Woke up this morning to thunder and rain, rain and more blessed rain! I was so happy! I jumped up, unrolled the metal shutters and opened the windows! Ahhh….so much cooler today! I think the rain dances are working….
I took another of the walks from that book today, this one was called, “The Birthplace of the City”. It started off down by Pont Neuf and ended up in the Memorial for the Marytrs of the Deportation – which I very much wanted to see but it is closed on Mondays – so I’ll have to put it back on the list and go another day.
I went to Sainte Chapelle but skipped the Conciergerie because frankly, there were about a million police outside it and news cameras. I don’t know what happened but it made me nervous so I skipped it – maybe another day! The search to get into Sainte Chapelle was bad enough! Sainte Chapelle, however, touts the best stained glass in Paris and I have to agree. It’s magnificent. Expensive – same entry as the Louvre for a one room chapel on the ground floor (so-so) and then up teeny, tiny, enclosed circular stairs to the upstairs with the incredible stained glass. Amazing! (Update: just read that the main floor was for the public but the upstairs with the stained glass was for the exclusive use of one of France’s kings (I’m betting one of the Louis’!)
I wound my way through the flower market and then to Notre Dame. I was a bit concerned about pick-pockets – lots of people say they are rampant there but either I lucked out or the rain drove them away because I didn’t have any issues!
Notre Dame is exquisite. It’s enormity alone is impressive, never mind the details on the facade – the intricate carvings around the arches, the gargoyles, the tower. Then once inside….it’s gorgeous. The very high ceilings, the balconies, the windows…all of it. It’s beautiful and I love the gothic style.
I was fortunate enough to happen upon a girls choir performing. They were great and sang for almost an hour!
Apparently, many years ago, Notre Dame needed a reno (when don’t these old buildings need touching up?) but Parisians were not keen on it – the gothic style wasn’t very popular and they didn’t think it was worth saving (to be fair – there is a lot of choices in Paris). Then Victor Hugo’s book became popular and support for the church rolled in – and the funds with it. Thank God for literature!