Wednesday, November 30, 2016

La Sainte-Chapelle, the Glory of Paris (Europe #18)

La Sainte-Chapelle, the Holy Chapel!

This Gothic cathedral is my favorite place in Paris! It has the most stunning stained glass windows I have ever seen!

Can you sense my enthusiasm?

La Sainte-Chapelle, like Notre Dame just blocks away, is on Île de la Cité, an island on the Seine River in Paris. It was built in the 1200's as part of the Royal Palace, and was a medieval reliquary, housing sacred relics belonging to Louis IX. Due to damage, it has had to be restored at various times, and additions have been built.

I already couldn't wait to go to Sainte-Chapelle. And then I discovered that classical concerts are performed there. I splurged and bought tickets for Joanna and me to see Classik Ensemble perform Vivaldi's Four Seasions, Pachelbel's "Canon", and Vitali's "Chaconne". What a treat!

I was in ecstasy during the entire concert. Beautiful music, beautiful architecture, beautiful daughter by my side. Just beautiful.

I have included a few videos from the concert in this post.

"Winter, Allegro" from Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

"Chaconne" by Tomaso Antonio Vitali (1663-1745)

"Canon" by Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

Although I purchased two after the concert, I can't find their CD of this music (Les Quatre Saisons) available for American purchase on-line. However, you can get their other album "Vioin & Songs at Amazon.

Now, back to the stained glass!

The upper chapel radiates with 15 stained glass panels that are 50 feet high, with only narrow supports between them. You are surrounded with color and light!

Since the concert was in the evening and I knew I would get a better view in sunlight, I came back the next day and took more of these pictures.

The rose window was added a hundred years after the other windows. Each tiny section of the rose window illustrates a story from a scene in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Fascinating! Read more here: The Sainte-Chapelle Rose Window: St. John's Revelation

Believe it or not, the photo below is of the same window in evening lighting. Looking back in my photos, I was wracking my brain trying to identify where this blue window was in the chapel since I couldn't find it on Google - but it was right there all along. Then I remembered reading that this window takes on a different color tone depending the lighting. You can tell by the same ornamentation beneath.

Here is a closer view of the painting below the rose window and above the door.

There is also a smaller "lower chapel" at Sainte-Chapelle.

I can't help but return the glorious upper chapel for the last several photos. Breathtaking!

More about Saint-Chapelle and its windows?

You can see my 15 Switzerland photo posts here: Switzerland.

You will find Paris posts here as I create them: Paris.

God bless!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (Europe #17)

On our first day in Paris, after the Seine River cruise, we made our way to Notre Dame cathedralwhich is on an island called Île de la Cité with many other historic buildings. Along with the Eiffel Tower and Arche de Triomphe, it's one of Paris's most widely recognized landmarks.

We saw fully armed French soldiers frequently in Paris, in large part due to last year's terrorist attacks there. I didn't know it at the time, but authorities had thwarted a potential attack on Notre Dame just weeks before we visited.

There was a line to get in, but it didn't take too long. There was plenty to look at as we waited.

Inside, so majestic!

Mass began in the center of the church while we were there, but visitors could still walk around the outer sections without disturbing anyone. I recorded a little of the sounds...

Jesus, Savior of the World

I visited the outside of Notre Dame again the next day. 

A woman handed me some bird seed to place on my arm. It worked, for better or worse. Then she asked for two euros, but I had no cash.

Oh, enough of pigeons!

Isn't this a beautiful building?

You can see my 15 Switzerland photo posts here: Switzerland.

You will find Paris posts here as I create them: Paris.

God bless!

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