Churches on the Île de la Cité

My daughter who has been to Paris to scope it out for us, highly recommended that we see Sainte-Chapelle, the gothic chapel that shares the island Île de la Cité (in the middle of the Seine, in the middle of Paris) with it’s older and more well-known sister the Notre Dame. It was built in six years, starting in 1238, to hold the Crown of Thorns, purchased by King Louis IX for some amazingly large sum of money. We went to see the beautiful stained glass windows which reach heavenward with a strong preponderance of blue. Like music, you can see pictures (or listen to a recording), but you must be there to enjoy it fully. IMG_4937 IMG_4938 IMG_4949 Unfortunately for us, the rose window is under restoration, so we could only see the covering on the scaffold. I guess we’ll have to go back sometime. (Darn!) It is quite dark in the chapel, but taking pictures illuminates the detail of the lovely interior.

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Ceiling of the Sainte-Chapelle

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The floor

IMG_4952 IMG_4959 The door to the small balcony is highly decorated with reliefs. Here is Noah’s Ark. IMG_4962 The stunning part of the chapel is upstairs, but visitors first enter the downstairs chapel. Here are some photos of this intimate space. IMG_4935 IMG_4936 We also saw 13 stained glass windows in the Cluny Museum from the Sainte-Chapelle.

Notre Dame is free to all, and we could have used our museum pass for a free tour, but we just decided to spend a little time there by ourselves. Maybe I’ll have to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame in penance. Here a few shots of this famous cathedral.

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Nice cow

IMG_4976 IMG_4986 We saw many churches as we walked all over the city. A number had flying buttresses, but no notoriety. We did not have time to stop and investigate everything we saw! Another reason to return.

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