Paris, Squared

Visiting Paris twice in as many days was an interesting experience and an opportunity to compare two towns with the same name, Paris, Arkansas and Paris, Texas.

Both towns are proud of their namesakes and have Eiffel Towers to prove it. The Arkansas Eiffel Tower is on the town square. The picturesque tower has a fountain under its base which means visitors cannot get a picture looking straight up to the top. This structure was built in 2014 and is painted with the same brand and color as the original Eiffel Tower. The 25-foot structure (18 feet plus the 7-foot base that contains the fountain) was a gift from a former resident and pastor, Don Eubanks.

Across the street from the pretty Eiffel Tower Park is the Logan County Courthouse, a beautiful building that stands majestically in the center of the square. The courthouse serves the 3,700 residents of Paris as well as the remainder of the residents in Logan County.

The primary sight in Paris, Arkansas is located outside the city limits. Mount Magazine towers over the entire state as its highest point. Mount Magazine State Park has both a lodge and cabins, all of which overlook the sheer bluffs and the valley below. The lodge itself has an indoor swimming pool with picture windows that share the gorgeous view. The restaurant, which is open year-round but with limited menu, has another beautiful view over the valley. (Diners may even be lucky enough to see deer on the lawn below or hawks soaring in the air.)  Mount Magazine, which is often shrouded in dense fog, provides many hiking opportunities of varying difficulty.

The Paris, Texas Eiffel Tower is located near the Love Convention Center on the outskirts of town. The 65-foot tower was built in 1993 by a local iron workers’ union. (Paris, Tennessee also dedicated their Eiffel Tower in 1993. When Texans saw that the Tennessee tower was 5 feet taller, they quickly added the cowboy hat at the top to give Paris, Texas the claim of the second tallest Eiffel Tower…until Las Vegas added its replica that measures 541 feet.) Paris, Texas, with a population of 24,839, maintains its record, though, as the “Second Largest Paris in the World.” (There are at least 23 towns in the US that are named Paris.)

Next to the Texas Eiffel Tower is the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial, an impressive memorial to all veterans who have served, or are currently on active duty, in any war beginning with the Texas Revolution and, ending, currently, with the Global War on Terrorism. The beautiful memorial has large black granite blocks that surround the central area. Each of these blocks gives a brief description of a war. Especially moving is seeing the blank blocks that were set up for future wars and reading the first granite plaque that greets visitors. “This memorial honors all veterans–past, present, and future. May it remind us that our country must always be defended against forces that would deny us our freedom.”

Downtown Paris, Texas also has a fountain, although it is not close to their Eiffel Tower, and many historical buildings and shopping opportunities.

So…Paris, Texas or Paris, Arkansas? It is a decision you will have to make for yourself!

Candace Ahlfinger has loved traveling since she was little and has always been on the go whenever possible. Now she is retired and gets to do what she loves best… TRAVEL! Whether it’s traveling with her wonderful husband, or our children and grandchildren, traveling is a great experience that enriches her life. Because she always enjoys reading and hearing about others’ travel experiences, she wants to share her travels with the Ellis DownHome readers. 


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