Winter Light in Paris

This week, ACCENT Programs Coordinator Audrey Casabielhe describes the unique beauty of the Parisian skyline in winter, exploring how the particular light in the City of Lights inspires residents and tourists alike. Audrey finds that to discover the magic of Paris, all she has to do is look up.

There is always something magical about Paris. Whether you are staying for a month or find yourself staying for 6 years. The big moments when the city shines and shows herself in all her glory, or the little and intimate moments which are special to only you, leave reminders of why you are here and why you love this city so much.

My special moment is on my morning commute when I cross the river Seine on the métro and see the sun break the horizon, painting shades of pinks and oranges onto the canvas of the fragile and transparent clear blue sky. The serenity and calmness of the river, still cast in dark shades of blue, fading into blackness on its edges, brings my focus to the day ahead.

My colleague Marion’s special moment is at the end of the day, when the air is crisp and the sky is cast in a cold cyan hue. The sun, almost gone, surrounds the city like magic, and the monuments begin to glitter with the winter holiday decorations and evening lights.

Whether it is in a touristic area or just on your way to work, Paris has multiple facets to explore, to discover or rediscover again and again. What makes it beautiful and so special are the monuments that appear along the way. They are ever-present and adorn the city like jewels.

If I had to think about one aspect that defines the beauty of these moments, it is the Parisian sky itself. The Impressionist painters were not mistaken; between its river and its vast skies, the French capital lacked neither nature nor textures for artists intent on encapsulating plays of light.

The light of Paris owes its richness to the clouds that streak across it. The depth that the clouds bring to the sky makes it seem as if you are in a painting at times. A great example is the picture I took one afternoon in the Luxembourg Garden, in which the light reminded me of one of Sisley’s Bougival paintings.

The winter sky of Paris is one thing that everyone visiting Paris can hold dear to their memories. Each season brings its own light and feeling to the sky, creating many more awe-inspiring moments that I look forward to.

~Audrey Casabielhe, ACCENT Paris

Did this post inspire you to discover the magic of the Parisian skyline for yourself? Research your study abroad options at