The spook story surrounding Paris’s famous Cathedral—Notre Dame Cathedral—prompted me to take the beautiful walk across the city surpassing several winding rues and lanes. Legend goes that Notre Dame is haunted by a ghost of a locksmith who was commissioned to make locks for the cathedral. He asked the devil for help and died a few days later. I hoped to get frightened but instead I was pleasantly mesmerized.
Construction of this grand structure first began in 1163. It is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture which took nearly 200 years to complete. It is believed to have opened in 1345. Paris is often regarded as the birthplace of Gothic structure and the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress (arched exterior supports) of this Cathedral make for a fine testimony.
As soon as you step in, a calmness envelops you and you will be welcomed by a sight of tall, nicely carved archways and beautiful stained glass paintings. Incidentally, during the French revolution, the cathedral was damaged and many of its treasures and statues were stolen. Although, some were found in the 1970s, nearly 200 years later.
The Cathedral also houses a rather beatific statue of Joan of Arc. A deeply spiritual peasant girl who led the French Army to several important victories during the hundred years’ war. It also has one of the biggest Church bells–Emmanuel weighing over 30 tonnes.
Notre Dame is a haven of architecture and history and the perfect place if you want to see a slice of the city’s rich culture.
As mentioned last week, I continue to tease you with postcards from Paris. Here, I’ve tried to capture the vibrant streets of Paris plus the treasures that make a city.
Place de la Concorde Luxor Obelisk
The Real Statue of Liberty?
Who says city life is boring? If the city is as bustling as this one then boring would never figure in your dictionary. Don’t you think?
Traveling for me is the most humbling experience and the best education out there. I feel every city has its own distinct vibe. For me, Paris is like an extremely beautiful and confident woman. She never doubts herself and walks tall, proud and unflinching in the race of life. And she surely knows the affect she has on everyone (and everything) around her. On that happy note, here are some pictures of the truly beautiful iron lady–the Eiffel Tower.
If you are a Paris atheist I dare you to really observe and I know you will pretty soon croon like Ella Fitzgerald, “I love Paris every moment.” 😀
City of Love, Fashion Capital, City of Lights, Literary Paradise….Paris has many such different faces. This weekend the husband and I decided to experience this city’s genius up, close and personal. As soon as we stepped in; it seemed the city had completely taken us with its charm. I am yet to see a city with such a strong personality , a city which envelops you completely in its grandeur and audaciously challenges you to ALWAYS remember its mighty beauty. Starting from today (till next week), I will bring you various sights and places that took me completely by surprise with its jaw-dropping allurement.
From the Eiffel Tower to Palace De Versailles to its many Cathedrals; the aesthete in you will not just be satiated but exhilarated in this city. Our first stop was the Arc de Triomphe (Triumphal Arc; pictured above). The Arc honours all those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Its inner and outer surface names all the French victors and generals who participated in the Revolution.
As you can see the sight is characterised by its intricate carving and sculpting work. The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and it features four icons on each side. Each sculpture shows nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. The Arc set the tone for public monuments in Paris.
Just one visit to the Arc is enough to understand why Paris is one of the artistic capitals of Europe and why it has been home to many artists and art movements. As for me I was glad that this was just the beginning.