Tag Archives: notre-dame

Holy Stained Glass

As mentioned previously, I love visiting churches because they’re so fancy and they’re free! Leave it to Randy to find one of the few cathedrals you have to pay to get into. I’ll get to that later though. Randy created a list of places he wanted to see, and a bunch of the churches on his list were clustered together, and fairly close to Jeremy’s house. So, after a hot chocolate break after The Cluny we mapped out a route and headed out to find the churches. The only problem? It was 6 o’clock. Right around the time most churches close! It was not looking good for us!

We first went to Saint Julien le Pauvre, one of the older churches in Paris. They were only open for a concert at this time of day, but said they were normally open from 9-6. We ended up going back Monday morning around 10 and found the gates closed and locked! We tried one more time after we visited the Sainte Chapelle, and it was still closed! Boo. Now we have a reason to return to Paris.

Saint Julien le Pauvre.

Saint Julien le Pauvre.

Saint Julien le Pauvre.

Our next stop was walking by Notre Dame. It’s one of my favorites, but the line kept us out. It wasn’t excessive, we just had other sites we’d rather see. We managed to get some nice pictures though. Couldn’t miss the shots of the Charlemagne statue either, considering we’re related and all…

Notre Dame is a popular one!

Charlemagne outside of Notre Dame.

Next stop, Sainte Chapelle. This was the church we had to pay to get into. It’s located in the Palace of Justice, so you have to go through security, and then you pay to enter the chapel. We went on a Monday morning around 1030 and waited 45 minutes or so. Let me tell you it is totally worth it. I loved the tile floor. The animals that it depicts are so whimsical, and reminded me of Morocco in concept, although not style. The showstopper is of course the stained glass of the chapel. The windows are under restoration, but the majority are still visible. They rise about 40 feet (total estimation) above your head. It’s breathtaking.

Sainte Chapelle stained glass. That looks like 40 feet, right?

Slightly closer look at the stained glass in the Sainte Chapelle.

This might help with the scale of the chapel.

Stained glass in the Sainte Chapelle.

Ceiling and top of stained glass, Sainte Chapelle.

Saint in the Sainte Chapelle.

Floor detail in the Sainte Chapelle.

The final church we went to in Paris was Saint Gervais et Saint Protais. Its a large Italian style church. It was the only church we made it into, and they had a service going on. We stayed for a few minutes and watch the incense guy wave his ball and chain down the aisle (those are technical terms, right?), and then we headed out. It was a pretty cool little visit.

Saint Gervais et Saint Protais.

Saint Gervais et Saint Protais.

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Mon Dieu! Paris!

All you can drink!

All you can eat!

When my mom and sister came to Paris after skiing in the Chamonix region years ago they went to a lovely little restaurant that served them 4 courses and all you can

Happiness!

drink. Ever since that day my mom has been trying to get me to go check it out. As I continually say I can’t afford it, she generously offered to sponsor a visit by me and Jeremy. The restaurant is called Le Sergent Recruteur on Ile Saint-Louis. All my mom said was true: for 40,50 euro you get all you can eat appetizers (a bucket of sausages and a bucket of vegetables as well as bread and soup), and all you can drink beer, white wine and red wine. Jeremy pointed out that all you can drink alone for that price was a deal in Paris, and declared the restaurant his new favorite. The food was tasty and hearty, but the cheese looked old and my crème caramel was not the best I’ve ever had. Although it was not gourmet french cuisine at it’s finest, and a true Parisian would probably not be caught dead in there, we really enjoyed our meal, and the setting, and the generosity of my parents. A note of caution though: The bathroom is up a steep ladder-like staircase. After a few pitchers (or bottles) it can be treacherous to navigate, but that just adds to the experience!

The next morning poor Jeremy had to go to work early. I wanted to lie in bed all day and try to make my stomach stop rolling around (we took all you can drink to the next level), but as it is my tourists duty, I set out to explore the city. Jeremy had suggested I check out the Munch exhibit at The Pinacotheque. He’s the guy who is best known for ‘The Scream“. I thought the exhibit was really interesting, and it reminded me of Tim Burton’s works, which I saw at the New York MOMA. They are from different generations, and both have such unique styles, yet many of Munch’s images reminded me of Burton’s, leading me to theorize that Burton may have been inspired by the old Norwegian artist.

Church of Saint Marie-Madeleine

Church of Saint Augustine

Church of Saint Augustine

However I couldn’t fully appreciate the exhibit due to my past night’s indulgence. Wanting nothing more than to go home, but feeling guilty about being in such a beautiful and historic city and not exploring it, I went into the Church of Saint Marie-Madeline, a huge building that looks like it should be a greek town hall rather than a church. It was right next to the Pinacotheque, so it didn’t take much effort or imagination to walk over. There I felt the spirit and was healed. Actually the temperature was nice and cool because of the thick stone walls and it smelled pleasantly of incense which helped settle my stomach. With my renewed health I set out to walk the city. I spied St. Augustine’s Church down the boulevard, so I headed that way, and then just kept walking, making my way towards the Grand Palace. I wasn’t feeling any more museums, and it was late afternoon anyway, so I decided to walk along the river. Eventually I came upon Notre-Dame, and had to stop in there as well. By now it was 5:00 pm, and there was no line, so it met my standards of great tourist attraction: fewer people than normal. I also used my student ID to get into the treasury at a discounted price, and enjoyed my second visit to Notre-Dame. My only disappointment was that I couldn’t go up in the tower because it was too late in the day. Next time perhaps.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

For my last night Jeremy and I got Chinese take out and ice cream from the market. Parisian Chinese food is different than American Chinese food, but still yummy and greasy, and probably unlike any food you would actually eat in China. We had fun staying in with a movie, and then watching Will & Grace. My vacation has been a ton of fun, but I’m looking forward to getting back to the States and finalizing the details of my PhD program and trying to make a little money before I become a destitute student.

Adieu Paris! I’ll miss you!

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