He looks around, around; he sees angels in the architecture spinning in infinity, He says, “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!” ~ Paul Simon
Walking through Notre Dame, though crowded with people from all over the world, I felt as if I was the only person there; lost in the art, the architecture, seeing those angels spinning in infinity.
I do believe that one walks into this church amidst the crowds and dissolves into oneself, to absorb the incredible works of art, and to pray. Alone or together in the way you alone can pray, with whatever your prayer is.
The immensity of this church is unimaginable. One knows this cathedral is large from reading information prior to going. And then you walk in. It’s larger than whatever you might have imagined.
Two and a half hours here skimmed the surface. I’ll be back.
Until next week, when The Sunday Traveler will take you elsewhere within this great city
Sometimes a tune up is necessary in order to play beautiful music again. Oh, and for guitars too.
A very brief bit of music from within Notre Dame. Two short videos too soon cut off in my excitement of the moment.
Notre Dame, the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris; construction began in 1163, everything else you can find in Wikipedia, so I won’t go there, but I did want to stress the age of this incredible church. As the Sunday Traveler wandered within this cavernous edifice it was hard not to be awe struck, to think of the hands that laid stone upon stone, carved arches and pillars, sculpted statues, put stained glass windows into place, gave their gifts to the world to see in the name of God.
The Rose Windows, created by artists who combined bits of gemlike colored glass to relate bible stories to those who could not read.
Lighting was low around the perimeters of the church, almost dark in some places; there were spotlights shining mostly in the middle of the church.
The photo above reminded me of something that might have come out of a Dan Brown book. I’ve learned over the years in places like this to find a spot and stay there for a while to see what unfolds within this one area. It was great, seeing priests coming and going. It added to the story in my mind as I looked at the history here; it added a human meaning/touch, that life went on here after all the years.
Sunday mass was going on, the next photo will give a perspective of the magnitude of the building
The post started with a photo looking towards the front of the church, and I will end this second part of Notre Dame looking towards the back of the church, and up at the organ
The Sunday Traveler will continue on with part 3 of Notre Dame next week. And speaking of the organ here, and since the last video worked, a little later today I will post a very short snippet of the music when I first walked in.
Let’s travel on.
There may be an ocean strait, green hills across the expanse of water, birds drafting overhead in the wind, storm clouds. See the small things too.
The bells were all ringing when we arrived on a cold and rainy December morning. An incredibly rich and emotional moment with this greeting; to approach the church, to hear and see this grand cathedral in this way was more than I could have wished for.
Antiquity, beauty beyond belief in Paris. The bells tolled for a long time as I wandered about the front of the church taking in as much as I could with my eyes, and camera.
The pigeon man feeding pigeons, and Charlemagne had my full attention. And all the while the bells rang; there are ten, Emmanuel being the largest, and Marie, Gabriel, Anne Genevieve, Denis, Marcel, Etienne, Benoit-Joseph, Maurice, Jean-Marie. I thought you’d like to know their names. I have a short iPhone video of the front courtyard, and the bells; if I can figure out how to add a video, I will do that as a separate post.
Security is tight at all public venues, and there was a bit of a line to go through a bag check, and opening your coat to let the guard see that you had nothing hiding in there. The short wait only added to the anticipation. I will continue on into the inside of the church next week; there is just so much, I think this will be at least a three parter posting on Notre Dame.
The Sunday Traveler is trying to keep the Paris posts short so as not to over do things, and I get overwhelmed going back through my photos, marveling once again at how beautiful it all is.
Until next week.
I struggled on which photo to use as the opener for this post about the Louvre; there are the outdoor buildings, the pyramid, the statues, the architecture, but this sculpture, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, has won my heart, and is what has left a stamp in my memory of the Sunday Traveler’s visit to the Louvre. In further reading on how this sculpture (the pieces) was found on the island of Samothrace, and its journey to Paris and reassembly to what we see today, only increases my awe and appreciation. The Sunday Traveler made this early morning visit with no aforethought, or list of art to see while there. Call it willy nilly, but I had no plan other than to be there. To experience being there, and I knew I’d end up seeing what I was supposed to see. It works every time. Ok, so lets back it up and go outside for a minute
The buildings and architecture are enough to keep the eyes busy for hours. The Louvre is the world’s largest museum. Per Wikipedia, there are approximately 38,000 objects of art from prehistory to the 21st century, exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres; it was established in 1793. The Louvre is housed in the palace originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century. In 1546 is was converted in the main residence of the French Kings. The museum opened in 1793. While perusing Wikipedia on this history I happened to note that the curator is a Marie-Laure de Rochebrune, the director is Jean-Luc Martinez; I had to mention them and think of what an incredible job they have.
It was a bitter cold morning, and before heading inside, respects were paid to Louis XIV who chose the Palace of Versailles for his home, and left the Louvre primarily as a place to display art.
The sculpture that took second place on my list of memories here is this one
Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss. Sculptor Antonio Canova.
Several more photos of the morning at the Louvre
Stopping for a coffee in a cafe on the second level, I found the views out the window equally as lovely as those indoors
Several groups of school children were noted to be in attendance…can you imagine this as an everyday field trip for your child’s school? I listened in to a couple of the teachers explaining the art to the children with great enthusiasm and asking the kids questions about what they saw, and hearing the child’s take on it. Beautifully fascinating.
Months could probably be spent within the Louvre and still not see everything. I have so many photos that will serve me well to remember this fabulous museum. I may bring in a few more photos as Sunday Snapshots in the future. Let me know what you think.
Wishing all of you a Happy New Year, and happy travels in 2018.