Today is day four of our seven days in Paris for my ten-year-old grandson and me and we are spending the day in the heart of Paris, on Île de la Cité, one of the two islands in the Seine River and the birth place of the city of Paris! We start with la Sainte Chapelle, the chapel of Louis IX, built in 1245 (yes, I said 1245!) for the holy relics…the crown of thorns and piece of the cross…that he brought back from the Crusades! It is housed within his palace, which is now the Palais de Justice.
If I could only take you to one place in Paris, this would be it! The first floor is filled with wonderfully hand-painted patterns on the walls and was used as the servants’ chapel. But climb a dark and narrow staircase and…
…you come out to see this…the most beautiful stained glass windows in the world! I love taking people who have never been to see the expressions on their faces! Every wall of the upper chapel is filled from floor to ceiling with magnificent stained glass! I hope my grandson will always remember this because I fear that a ten-year-old is not much impressed by such a sight!
Sooo…we headed next door to the ancient prison of Louis IX's palace…the Conciergerie…whose claim to fame, unfortunately, is serving as the holding cell for the victims of the guillotine during the French Revolution…including Marie-Antoinette! My grandson loved it!
It is filled with mock-ups of the cells complete with mannequins in period costumes, including Marie-Antoinette herself. There’s even a warden with whom you can check in! Most interesting to me was a list of the victims of the guillotine and their professions…among them a baker and several servants. Also on the list, of course, are Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.
Then it was off to see Notre Dame Cathedral…with its rectangular bell towers and magnificent rose windows…
…fabulously Gothic flying buttresses…
…and wonderful statuary, including my favorite, Saint Denis, the Bishop of Paris who was beheaded by the Romans and then picked up his head and walked 6 miles, preaching a sermon along the way before he died! We check out the cathedral inside…beautiful!… but…
…what we really came to see was this fellow…Notre Dame’s most famous gargoyle, looking a bit bored in spite of his fabulous view!
However, I give the award for the best view to this fellow…with the Eiffel Tower and Seine River in the background!
I do believe my grandson photographed every one of them! Here are some of his best shots. I have spared you the most gruesome one, who was eating some sort of creature head first! Warning…be sure you are in shape before you tackle the steps up to the bell tower. I wasn’t.
Then after having ice cream along the quai or bank of the other island, Île Saint Louis, we cross over to the Left Bank for a fabulous view of the cathedral and to check out the famous bouquinistes or book stalls and stroll around the Latin Quarter.
We end the day with a ride on the bâteau mouche…the tour boats that ride up a down the Seine…for a look at Paris from a different angle!
What can I say…another perfect day in our Paris adventure! Stay tuned for more!
Missed any Paris posts?
Back from Paris…or...My Grandson’s Favorites! Listing the must-see spots for a ten year old boy!
My Favorite Street in Paris…Rue Cler Great little street to use as your headquarters
In case you want to follow along, here is my plan for visiting Paris in seven days! I am linking each of the seven days as I complete the posts.
Day One…All about Eiffel! Eiffel Tower/ Champ de Mars park and play area
Day Two…Sightseeing by Subway! Arc de Triomphe/ Montmarte/ Sacré-Coeur
Day Three…Monsieur Monet, I Presume (and a lot of Louis)! Giverny/ Versailles minibus tour
Day Four…The Cradle of Paris! La Sainte Chapelle/ la Conciergerie/ Notre Dame/ Latin Quarter/ the book stalls/ ice cream on Ile St. Louis/ the bâteau mouche on the Seine
Day Five…Art Museum Madness…Plus Play in the Park! Louvre/ Tuileries Garden/ l’Orangerie/ Musée d’Orsay
Day Six…A Phantom, a Fountain and Some History! Opéra Garnier/ Pompidou Center/ Carnavalet Museum
Day Seven…A Tomb, a Tank and a Tower! Napoleon’s Tomb and the Musée de l’Armée at les Invalides/ Eiffel Tower at night
Thanks so much for stopping by! See you next time! A la prochaine!