Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paris: Seine and Saint Chappelle

We arrived in Paris a week ago Monday, much later than planned but ready to hit the city after freshening up at our hotel. Since we'd each gotten a maximum of about 4 hours of sleep on the plane, we didn't have anything planned for the day beyond walking across the Seine to the Ile de Citie to visit Notre Dame and Saint Chappelle, both on the island. Just walking through Paris you see the most beautiful buildings.

And it was a lot of fun to see all of the river boat traffic.
Looking to the East, we got our first views of the Eiffel Tower in the distance
We were fortunate to have such beautiful light hitting the river on our way across.

I believe this decoration was on the Conciergerie, which is the building where Marie Antoinette was held prior to her beheading. Other famous people were kept there for various crimes as well, but I can't remember their details!
 We then passed the Supreme Court building, on the way to Saint Chappelle. You can just see the spire of the church behind the gates here.

 Saint Chappelle is a medieval Gothic-style church, with windows inside we were told were not to be missed. Sadly, on our first visit there we did miss seeing them due to our time of arrival, but I got these shots of the external stone work. We were able to get back at the end of the week and get inside.
 Seeing the gargoyles and decorations on top of the church called for my telephoto lens, so I quickly switched to get some close-ups.

Some of these things are CREEPY! I know the open mouths are purely to allow water to drain through, but really - could they not have done this somewhat differently?
On the side of the church with the entrance, we were able to take a peek inside and see the ornate medieval stained glass. Just this peek let us all know we needed to get back later in the week - I'll share those photos soon. The only way I'm going to keep all of this straight is if I go chronologically through the week, so you'll just have to be patient!