Paris Day Two: From Notre-Dame to the Louvre (Saint Denis, pray for us!)

The Day of Walking. Krista and I set out in the morning for a day that would bring chilly hands, cafe stops, sore muscles, and impressive sights.

Our first destination was our most coveted destination, the Notre-Dame Cathedral (“Our Mother”) on the Île de la Cité. Wow, from the two 43 foot in diameter rose windows to the flying buttresses, to the many side alters, this Cathedral was probably my favorite destination. Everything was beautiful. I had to fight the urge to sing like Esmeralda while exploring the corners of the Cathedral.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Close up on façade of the front entrance depicting Saints including Saint Denis, a patron saint of France and walking, holding his head! read here for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis

Close up on façade of the front entrance depicting Saints including Saint Denis, a patron saint of France and walking, holding his head!

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Madonna and Child statue front and center. Where they belong.

From the North

The French Gothic architectural style of the outside was stunning, but let’s journey inside for a few more pictures that don’t even come close to doing it justice. 

Marian altar

Marian altar

view up the nave to the altar.

view up the nave to the altar.

Next, we headed across the way to La Sainte-Chapelle (“Holy Chapel”). This weightless chapel was built to house Louis IX’s collection of relics, including the crown of thorns. These stunning stain glass windows depict scenes from the old testament on the ten windows lining the nave and new testament scenes (including the Passion in the center) at the front apse. Naturally, some was under construction, but gorgeous nonetheless.

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Krista and I then wandering down the Seine River to explore a local market (one of Krista’s favorite past times). Along the way we ate some crepes and about an hour later, some french fries (of course). One thing we learned during our brief stay in Paris is that there is no shortage of restaurants. You never have to be concerned about missing an opportunity to eat because there is always another restaurant. And you are always hungry because between every meal you are burning off all the calories you just gained from walking (or at least that’s what I like to think). We took our time meandering through random streets and investigating neat-looking churches that we came upon. Eventually, we made it to The Louvre. Fun fact, Friday evenings from 6:00pm onward, admission is free to any under 26-year-old regardless of nationality. Booyah! The sheer volume of artwork was amazing in itself; not to mention seeing some pieces of the Temple of Zeus, Olympia, the Mona Lisa, Venus di milo,  the Code of Hammurabi, and many other treasures (I didn’t take pictures of everything, but let’s be real, you can just google it).

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The Louvre exterior

Apollo taking a "selfie" of himself slaying the python (actually the sword was probably made of another material that did not last through the years).

Apollo taking a “selfie” of himself slaying the python (actually the sword was probably made of another material that did not last through the years).

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Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova
This is one of my favorite Greek myths.

Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova

Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova

As noted far above, this was a day that ended in two young women feeling as if they were about 87 years old as they crawled into bed that night. But then again, at least we still had our heads about us! See what I did there? If not, take a look at this little synopsis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis).

Saint Denis, pray for us! Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, pray for us! Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us!

“The world is thy ship; not thy home.” – Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

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