Here are some pictures from our second day in Paris. We started out by visiting the Eiffel Tower. I was surprised at just how massive it was. A shot of it towering above the trees.
You can go up to the top in elevators which crawl up the legs of the tower. This photo gives you an idea of the size of the legs.
And here's a shot of Alex standing in front of the entire tower.
Next stop was the complex of Les Invalides. It is a combination military museum, monument, hospital for veterans, and retirement home for veterans. It was built by King Louis XIV. This picture is from the front, showing the lawn in front.
The courtyard leading up to the building.
It's the Corsican himself. Napoleon looks on as all enter.
This is the chapel inside the building. It's rafters are strung with enemy banners captured by the French Army, the vast majority of which were taken by Napoleon.
In the chapel are many tombs are famous French military personages. This is the tomb of Joseph Napoleon, Napoleon's brother, who was appointed King of Spain by Napoleon.
This is a grey frock coat on exhibition which belonged to Napoleon himself.
The tomb of Hubert Lyautey, the French Resident-General of Morocco.
The tomb of Marshall Ferdinal Foch, Supreme Allied Commander during WWI.
This last tomb is that of Napoleon himself.
The Army Museum had an exhibit on the Knights of Malta which we found interesting, having already been to Malta. Here is a ceremonial dagger which belonged to all the Grand Masters.
A painting of St. John the Baptist (the Order's patron) in the habit of the Order.
A three-barreled pistol!
Various suits of armor. Check out the ones for the kids!
And just in time for Haloween, this mask err...helmet!
After leaving Les Invalides, I viewed yet another piece of evidence to support the theory that cops (even French ones) spend a lot of time in doughnut shops.
France's version of the Pantheon. It's an excellent example of neoclassical architecture in Paris. Inside are the tombs of famous French such as Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, and Louis Braille.
Next stop was the church of St. Nicholas du Chardonnet, the SSPX stronghold in Paris.
We then walked to the island in the middel of the Seine where the church of Notre Dame is located. This magnificent Gothic structure is the Cathedral of Paris and was built between 1163 and 1345. It is more than 400 feet long, 130 feet wide and has a maximum height (the spire) of 315 feet.
A close-up shot of some of the flying buttresses used to support the walls.
A statue of Charlemagne in the square leading up to the Cathedral.
The facade of the Cathedral.
Here is some detail of the carvings above the doors.
The north Rose window. Abbsolutely unbelievable stained glass.
A tomb, with some more stained glass in the background.
Looking down the enormous nave. It was in this church (unfinished at the time) that the Third Crusade was initiated and it was here that Napoleon was crowned.
On the exterior of the church, we spotted this statue of a headless St. Denis, Paris' first bishop.
Next stop was Sainte-Chapelle, the royal chapel used by King Louis IX.
This was the lower part of the chapel where members of the palace household heard mass. These would include grooms, gardeners, and other servents. It was pretty impressive.
The upper chapel was absolutely stunning though. Built to house relics purchased from the Venetians, it is entirely made of stained glass. The colors were impossible to capture on film.
After leaving Sainte-Chapelle we went to the Conciergie, the infamous prison of the French Revolution. This is the lower hall.
The processing room where prisoners were assigned a cell, shorn, and entered into the logs of the prison.
The order demanding the transfer of the Girondins to the Revolutionary Tribunal.
A real guillotine blade, which was actually in use during the Reign of Terror.
A cell converted into a chapel to the memory of Marie Antoinette.
The outside courtyard where prisoners were permitted to do their laundry and exercise.
A crucifix and hand towel which belonged to Marie Antoinette, and a pitcher which someone used to give her a drink of water the day she was executed.
Marie Antoinette's cell.
Last stop of the day was the church of St. Denis, to the extreme North of the city. It is the burial site of almost all French monarchs since Clovis I. Unfortunately the necropolis closed just as we got there so we didn't get to enter.
We did get to enter the basilica itself though, one of the major Gothic landmarks of Paris.
A single photo of the famous Tower of Montparnasse, a 58-story skyscraper in southern Paris where tourists can take an elevator to a terrace on the last floor and get great views of the city.