Only in Paris, Texas


We searched high and low for the elusive Eiffel Tower. We drove around Paris for a good while, navigating unknown streets, scanning the horizon, trying to follow the GPS directions. At long last we saw it in all its 65 foot high glory.

And a red cowboy hat on top.

Welcome to Paris, Texas, the home of the second tallest Eiffel Tower in the world. Or it used to be, as the tower in Paris, Tennessee, is 70 feet high and the Las Vegas reproduction is 540 feet high. Although it proves that not everything is bigger in Texas, it is a display of local creativity and pride.

Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas

I’ve said this before, but I’m strangely drawn to old cemeteries. The historic Evergreen cemetery had a special appeal: a statue of Christ wearing cowboy boots. It marks the grave of a Mr. Willett Babcock, who died in 1881. I read somewhere that this statue caused some controversy at the time. I think it represents what Mr. Babcock believed in, but since I’ve never met him, I can’t say for sure.

Statue of Christ wearing cowboy boots

After rummaging in an antiques shop (I did, Sean waited outside) and strolling around the main square, I wanted to go back to the Old Courthouse to see something that had caught my attention earlier.

It was a monument to the Confederate Army. Each side honours someone different: the heroes fallen during the Civil War (1861-5), the women of the South who supported their men, the sons of Texas who fell in battle and, I think, the entire Civil War as the inscriptions reads “From Ft. Sumpter to Appomattox”, the battles which marked the beginning and the end of the war. There are four busts, one of which is General Lee.

Confederate monument

Politics aside, I found the very existence of this monument very interesting. It speaks volumes of who the Texans are and what they believe in. In my opinion, it is not so much about secession now but about asserting their identity and sending a clear message: this is us, we fought, we lost but we are proud and we don’t forget. As far as I can see, this sentiment is very much alive in smaller towns than in big cities.

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10 responses to “Only in Paris, Texas

  1. Only in Texas would they build a replica of the Eiffel Tower and then cap it off with a cowboy hat. Although I think Jesus in cowboy boots just might top that…

  2. i dreaded making that drive every other weekend ana. john’s parents are from there. not a whole lot to see, or at least i didn’t think so until i read your blog. now i can’t wait to go back and see those statues, etc. very cool, thanks

  3. Why am I not surprised? :D Great, I wonder what they French would say if they knew there was an Eiffel tower with a Texan hat on top?
    ANd Jesus with boots? In Texas? I wonder what Sheldon’s mum has to say about this! :D (from “The Big Bang Theory”)

  4. I didn’t know Paris, Texas had an Eiffel Tower, with a red cowboy hat on top no less. The French must love that ha! It seems like you found some of the most interesting statues in town.

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