:: Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris ::
Perhaps no other nations history is more closely associated with Roman Catholicism than France, and perhaps no other monument to Christianity is more iconic than Notre Dame de Paris. Day and night we would find ourselves making our way back to Île de la Cité to continue our admiration of one of Europe's greatest Gothic masterpieces.
The structure itself took almost 200 years to build, with construction beginning in 1160 and continuing until 1345. It's mindboggling to contemplate the countless historical events that transpired at Notre Dame ranging from the famous ( launching of the Third Crusade 1185, Coronation of Napoleon 1804) to the fascinating but lesser known (wolves of Paris 1450).
We were lucky enough to attend mass with Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris.
:: Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe ::
We walked the length of the world's most famous boulevard from dusk till late at night (so only a few pictures). It seemed like all of Paris joined us for our stroll along Champs-Élysées, enjoying the Christmas markets, holiday lights, hot wine and roasted chestnuts...
:: Montmartre and Basilica of the Sacré Cœur ::
By Parisian standards the Sacré-Cœur is a relatively new church at only around 100 years old. Perched atop 'butte Montmartre' (highest point in Paris) this church attracts throngs of tourists who are lured by the church's iconic architecture, sweeping views of the city and lovely Montmartre neighborhood.
I wonder how many of the 10 million people (no joke) who visitor Sacré-Cœur each year are aware that the church is a monument to the darkest days in Paris's long history. As many as 25,000 Parisians were massacred by there own countrymen as a result of the 1871 Paris Commune that arose from the ashes of France's defeat to Germany in the Franco-Prussian War...
:: Tour de Effel ::
The world's most famous structure turned 125 years old in 2014! An landmark achievement in engineering, metallurgy, architecture and construction, the Eiffel Tower doubled the height of the great pyramids of giza that stood as the highest monuments of human achievement for almost 5000 years. The view from the top is breathtaking, as is the glass elevator ride to the summit.
:: Jenn and Brent ::
Two best friends spreading holiday cheer...!
:: Cimetière du Père-Lachaise ::
On our last day, we explored the city’s famous garden cemetery, Père Lachaise, which was the first municipal cemetery of Paris. It’s unlike any graveyard we’ve have ever seen! Rich with style, sculptures and history this beautiful (yet slightly creepy) tour was to die
Be sure to check out the link of Héloïse and Abélard. While dozens of people were gawking over Jim Morrison's grave, nobody bothered to seek out the grave of Héloïse and Abélard. While we are both as big a fan of the lizard king as most, the story of Héloïse and Abélard is one for the ages...
:: 11th Arrondissement of Paris ::
A few random picture from in and around our accommodations in the 11th Arrondissement of Paris.