You really can’t appreciate this day without seeing the photos – so click on the photo or on this link to go to Flickr.
Monday we got up early (for us) to head over to Notre Dame as soon as it opened at 7:45 am. It was totally worth it. We got to see the sun rising over the Seine as we headed towards the cathedral. Inside there were no crowds, just a few travellers quietly looking around as mass was being held in the Quire. We also got to see the sun rising through the stained glass inside. Incredible. A place like this is only really appreciated when it is still and quiet, serving its purpose as a place of worship, not just a tourist attraction.
After almost an hour in Notre Dame we walked the few blocks to Sainte Chapelle. It is a lesser known church – now a part of the Palais de Justice, home of the French Supreme court. It was built by Louis IX to house the relic of the “supposed” crown of thorns. The chapel stained glass is incredible. 15 panels with 1,100 scenes from the Bible and from the history of the relic. Due to a midevial mis-translation of the Bible Moses has horns (instead of “rays of light”). The chapel was exclusively for the private worship of the King and his special guests, his staff worshiped downstairs. Not very egaliterian.
After these two stops we got on the train out to Versailles – where we arrived by mid-morning. I’ll save that for one last post.