It’s October 31, Halloween, but not in Paris. There are absolutely
no signs of pumpkins, costumes, or bowls of candy in any of the
stores. When we inquired about it from our hotel, they told us that Halloween is not celebrated there, but perhaps we might see a few
in costume, or perhaps not.
Today we are headed to Sainte-Chapelle in the center of the Ile-de-la-Cite.
The Chapel was built-in 1242 and 1248, to house the relics of The Passion
of Christ. The most famous of these relics was the Crown of Thorns.
The Holy Relics had belonged to the emperors of Constantinople since the
4th century. King Louis IX purchased the relics from them in 1239 and
therefore had this beautiful two floored chapel built to house them.
This lower chapel displays a statue of the Virgin Mary, the sanctuary’s
patron saint. Straight ahead is a statue of King Louis. The chapel is
lovely with fleur-de-lys decorating the ceiling and columns. As you enter
the chapel a serene atmosphere, feeling, whatever you want to call it,
let’s you know you have walked into a place of holiness.
The upper chapel is breathtaking. It is sumptuously decorated with 15
stained glass windows depicting 1,113 scenes telling the story of mankind
from Genesis through Christ’s resurrection. Fourteen of the windows,
depicting episodes from the bible, should be read left to right. From the
bottom upwards. Straight ahead is the altar where the Crown of Thorns
and other relics would be viewed only by the King, his close friends and family.
Unfortunately, they were doing a restoration on the upper chapel and we were not able to view all the windows. My friend, who has never been
to Paris, still was totally overwhelmed with the beauty of this upper chapel.
I have been here many times, even attended a Christmas concert here,
and can truly say, this place always manages to amazed me at the beauty
After leaving Sainte-Chapelle, we jumped on the metro and before long
was standing in front of the Basilique du Sacre’Coeur in Montmartre.
It is one of my favorite places in Paris. This stunning church can almost
be seen from most places in Paris and when you actually see it up close,
it is magical. The stunning white exterior and dome facade looks like
a grand palace that you would see in perhaps India.
Just a few streets from the Basilica of the Sacre’ Coeur is Place du Terte,
a square where artist have set up their easels to paint the streets and
people of Montmartre. You can’t help but walk these streets and
try to imagine the days of Renoir, Picasso, Utrillo and Modigliani, when
they were perhaps penniless and walked these same streets, giving them
the inspiration that have made their paintings priceless today.
Spending the rest of the afternoon into early evening in Montmartre was
such a pleasant experience. It was a beautiful day and the back streets
of this area was so interesting to walk. It was nothing to see an artist
on a corner painting the street in front of him or her. I truly love this
colorful part of Paris. It oozes the Paris of yesterday.
More tales and photos of Paris to come – Au revoir