Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What we loved about Paris... {Part Three}

If you missed Parts One and Two, click here and here.

Now, where were we?  Oh, right...

{We loved} the cathedrals.

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This is Notre Dame, with its beautiful gothic architecture.  I couldn't resist going to take a peek at it the first day we arrived, although we didn't actually go inside until we came back the next day.

And holy cow, was it gorgeous.

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We made the mistake of going on a Sunday during mass, so it was more crowded than I can even express, but it was kind of a cool thing to see so many worshiping in such a historic place.  What a crazy thing to go to church in a building whose construction began in 1163...

We also took a quick stroll just a few blocks away from our apartment to see Saint-Sulpice, which was much smaller and quieter.

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(If you read The Da Vinci Code, this is the church in the book containing the meridian line... which isn't really a true meridian line, but who really cares...)

On our last day in Paris, we climbed the narrow, winding staircase of Sainte-Chapelle.  I didn't get a picture of the outside because it isn't really very impressive.  But the stained glass inside sure was.

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I won't pretend that I wasn't incredibly angry that the construction and scaffolding completely ruined my pictures of this gorgeous place.

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It's hard to tell, but the stained glass went all the way around the room, and, starting from the left and working all the way back around, the panels told the Biblical story from Genesis to Revelation.  It was incredible.

So we obviously enjoyed the cathedrals.  But...

{We didn't love} the museums.

If you're the artsy type, I feel sure that you're totally judging me.  But I'd be lying if I told you that I could really appreciate beautiful art for what it is.  They're all just pretty pictures/sculptures to me.  (My mom, the artist, is totally cringing right now...)

That being said, there were just a couple of things I wanted to see while we were in Paris. 

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The Louvre at night being one of them.  You probably know that the Louvre is the largest museum in the world.  These pictures don't even come close to capturing the entire thing.  It actually used to be a palace until King Louis XIV moved everyone to Versailles, so it's all incredibly beautiful, particularly when the pyramid (which wasn't added until 1988) is lit up in the dark. 

And we did actually go in and see a couple of things.  You could spend days in there, just walking around.

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This is the Winged Victory of Samothrace (also called the Nike of Samothrace).  I actually found this piece to be breathtakingly gorgeous.  If I had a favorite piece of art, this might be it.  It's mind-boggling to me that this dates back to the 2nd century, B.C.  B.C.!!!

And, of course, we couldn't go to Paris without taking a peek at the Mona Lisa.

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(You have no idea how many people I had to elbow to make it to the front of the crowd to snap this picture.

I suppose her smirk is enigmatic.

I was also told that we just couldn't miss the Orsay Museum.

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And I suppose I am glad I saw it.  We made sure to see the Monets, Manets, and Van Goghs.  But, again, I'm afraid it was all mostly lost on me. 

You can take the girl out of the country... ;)

And I promise, I've got the final Paris post coming in the next couple of days.

4 comments:

Annabelle said...

Those cathedrals are breathtaking! I could only imagine what it was like in person!

Jessica K said...

Amazing pictures! I think I would be the same as you, with the museums. Nothing against art, just not my thing!

Joy said...

Love the beautiful colors of those windows!

Kristin said...

The idea of seeing a sculpture from 2 century B.C. would just floor me. And the art would be lost on me too :) Paintings are paintings. Architecture is different.

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