyon Gare du Nord Gare Saint-Lazare Gare Montparnasse at Transilien, the official website of SNCF Gare Montparnasse at "Gares & Connexions", the official website of SNCF Gare Montparnasse – current photographs and of the years 1900.
Satellite image from Google Maps Mundo a Vapor Museum The Brazilian museum which contains the 1895 derailment accident replica
A dandy is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of self. A dandy could be a self-made man who strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain. Previous manifestations of the petit-maître and the Muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost, but the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris; the dandy cultivated cynical reserve, yet to such extremes that novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined cynicism as "intellectual dandyism". Some took a more benign view. Honoré de Balzac introduced the worldly and unmoved Henri de Marsay in La fille aux yeux d'or, a part of La Comédie Humaine, who fulfils at first the model of a perfect dandy, until an obsessive love-pursuit unravels him in passionate and murderous jealousy. Charles Baudelaire defined the dandy, in the "metaphysical" phase of dandyism, as one who elevates æsthetics to a living religion, that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking....
Dandyism is a form of Romanticism. Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of mind." The linkage of clothing with political protest had become a English characteristic during the 18th century. Given these connotations, dandyism can be seen as a political protest against the levelling of egalitarian principles including nostalgic adherence to feudal or pre-industrial values, such as the ideals of "the perfect gentleman" or "the autonomous aristocrat". Paradoxically, the dandy required an audience, as Susann Schmid observed in examining the "successfully marketed lives" of Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, who exemplify the dandy's roles in the public sphere, both as writers and as personae providing sources of gossip and scandal. Nigel Rodgers in The Dandy: Peacock or Enigma? Questions Wilde's status as a genuine dandy, seeing him as someone who only assumed a dandified stance in passing, not a man dedicated to the exacting ideals of dandyism.
The origin of the word is uncertain. Eccentricity, defined as taking characteristics such as dress and appearance to extremes, began to be applied to human behavior in the 1770s. A later Scottish border ballad, circa 1780 features the word, but without all the contextual aspects of its more recent meaning; the original, full form of'dandy' may have been jack-a-dandy. It was a vogue word during the Napoleonic Wars. In that contemporary slang, a "dandy" was differentiated from a "fop" in that the dandy's dress was more refined and sober than the fop's. In the twenty-first century, the word dandy is a jocular sarcastic adjective meaning "fine" or "great"; the model dandy in British society was George Bryan "Beau" Brummell, in his early days, an undergraduate student at Oriel College, Oxford and an associate of the Prince Regent. Brummell was not from an aristocratic background. A. Barbey d'Aurevilly observed in 1845. Never unpowdered or unperfumed, immaculately bathed and shaved, dressed in a plain dark blue coat, he was always brushed fitted, showing much starched linen, all freshly laundered, composed with an elaborately knotted cravat.
From the mid-1790s, Beau Brummell was the early incarnation of "the celebrity", a man chiefly famous for being famous. By the time Pitt taxed hair powder in 1795 to help pay for the war against France and to discourage the use of flour in such a frivolous product, Brummell had abandoned wearing a wig, had his hair cut in the Roman fashion, "à la Brutus". Moreover, he led the transition from breeches to snugly tailored dark "pantaloons," which directly led to contemporary trousers, the sartorial mainstay of men's clothes in the Western world for the past two centuries. In 1799, upon coming of age, Beau Brummell inherited from his father a fortune of thirty thousand pounds, which he spent on costume and high living. In 1816 he suffered the dandy's stereotyped fate. Men of more notable accomplishments than Beau Brummell adopted the dandiacal pose: George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron
Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures and drawings. He is identified with the subject of dance. Regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, he rejected the term, preferring to be called a realist, he was a superb draftsman, masterly in depicting movement, as can be seen in his rendition of dancers, racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and for their portrayal of human isolation. At the beginning of his career, Degas wanted to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classical art. In his early thirties, he changed course, by bringing the traditional methods of a history painter to bear on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern life. Degas was born in Paris, into a moderately wealthy family, he was the oldest of five children of Célestine Musson De Gas, a Creole from New Orleans and Augustin De Gas, a banker.
His maternal grandfather Germain Musson, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti of French descent and had settled in New Orleans in 1810. Degas began his schooling at age eleven, his mother died when he was thirteen, his father and grandfather became the main influences on him for the remainder of his youth. Degas began to paint early in life. By the time he graduated from the Lycée with a baccalauréat in literature in 1853, at age 18, he had turned a room in his home into an artist's studio. Upon graduating, he registered as a copyist in The Louvre Museum, but his father expected him to go to law school. Degas duly enrolled at the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris in November 1853, but applied little effort to his studies. In 1855 he met Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whom Degas revered and whose advice he never forgot: "Draw lines, young man, still more lines, both from life and from memory, you will become a good artist." In April of that year Degas was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts.
He studied drawing there with Louis Lamothe, under whose guidance he flourished, following the style of Ingres. In July 1856, Degas traveled to Italy. In 1858, while staying with his aunt's family in Naples, he made the first studies for his early masterpiece The Bellelli Family, he drew and painted numerous copies of works by Michelangelo, Raphael and other Renaissance artists, but—contrary to conventional practice—he selected from an altarpiece a detail that had caught his attention: a secondary figure, or a head which he treated as a portrait. Upon his return to France in 1859, Degas moved into a Paris studio large enough to permit him to begin painting The Bellelli Family—an imposing canvas he intended for exhibition in the Salon, although it remained unfinished until 1867, he began work on several history paintings: Alexander and Bucephalus and The Daughter of Jephthah in 1859–60. In 1861 Degas visited his childhood friend Paul Valpinçon in Normandy, made the earliest of his many studies of horses.
He exhibited at the Salon for the first time in 1865, when the jury accepted his painting Scene of War in the Middle Ages, which attracted little attention. Although he exhibited annually in the Salon during the next five years, he submitted no more history paintings, his Steeplechase—The Fallen Jockey signaled his growing commitment to contemporary subject matter; the change in his art was influenced by the example of Édouard Manet, whom Degas had met in 1864. Upon the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Degas enlisted in the National Guard, where his defense of Paris left him little time for painting. During rifle training his eyesight was found to be defective, for the rest of his life his eye problems were a constant worry to him. After the war, Degas began in 1872 an extended stay in New Orleans, where his brother René and a number of other relatives lived. Staying at the home of his Creole uncle, Michel Musson, on Esplanade Avenue, Degas produced a number of works, many depicting family members.
One of Degas's New Orleans works, A Cotton Office in New Orleans, garnered favorable attention back in France, was his only work purchased by a museum during his lifetime. Degas returned to Paris in 1873 and his father died the following year, whereupon Degas learned that his brother René had amassed enormous business debts. To preserve his family's reputation, Degas sold his house and an art collection he had inherited, used the money to pay off his brother's debts. Dependent for the first time in his life on sales of his artwork for income, he produced much of his greatest work during the decade beginning in 1874. Disenchanted by now with the Salon, he instead joined a group of young artists who were organizing an independent exhibiting society; the group soon became known as the Impressionists. Between 1874 and 1886 they mounted eight art shows, known as the Impressionist Exhibitions. Degas took a leading role in organizing the exhibitions, showed his work in all but one of them, despite his persistent conflicts with others in the group.
He had little in common with Monet and the other landscape painters in the group, whom he mocked for painting outdoors. Conservative in his social attitudes, he abhorred the sca
Tour Maine-Montparnasse commonly named Tour Montparnasse, is a 210-metre office skyscraper located in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France. Constructed from 1969 to 1973, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed by the 231-metre Tour First; as of March 2017, it is the 14th tallest building in the European Union. The tower was designed by architects Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan, Louis Hoym de Marien and built by Campenon Bernard. On September 21, 2017, Nouvelle AOM won a competition to redesign the building's facade. Built on top of the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Paris Métro station, the 59 floors of the tower are occupied by offices; the 56th floor, 200 meters from the ground, houses a restaurant called le Ciel de Paris, the terrace on the top floor, are open to the public for viewing the city. The view covers a radius of 40 km; the guard rail, to which various antennae are attached, can be pneumatically lowered. Various companies and organizations have setteled in the tower: The National Architects Council, Axa and MMA insurers, the mining and metallurty company Eramet, Al Jazeera Political parties have used campaign offices, such as François Mitterrand in 1974, the RPR in the late 70s, Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche! in 2016, Benoît Hamon since 2018The 56th floor, with its terrace and restaurant, has been used for private or public events.
During the 80s and 90s, the live National Lottery was cast on TF1 from the 56th floor. In 1995, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices of any kind, scaled the building's exterior glass and steel wall to the top falling in the process; the tower's simple architecture, large proportions and monolithic appearance have been criticised for being out of place in Paris's urban landscape. As a result, two years after its completion the construction of buildings over seven stories high in the city centre was banned; the design of the tower predates architectural trends of more modern skyscrapers today that are designed to provide a window for every office. Only the offices around the perimeter of each floor of Tour Montparnasse have windows, it is said that the tower's observation deck enjoys the most beautiful view in all of Paris, because it is the only place from which the tower cannot be seen. A 2008 poll of editors on Virtualtourist voted the building the second-ugliest building in the world, behind Boston City Hall in the United States.
In 2005, studies showed. When inhaled, for instance during repairs, asbestos is a carcinogen; as with the Jussieu Campus, the problem of removing the asbestos material from a large building used by thousands of people is acute. Projected completion times for removal are three years if the building is emptied for the duration of the work and ten years if the building is not emptied; the removal of asbestos began in July 2007. Tour Maine-Montparnasse housed the executive management of Accor. List of tallest buildings and structures in the Paris region Official website Photos of Tour Montparnasse Tour Montparnasse Pictures and info
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Muses are the inspirational goddesses of literature and the arts. They are considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, lyric songs, myths that were related orally for centuries in these ancient cultures. In current English usage, "muse" can refer in general to a person who inspires an artist, musician, or writer; the word "Muses" came from the o-grade of the Proto-Indo-European root *men- or from root *men- since all the most important cult-centres of the Muses were on mountains or hills. R. S. P. Beekes suggests a Pre-Greek origin; the earliest known records of the Nine Muses are from the homeland of Hesiod. Some ancient authorities thought. There, a tradition persisted. In the first century BC, Diodorus Siculus cited Homer and Hesiod to the contrary, observing: Writers disagree concerning the number of the Muses. Diodorus states that Osiris first recruited the nine Muses, along with the satyrs, while passing through Ethiopia, before embarking on a tour of all Asia and Europe, teaching the arts of cultivation wherever he went.
According to Hesiod's account followed by the writers of antiquity, the Nine Muses were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, figuring as personifications of knowledge and the arts literature and music. The Roman scholar Varro relates that there are only three Muses: one born from the movement of water, another who makes sound by striking the air, a third, embodied only in the human voice, they were called Melete or "Practice", Mneme or "Memory" and Aoide or "Song". Three ancient Muses were reported in Plutarch's Quaestiones Convivales. However, the classical understanding of the Muses tripled their triad and established a set of nine goddesses, who embody the arts and inspire creation with their graces through remembered and improvised song and mime, traditional music, dance, it was not until Hellenistic times that the following systematic set of functions was assigned to them, then there was some variation in both their names and their attributes: Calliope, Euterpe, Melpomene, Erato and Urania.
According to Pausanias in the second century AD, there were three Muses, worshipped on Mount Helicon in Boeotia: Aoide and Mneme. Together, these three form the complete picture of the preconditions of poetic art in cult practice. In Delphi three Muses were worshiped as well, but with other names: Nete and Hypate, which are assigned as the names of the three chords of the ancient musical instrument, the lyre. Alternatively they were called Cephisso and Borysthenis, names which characterize them as daughters of Apollo. In a tradition, a set of four Muses were recognized: Thelxinoë, Archē, Melete, said to be daughters of Zeus and Plusia or of Ouranos. One of the people associated with the Muses was Pierus. By some he was called the father of a total of seven Muses, called Neilṓ, Tritṓnē, Asōpṓ, Heptápora, Achelōís, Tipoplṓ, Rhodía. According to Hesiod's Theogony, they were daughters of Zeus, king of the gods, Mnemosyne, Titan goddess of memory. For Alcman and Mimnermus, they were more primordial, springing from the early deities Ouranos and Gaia.
Gaia is Mother Earth, an early mother goddess, worshipped at Delphi from prehistoric times, long before the site was rededicated to Apollo indicating a transfer to association with him after that time. Sometimes the Muses are referred to as water nymphs, associated with the springs of Helicon and with Pieris, it was said that the winged horse Pegasus touched his hooves to the ground on Helicon, causing four sacred springs to burst forth, from which the Muses were born. Athena tamed the horse and presented him to the Muses. Classical writers set Apollo as Apollon Mousagetēs. In one myth, the Muses judged a contest between Marsyas, they gathered the pieces of the dead body of Orpheus, son of Calliope, buried them in Leivithra. In a myth, Thamyris challenged them to a singing contest, they punished Thamyris by blinding him and robbing him of his singing ability. According to a myth from Ovid's Metamorphoses—alluding to the connection of Pieria with the Muses—Pierus, king of Macedon, had nine daughters he named after the nine Muses, believing that their skills were a great match to the Muses.
He thus challenged the Muses to a match, resulting in his daughters, the Pierides, being turned into chattering magpies for their presumption. Pausanias records a tradition of two generations of Muses. Another, rarer genealogy is that they are daughters of Harmonia
The TGV is France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by the SNCF, the state-owned national rail operator. The SNCF started working on a high-speed rail network in 1966 and presented the project to President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing who approved it. Designed as turbotrains to be powered by gas turbines, TGV prototypes evolved into electric trains with the 1973 oil crisis. In 1976 the SNCF ordered 87 high-speed trains from GEC-Alstom. Following the inaugural service between Paris and Lyon in 1981 on the LGV Sud-Est, the network, centered on Paris, has expanded to connect major cities across France and in neighbouring countries on a combination of high-speed and conventional lines; the TGV network in France carries about 110 million passengers a year. Like the Shinkansen in Japan, the TGV has never experienced a fatal accident during its operational history; the high-speed tracks, maintained by SNCF Réseau, are subject to heavy regulation. Confronted with the fact that train drivers would not be able to see signals along the track-side when trains reach full speed, engineers developed the TVM technology, which would be exported worldwide.
It allows for a train engaging in an emergency braking to request within seconds all following trains to reduce their speed. The TVM safety mechanism enables TGVs using the same line to depart every three minutes. A TGV test train set the world record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching 574.8 km/h on 3 April 2007. Conventional TGV services operate up to 320 km/h on the LGV Est, LGV Rhin-Rhône and LGV Méditerranée. In 2007, the world's fastest scheduled rail journey was a start-to-stop average speed of 279.4 km/h between the Gare de Champagne-Ardenne and Gare de Lorraine on the LGV Est, not surpassed until the 2013 reported average of 283.7 km/h express service on the Shijiazhuang to Zhengzhou segment of China's Shijiazhuang–Wuhan high-speed railway. The TGV was conceived at the same period as other technological projects sponsored by the Government of France, including the Ariane 1 rocket and Concorde supersonic airliner; the commercial success of the first high-speed line led to a rapid development of services to the south, west and east.
Eager to emulate the TGV's success, neighbouring countries Italy and Germany developed their own high-speed rail services. The TGV system itself extends to neighbouring countries, either directly or through TGV-derivative networks linking France to Switzerland, to Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as to the United Kingdom. Several future lines are planned, including extensions to surrounding countries. Cities such as Tours and Le Mans have become part of a "TGV commuter belt" around Paris. A visitor attraction in itself, it stops at Disneyland Paris and in tourist cities such as Avignon and Aix-en-Provence as well. Brest, Chambéry, Nice and Biarritz are reachable by TGVs running on a mix of LGVs and modernised lines. In 2007, the SNCF generated profits of €1.1 billion driven by higher margins on the TGV network. The idea of the TGV was first proposed in the 1960s, after Japan had begun construction of the Shinkansen in 1959. At the time the Government of France favoured new technology, exploring the production of hovercraft and the Aérotrain air-cushion vehicle.
The SNCF began researching high-speed trains on conventional tracks. In 1976, the administration agreed to fund the first line. By the mid-1990s, the trains were so popular that SNCF President Louis Gallois declared that the TGV was "the train that saved French railways", it was planned that the TGV standing for très grande vitesse or turbine grande vitesse, would be propelled by gas turbines, selected for their small size, good power-to-weight ratio and ability to deliver high power over an extended period. The first prototype, TGV 001, was the only gas-turbine TGV: following the increase in the price of oil during the 1973 energy crisis, gas turbines were deemed uneconomic and the project turned to electricity from overhead lines, generated by new nuclear power stations. TGV 001 was not a wasted prototype: its gas turbine was only one of its many new technologies for high-speed rail travel, it tested high-speed brakes, needed to dissipate the large amount of kinetic energy of a train at high speed, high-speed aerodynamics, signalling.
It was articulated, comprising two adjacent carriages sharing a bogie, allowing free yet controlled motion with respect to one another. It reached 318 km/h, its interior and exterior were styled by British-born designer Jack Cooper, whose work formed the basis of early TGV designs, including the distinctive nose shape of the first power cars. Changing the TGV to electric traction required a significant design overhaul; the first electric prototype, nick