Soul of the Garden

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Images of Paris

Gargoyles on one of the bell towers of Notre Dame Cathedral. That is the basillica on Montmartre under the Griffon's beak.

 

Paris, is, in my estimation, the world's most beautiful large city. I have had the good fortune of visiting Paris on several occasions and absolutely love the city and its people. What follows is a small collection of images from a visit to Paris in the spring of 2003. A special word of thanks to my friend, Sherry Smith, who hosted us for a beautiful week of sight seeing, incredible food, and art.

 

Notre Dame in the evening light. The cathedral sits on the Ile de la Cite - the island where Paris was born over two thousand years ago when it was settled by the Parisii, a pre-Roman tribe.

 

Looking down at the back of the cathedral from one of the bell towers with a clear view of the tip of the Ile de la Cite and the Ile St. Louis beyond. If I lived in Paris - I'd want to live on the Ile St. Louis, the smaller and slightly quieter of Paris's two famous islands.

 

One of the classic gargoyles on Notre Dame with the Left Bank and the Church of St. Sulpice in the distance. We stayed just a block or two from that beautiful old church.

 

Another view from the bell towers - with the dome of Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, and the spire of St. Chapelle (from left to right.)

 

It is hard to get a clear shot of St. Chapelle - once the private chapel of the French Royal family. Because it is surrounded by other structures  you have to make a little effort to get to it. However, once you do you will be richly rewarded,  it is  one of the great masterpieces of Gothic architecture.

 

Another view.

 

The interior of St. Chapelle with its heavenly blue ceiling.

 

The stunning stained glass walls of St. Chapelle. The ultimate stained glass experience. It is hard to imagine the impact that these sheer walls would have had on the medieval imagination after centuries of tiny windows and massive masonry walls.

 

Each panel illustrates another Bible story - amazing.

 

The great round window of St. Chapelle.

 

The window from the outside.

 

A street scene by the Hotel de Ville - the city hall.

 

A street scene near St. Sulpice.

 

St. Sulpice in the evening light.

 

The Eiffel Tower and a monument to peace.

 

Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower.

 

Les Invalides (where Napoleon is entombed) with St. Sulpice behind it and the Pantheon in the distance.

 

Street scene in the Beauborg district.

 

The Place des Vosges - considered by many to be the world's most perfect public plaza.

 

Enjoying the Place des Vosges.

 

Courtyard of the Palais Royale.

 

Strolling through the courtyard of the Palais Royale.

 

The Luxembourg Gardens and Palace just one block from where we stayed. This was the palace of Catherine de Medici.

 

Toy boats for the pools at the Luxembourg Gardens.

 

In action.

 

Cherry trees in the Luxembourg Gardens.

 

A reflecting pool designed for Catherine de Medici to remind her of Italy.

 

The Louvre with I.M. Pei's brilliant pyramid in the courtyard.

 

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The Louvre.

 

From inside the pyramid.

 

A covered courtyard at the Louvre.

 

Public gardens (Les Tuilleries.)

 

Magnolia in bloom.

 

Victor at the Arc de Tromphe.

 

The great cathedral of Chartres - considered to be the "Acropolis of France."

 

The front of Chartres cathedral.

 

From the facade of Chartres cathedral - notice all of the beheaded figures at the center - they were probably vandalised during the revolution.

 

The Annunciation.

 

Column detail.

 

A quiet canal in Chartres.

 

On the road from Chartres to Versailles.

 

The palace and formal gardens of Versailles.

 

Romantic lighting for a romantic spot. (Here's to psycho-prunery!)

 

The reflecting pools of Versailles - even the trees are pruned!

 

Boating...

 

...on the King's former private estate.

 

More prunery!

 

Still more.

 

Jogging.

 

Back in Paris, Rue Servadoni, where we stayed. (Our cottage was in a courtyard on the right.)

 

The charming cottage where we stayed.

 

C'est Moi (et Monet!)

 

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