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04 July, 2011

Paris in Seven Days: Notre Dame Cathedral and the Cradle of Paris

114 - CopyToday 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.

105 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…

106 …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! 

162 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!
 118It 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.

139 Then it was off to see Notre Dame Cathedral…with its rectangular bell towers and magnificent rose windows…

175 …fabulously Gothic flying buttresses…

137 …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…

gargouille …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!

134 However, I give the award for the best view to this fellow…with the Eiffel Tower and Seine River in the background!

gargoylesI 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.

Notre Dame 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.

bateaumouche 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!

166What 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 TwoSightseeing by Subway! Arc de Triomphe/ Montmarte/ Sacré-Coeur
Day ThreeMonsieur Monet, I Presume (and a lot of Louis)! Giverny/ Versailles minibus tour
Day FourThe 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 FiveArt Museum Madness…Plus Play in the Park! Louvre/ Tuileries Garden/ l’Orangerie/ Musée d’Orsay
Day SixA 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!


  1. What a wonderful grandmother you are to take your grandson on such a magnificent trip. And hebdid a marvelous job photographing the gargoyles. Looking forward to seeing more.

  2. I'm sure enjoying your trip! Thanks for sharing your wealth of information -- I bet those stained glass windows are breathtaking in person. Great gargoyle shots from your adorable travelmate.

  3. Great pictures, Debbie. I will just tour Paris through you since I may never get to go. Have a great 4th and week!

  4. These would be on my must see list so thanks for showing them to me. I too am enjoying the tour of Paris so very much! hugs, Linda

  5. I'm so enjoying relieving my recent Paris trip through your blog and pics. I wanted to climb Notre Dame but had walked my legs off the day before and just couldn't. Sounds like it was a wise decision. Looking forward to the next installment.

  6. I love to revisit Paris though beautiful photographs. Your grandson is becoming a great little photographer.
    I remember the dark first floor and the narrow staircase of Saint Chapelle, it was coming out of the dark into the light, such a beautiful sight. i'm sure your little grandson will remember his first visit to Paris with you for a life time. I'll just bet you've planted a wonderful seed, and you'll see it grow in him from this trip. I do hope I'll get to do the same thing for my little grandson someday, he is only three so we'll have to wait. Love this posts

    The French Hutch

  7. Gorgeous beyond words, You really got some great shots, especially of your grandson's favorite, Gargoyles. I think that is so cool that he had several things he really wanted to see in Paris, what a wonderful trip of a lifetime for him, Kathysue

  8. Wow! What a fabulous trip. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photography of this beautiful place.

    Happy 4th!

  9. What a wonderful trip for a young man to take with his grandmother. I hope he remembers most of it..and is duly impressed by what he sees! I would love to be there and see that myself! xo Diana

  10. I love learning new things from you, Debbie. I like the story about Saint Denis. I am impressed you made it to the top...we couldn't. Your pictures of the gargoyles are great and I especially like the one with the Eiffel Tower and the Seine in the background. The Conciergerie will be on our list to see hopefully in the future. Glad your grandson liked it. It has been so much fun to follow your trip and relive our experiences there too.

    Happy 4th of July!

  11. Debbie, I'm thoroughly enjoying your tour of Paris and all the beautiful photos for I know I shall never get to go. Love the photos of the gargoyles that your grandson took. He's a excellent photographer, just like his grandmother. :) I'm sure this is a trip he will remember all his life.
    Hope you're having a great 4th.

  12. While I enjoyed each photo... the last one made my heart smile... ;)

    Happy July 4th! Dixie

  13. Your photos are fantastic! I hope the rest of y'all's trip is fantastic, too! Thanks for sharing with us.

  14. Oh Debbie, so many pictures! maybe you and your grandsown can put together an album of favorite pictures, oui?

    Happy 4th, Bonnie

  15. Love the paris-travel posts... Those stained glass windows look magnificient... Lovely shots...!! Love the bored gargoyle... !!

  16. It's fun to read this; it's almost a "he said, she said" about what is most awesome in Paris. Fun to hear both your joys.

  17. Your trip and tour have been so much fun I feel that I've gone along with you! What wonderful memories you have provided for your little grandson. And for yourself as I know you will treasure each and every one.

  18. Debbie,
    Haven't left a comment in a while, but I am still reading and I am REALLY enjoying your trip!!! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Debbie, je suis d' Sainte Chapelle est magnifique - mon endroit favori! Les photos du Notre Dame sont tellement belles - et celle de la gargouille (à gauche est fantastique! Quel voyage! Linda

  20. Debbie, What a trip to remember for both of you. He will NEVER forget this, I am sure. I felt like I was visiting Paris all over again with your post. Life is busy, full, and wonderful at the moment; would love to get together for coffee and GW when I return from Canada in August. I MISS YOU and your SMILE! Hugs friend! ~CC

  21. All I can say is Holy Cow Debbie this is one fabulous post!
    I enjoyed the pics and your commentary so very much!
    And I think your grandson is a cutie, even just from the backside!
    Hugs friend,

  22. What wonderful pictures!! Thanx for sharing!

  23. I wish i can bring my kids in that beautiful place..hope you both had a great days!

  24. I didn't realize the church was part of Louis place! Wow. I have seen the church on a documentary that shows different cathedral's , churches, etc. Amazing place--would love to see it in person.


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie