A Travellerspoint blog

France

La Sainte-Chapelle

The most beautiful church in Paris... a lot of people say.


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Sadly La Sainte-Chapelle was under renovation while we were there but we still got to go inside and see what was available to the public. To most Parisians, La Sainte-Chapelle is considered the most beautiful church in Paris. I remember before we were leaving for Paris a handful of friends mentioning that it was their favorite place they visited in Paris. We were disappointed that the renovation was going on but we know there must have been so much upkeep and figured since the hubs works for a Parisian company... We'll probably be back again.
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La Sainte-Chapelle was built by Louis IX and was a shrine for the holy relics he collected. The church was damaged during the Revolution.

Statue of Louis IX
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La Sainte-Chapelle is famously known for their 15 stained glass window that are 50 ft high and their beautiful star covered roof. That's actually the first thing I noticed when we walked up the spiral steps, the amazing blue ceiling with gold stars and the giant, detailed stained glass.
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Rose Window
Like Notre Dame, La Sainte-Chapelle also has Rose Window. If you look closely you can see each frame is a specific story. In this window it is St John's vision of the Apocalypse. There are 86 panels and the stained glass is known be most beautiful at sunset.
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I really wish I was a photographer... These pictures really don't capture the beauty of La Sainte-Chapelle. We sat in the upper chapel where there were chairs. We stared up in amazement at all the beautiful panels and could actually remember stories from the Bible just by looking at the windows. I wonder if I had grown up in a church as beautiful as this, would I have kept going to church? You can feel beauty in that church. I love Paris, I hope one day we can live there.
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Posted by domokun 15:02 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

No photography allowed inside


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The basilica is located at the summit of Montmartre, the highest point in the city.

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You can climb the steps or take the funiculaire cable railway to go up to Sacré-Cœur. Beware of panhandlers and pick pockets.

Views from the top:
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Sacré-Cœur is a memorial to the 58,000 French soldiers killed during the Franco-Prussian War and took 46 years to complete.
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Hello Domo
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Street Performers clowning around:
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There is no photography allowed inside Sacré-Cœur so all my pictures are from the outside.

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Equestrian Statues: Two bronze statues of Saint Louis and Joan of Arc stand on the portico above the entrance.
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Amazing views of Paris from up here

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Hello again Monsieur Domo
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Breathtaking. I loved it here.
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Posted by domokun 11:42 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Notre Dame de Paris

Our Lady of Paris


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Notre Dame has always been in my mind even as a child. Obviously the Eiffel Tower is the first thing I think of Paris but Notre Dame is second. The Gothic, Catholic cathedral was always in cartoons or I'd hear of it a lot as I was growing up.

Charlemagne statue
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Right outside of Notre Dame is a statue of Charlemagne. There is written text that says "Charlemagne et ses Leudes."

West Front
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These three very entrances to the cathedral has very detailed carved portals. They are all biblical scenes and represents the life of Mary, the Virgin, The Last Judgement and the Life of Saint Anne. Notre Dame took almost 200 years to build and construction started in 1163 and ending in 1345 during Louis VII's reign. Henry VI of England was crowned in Notre Dame.

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Look closely. I thought this was so morbid. (Above picture)

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Rose Windows
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Three magnificent Rose windows, each are located on the north, south and west. Only the north window has the original 13th century stained glass showing the Virgin surround by Old Testament figures. The south window has Christ surround by the Apostles.
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Messages of Hope
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There was a big box full of paper and as I got closer I saw that you could write your message of hope and stick it in the box. I wrote my message and saw it fall inside the box and I smiled, saw people drop theirs and made me feel some warm fuzzies inside.
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Two nuns who were praying facing one of the Rose windows. Tip: If you go to Notre Dame on Sunday afternoons you can hear an organ recital.

Going to Notre Dame almost felt unreal. The whole cathedral was so decorated with the carvings, stained glass, many statues of saints and the stained glass was so pretty. There is so much history in Paris, America is a young country in comparison so I am continually awed whenever I go to Europe and see landmarks that are incredibly old. That's my favorite part about Paris, the rich history, the beautiful landmarks and while we were walking around I couldn't help but to think that long ago people saw some of the same things I saw too.

Posted by domokun 06:36 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Musée du Louvre

The Grand Louvre, The Louvre Museum or The Lourve


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Musée du Louvre is so impressive. Not only is it one of the largest museums in the world but it's clear that it's highly popular by the long lines that are outside. It's located in the Palais du Louvre (the Louvre Palace) and it was built for Philip II in the later 12th century. The fortress has been renovated many times but you can still see some of the original parts of the fortress. Louis XIV decided to stay at the Palace of Versailles to live so the Louvre became a place to display the royal collections.

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A little tip to avoid all those long lines. Go through Le Carrousel du Louvre. It's a little mall that happens to be connected to the Louvre and has vending machines for you to buy your ticket. The whole process took about five minutes to buy the ticket, no lines and I went on my way. Felt a little bad for everyone outside but then again, I was pretty happy I didn't have to wait out in the cold and snow!

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I am not trained in the arts so I got the helpful video/audio guide that you can purchase at any of the wings. Just make sure you have a passport or drivers license to leave as collateral. I really learned a lot about the artwork and it was also a handy map... The Louvre is a huge museum so I got lost a couple times.

Here are some highlights from my visit to the museum.

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss, Antonio Canova 1787
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This was my favorite piece of art in the whole museum. While listening to the audio about the statue my eyes filled with tears. I was looking at it and it looked so real, as if I had just witnessed such pure love that Cupid and Psyche had. My heart broke seeing Cupid holding the dying, lifeless Psyche and they are about to share one last kiss. My heart ached so much but I also felt such love. While I was staring at this statue in tears I was so thankful for the love I have with my husband. It's so hard to explain but art has never touched me so deeply like it did that day.

Venus de Milo
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She was impressive!

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Mona Lisa/La Gioconda/La Joconde, Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci
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I was shocked how small the actual painting was but it was very interesting no matter where I stood I felt like she was looking at me. It also looked like a window looking at her. It was strangely beautiful and I was happy to be able to take many pictures of her.

The Wedding at Cana/The Wedding Feast at Cana, Veronese
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Directly across from the Mona Lisa is this giant painting. If I remember correctly it is the largest painting displayed at the Louvre but I'm not certain on that. I remember that Jesus is the only one in festivities looking at me in the painting. The details were quite impressive. I can't believe a person made such a giant piece of art and one that looks so real.

I can't wait to go back and see the parts I missed the first time around.
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Posted by domokun 17:46 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

La Tour Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower


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From the Palais de Chaillot I walked to La Tour Eiffel or nicknamed in French La dame de fer which translates to "the iron woman". When I think of Paris, I immediately think of La Tour Eiffel.... don't you?
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My breath was taken away when I was walking closer and closer to the tower, I had no idea that it would be as beautiful as my eyes saw for the first time. Sure I've seen it in pictures, movies and sorts but it's so different when you're standing right there seeing it with your own eyes for the first time.
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Gustave Eiffel, the designer and engineer built the tower as an entrance to the World's Fair of 1889. It's a very tall tower at 1,063 feet. There is something so romantic about the Eiffel Tower that makes your heart skip, beat faster and puts a little rose in your cheeks from how gorgeous it is. Be sure to go there with a loved one and take lots of pictures. My husband was at work so I took pictures with my domokun doll - - Who you'll see in future posts travels in my purse with me all over the world.

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And another day when my husband and I came to the tower at night. It's so gorgeous with all the lights! Every hour at night they have a light show that makes the tower light up like crazy. But I love it most when it's like this: Enjoy.

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Posted by domokun 16:01 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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