Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame de Paris
Whilst there was a lot of things on my bucket list in Paris, today really ticked my bucket list. If you ask my girls and Gadget they will tell you that I really like churches, i still get tormented relentlessly about the time I led the three of them around for about 5 hours in Chang Mai ( the girls were about 12 and 8) in Thailand looking at Wat (temple) after Wat after Wat. So when we started planning for this journey Gadget informed me in no uncertain term that we were not going in every church I found.
My bucket list for churches in Paris included Sainte Chapelle , ( thanks to my gorgeous former colleague and macaroon making friend) Notre Dame de Paris and the Sacre Couer.
Today we crossed two off the list.
Sainte Chapelle was built by King Louis IV and was consecrated in 1248. Louis IV was very religious and he wanted Paris to be the most important city in the world. So he purchased the crown of thorns. When he returned to Paris he decided that there really wasn't a church in Paris that was fine enough to house the holy relics. So he commissioned his architects to build a chapel.
He wanted the chapel to be like a jewelled box, to house the relics. I think that the architects definitely achieved this to say that Sainte Chappelle took my breath away would be an understatement. I think it is probably one of the most beautiful church's I ve visited. And I am thrilled that I will return here to see a concert, later this week.
Sainte Chappelles rose window. Miraculously Sainte Chappelle was pretty much left alone by the revolutionaries in the French Revolution and over 60% of the stain glass is original. However the Chappelle has undergone renovations twice in its lifetime.
Notre Dame de Paris
I though I would skip the photo of the outside of the Notre Dame as I think it is probably one of the most famous buildings in the world. However if you want to see a picture you can go here and here. This is the inside of NotreDame to say it is large is and understatement. Notre Dame took almost 200 years, from the time the first stone was laid until the finishing touches were applied. There were four architects involved in the construction over these years. Walking along the sides of the cathedral, felt like walking in a forest of stone as column after column of stone towered above our heads, with the side roofs, joining in arches like the branches of trees intertwining.
So I m a bit super pleased with myself as I climbed the 420 odd steps to go as far as the very top of the cathedrals. The stairs are spiral and you just go up and up. This view above is at the level of the bottom of the bell towers. We climbed yet more steps, until we were able to walk around the very top of the Cathedral.
The view of Paris was pretty amazing and made the climb well worth it. We headed to the little park behind notredame after the game tour and had some fresh strawberries we had bought earlier.
We then went for a little walk around the Marais area where I found a Mercerie ( haberdashery shop) and did a little shopping to add to my collection of Paris momento's. We then had lunch at a lovely little cafe called Esmerelda's which looked over the Notre Dame park.
Then we headed back home freshened ourselves up and then headed down to our local cafe / bar for a drink before we found something light for dinner. Well we were sitting there and this lovely French lady was sitting next to us, and she had ordered all these cheese's anyway, she was meeting a friend and she had to leave so she gave us her almost full cheese platter, so it didn't go to waste. It was
amazing and ended up being our dinner.
We had a really lovely day, a little more relaxed and a lot less busy.