Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Our Pre-Louvre Excursion

Today was a fabulous sight-seeing day in Paris. We started at Notre Dame, continued at the Ste.-Chapelle (my favorite building in the world except, of course, for Wrigley Field) and concluded, after a late lunch, with the Louvre. The first two stops were sublime. Tourists aplenty to be sure, but the spaces defied the noise and forced one to look UP. We thoroughly enjoyed this morning of colored light, soaring architecture and royal (in every sense of the word) beauty. See below for yourselves...

En route

 At about 108 feet tall the nave is as stunning as it is tall.

Me, happy to be in Paris!

The facade of the Ste.-Chapelle, which was built by Louis IX to hold relics of the Passion of Christ and to serve as his own private chapel. It was once attached to his royal apartments on the chapel's upper level and I like to imagine Louis, slipping into the chapel in his satin azure p.j.'s covered with fleur-di-lys in order to glimpse the splendor of this space again and again.  How could one, especially Louis who so closely aligns himself with this building--even depicting himself in the glass inside--turn his back on it? We had a hard time doing so.

One of the great monuments of Gothic architecture, it was an exciting moment as we awaited our entrance... (Note Dave at the end of the line, wearing shorts on a rainy, 55-degree day and loving it).

Drum roll..............

...fifteen, 45-foot tall windows containing over 1100 biblical scenes. WOW! The podium below is where Louis displayed (for a select and special few) his precious relics, dispersed and destroyed during the French Revolution.

The jewel box nature of this structure is much-written about in the history of art and with good reason. In fact, it is the lasting impression I take away from this building on my most recent, that is today's, visit--gold and huge fields of colored light delicately embracing a space where one feels lucky to be.  Exactly as I suspect Louis planned one to feel.


  1. I should say something more intelligent and thoughtful, but even in photographs, those windows are remarkable...