Thursday, October 30, 2008

Paris part one

The following set of blog posts will deal with the trip Alex and I took to France. Although we didn't have nearly enough time to see everything, we had a great time. We hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as we had taking them. Amusez-vous bien!

On our flight in from Rome we got to catch the sun breaking over the French Alps.

So this isn't exactly indicative of Paris, but hey...we recognized the brand.

Mmmm...French pastries!

Alex standing in front of the Arc de Triomphe. It was commissioned by Napoleon and modeled after Titus' arch in Rome.

The tomb of the unknown soldier underneath the arch.

Shameless copying of Rome's arches was visible on the vaulting. :)

The modern version of the Arch - the Arche de la Défense.It is intended to be a 20th century version of its older counterpart. It's actually an office building, and is massive - 108 meters high.

Paris' version of Via dei Condotti - the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. There's a joke about why those trees were planted but I'm afraid it wouldn't be very sporting of me to mention it. :)

A placque marking the house where Thomas Jefferson stayed when he visited Paris.

A view of some of the flower beds sprinkled throughout the city.

The Place de Concorde, one of the major squares in Paris. It was here that the guillotine was used during the Terror, and where King Louis XVI was murdered.

This is the church of the Madeleine, L'Église de la Madeleine. Originally it was intended to be a temple dedicated to the glory of Napoleon's Army, but was converted into a church. Today it is where all the most fashionable couples of Paris celebrate their weddings, and incidentally is where the funeral of Chopin took place.

Snails!!!!!!!! Yep, they do eat these.

This is the Expiatory Chapel, the chapel built over the site where the bodies of King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were thrown after they were guillotined.

This is the Colonne Vendôme, the column erected by Napoleon to commemorate his victory at Austerlitz. It was inspired by Trajan's Column in Rome.

Alex standing beside the base of the column so you can judge its size.

This is the square where the column stands - Place Vendôme.

Here is the interior of the church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. Its cornerstone was laid in 1629 by King Louis XIII.

In this picture you can see some of the marble placques thanking Our Lady of Victory for favors received. There are over 10,000 of them lining the walls and ceiling of the church.

A stained glass panel of Our Lady of Victory.

And the famous statue itself. It was before this statue that St. Therese of Lisieux prayed for help in discerning her vocation.

One of the many picturesque cafes lining the streets of Paris.

The church of Saint-Eustache, finished in 1632. Several historic figures have had ties to this church. It is where King Louis XIV received his first communion, Mozart conducted funeral services for his mother, and Richelieu was baptized.

The magnificent Gothic interior of the church. Its ceiling is over 100 feet high.

Stunning Rose window.

The tomb of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the famous minister of finance under Louis XIV.

The St. Jacques Tower, all that remains of a church that was demolished. Today it has been restored and is a popular landmark in Paris. At its base is a statue of Blaise Pascal.

The Hôtel de Ville, the center of Paris' administration. It is the site where Robespierre was shot in the jaw and arrested in the coup of 1789, and the site where Charles de Gaulle gave his famous speech from the window in 1944 after the liberation of Paris.

A shot of the river Seine.

The cathedral of Notre Dame by night.

Dusk falling, with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, modeled after Septimus Severus' arch in Rome.

Last nighttime picture - the famous glass pyramid near the Louvre.


Angel - viaggiare e sognare said...

Wow, le tue foto sono una più bella dell'altra!!!!!!!!

DelGrosso said...

Beautiful.....the church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires and the St. Jacques Tower and all the other photos. I love the statue of Our Lady of Victory. It must have felt a little eery, or at lease sad being in the places where King Louis and Marie Antoinette where murdered and the Reign of Terror took place.