"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on July 21, 2016 by Sioux under General
2 Comments

 

Out and about early the next morning, I got the earliest bus I could. We passed by the Arc de Triomphe but, I wasn’t getting off there.

 

Then came the stop for The Louvre, I wasn’t getting off there either. The Louvre, opened in

1793, started off as a fortress in the 12th century; and lay in almost disrepair until 1789.

Its most famous resident, The Mona Lisa, hasn’t always lived there and in 1911 was stolen off

the wall in The Louvre, leaving an empty space for visitors to stare at. It’s now well protected

and has throngs of visitors each day. 

My first stop was Notre Dame Cathedral. I walked up to the front of the building and my throat tightened, I walked inside and the tears rolled. I have no clue why I was so emotional. It was totally unexpected! I must have stood for a good 5 minutes before even turning my camera on!

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They were having a service of some sort so I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod.

Notre Dame is over 800 years old, and is located on a small island called the Ile de la Cite in the middle of Seine River. The building started in 1163 and was completed in 1345 – almost 200 years. ‘The Rose’ glass window is supposedly the biggest glass window in the world produced in the 13th century.

I took what photos I could and then went walkabout outside again.

Despite destruction and subsequent restoration during many periods, much of the facade and interior are still true to the original designs. Converted into a storage warehouse for food, during the French Revolution, the heads of many of Notre Dame’s statues were removed, and glass windows destroyed.

 

Between 1845 and 1870, a first attempt at restoration took place. In 1991 a new restoration programme started and has gone on for 20 years with a focus on cleaning up facade’s and sculptures. Napoleon was crowned Emperor in 1804 inside the Cathedral and the famous Joan of Arc was declared a martyr in 1456. In 1909 she was beatified in the cathedral in Paris by Pope Pius X.

The many organs installed over the years are a centrepiece of the cathedral and the bells are some of the most famous in all of Europe, one of which weighs over 13 tonnes and used to be rung by hand!

An interesting excursion, now it was time to head back to the bus and my next planned stop.

 

2 responses to “Paris – part 2”

  1. Ursula Evans says:

    It is so beautiful

  2. Paul says:

    Once again, the stained glass windows blow me away.

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