Thursday Doors – Paris

While looking through my various Paris photos, I realised that I’d never posted about the classical music concert I attended at Sainte-Chapelle. Which is strange, as it’s up there with some of my most memorable experiences. So I’ll have to get on that sooner than later.

In the meantime, here’s a small taste. Starting with front portal of the upper chapel with its statue of Jesus flanked by doors.

It was through the open door that I entered for the concert.

And here’s a quick peek inside of the 13th century chapel with its stunning (and mostly original) stained glass windows.

I’m gearing up for my next Parisian adventure (15 days to go!), so if you’d like to see what I get up to why not follow me on Instagram? Let’s be friends!


Thursday Doors is a weekly event facilitated by Dan. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

Thursday Doors – Paris

This week I’m taking you for a tour around the exterior of L’église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, a Catholic Church located in central Paris.

But before we begin, I should warn you to take a seat. If you’re into historical architecture and design as much as I am, this church might just take your breath away. I know that it did mine. Mostly because there was so much to take in. I didn’t know where to look.

The church we see today was mainly built in the 15th century, although the site saw previous variations dating back to the 7th century. Back when the nearby Louvre was home to French Royals, L’église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois was the Royal parish church.

While not as well-known as Notre Dame, this church does have the honour of hosting the former’s church-goers while it’s being rebuilt after the devastating fire of 2019.

Do you notice the figure holding his own head on the column above? That’s Denis, Patron Saint of Paris and France. He’s a common sight across the city. You may remember him from my earlier post.

L’église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois butts up against the Town Hall for the 1st arrondissement (district), with this pretty walkway separating the two. I now wish I had taken a stroll to see where it leads.

I really like the main entrance to the church. From the curved archway and decorative porch ceiling, there’s so much to marvel at.

Did you see my post last week about why I love Paris? I recommend you check it out if you didn’t. In that post, I shared a photo of a plaque under the Pont Neuf which relates to the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day (1572) when a targeted attack by Catholics murdered 4000 Huguenots.

The start of the Paris attack happened here at L’église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois with the ringing of the church bells setting off the craziness. Many high ranking Huguenots were in town for a wedding, so it made sense for the Catholics to strike then. I’ve heard of weddings getting a bit out of hand but this .. this is next level. Yikes.

Founders of the church, from left to right, King Childebert, Queen Ultrogoth
and Deacon Vincent.
Saint Germain of Paris, Saint Geneviève
and an Angel carrying a torch.
Virgin and child.

I’ll be back soon with a tour of the inside of L’église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois. Be sure to check back, or sign up for email notifications so you never miss a post.


Thursday Doors is a weekly event facilitated by Dan. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

Pont Neuf – Paris’ New Bridge

Pont Neuf – or New Bridge, en français – is ironically named given that it’s actually the oldest of the 37 bridges that span the Seine River in Paris.

For most of my visits to Paris, it’s been my bridge. The one I cross most frequently. A comforting landmark as I’ve made my way back to my temporary Parisian home at the end of each day.

It was back in 1578 that the first stones were laid, though Pont Neuf had a scandalous reputation even before construction was completed in 1607; resident gangs, robbers and murders, hustlers, pickpockets, prostitutes and even tooth pullers. Oh my! It even apparently had its own gallows for a time.

See those funny faces? They’re called mascarons and are replicas of the original stone masks that originally adorned the Pont Neuf.

I can’t find the source now but if memory serves correct, the below is a door that offered access to control the fuel for the once-upon-a-time gas lamps that lit the bridge. Anyone?

Minus the bird poop, I really like the ornate bases of the bridge’s lamp posts.

The Pont Neuf also has built-in benches which offer a place to give your tired feet a break while taking in the views.

Not much longer! Really looking forward to revisiting Pont Neuf.

Why Paris?

People often ask why I keep returning, and it’s simple. I love the vibe and culture. But since that doesn’t really explain it to someone who’s never been, I thought I’d compile a list of 10 reasons why I love Paris.

Food

Food, for me, is a massive factor for travel so I’m putting it first on my list. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the quintessential meal or discover a new to you cuisine, Paris has you covered. The options are endless, from starred Michelin restaurants headed by famous chefs to cheap and cheerful offerings at a local crepe or falafel stand. Sometimes after a long day of seeing the sights, it’s also nice to picnic in your hotel room – munching on delicious purchases you’ve made at the small specialty shops that dot every arrondissement.

History

Paris is old. Old old. 12,000 years old remnants from the Stone Age kind of old. The city was later known as Lutecia after it was conquered by the Romans before eventually changing hands to French Kings in the 5th century and being renamed, Paris. Throughout history Paris has seen a lot. Wandering the city I’m always amazed learning the stories of what makes Paris, whether it’s bullet holes in the sides of buildings thanks to WWII or beautiful churches that are older than my country by centuries. Everywhere you look there’s something to learn from. Keep an eye out for plaques like this one on the Pont Neuf bridge, which references the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day (1572) when a targeted attack by Catholics murdered 4000 Huguenots.

Architecture

Stained glass and church spires and grand Haussmann buildings – oh my! Paris’ architecture is famous the world over. One of my favourite examples is La Conciergerie, most known for being where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned for the last weeks of her life before literally losing her head. The above space, known as Salle des Gardes (The Hall of the Guards) was built in the early 14th century and its craftsmanship blows my mind.

Art

World class art can be found in the many museums across Paris. Fancy getting up close to the largest collection of Monet paintings? Perhaps taking that selfie next to Rodin’s The Thinker sculpture is more your jam? And of course one of the most famous ladies in the world, da Vinci’s Mona Lisa charms countless people with her mysterious smile. Paris has you covered with these works – and so many more. A newer option is the digital immersive productions at Atelier des Lumières. The Van Gogh exhibition was really impressive, and I’m very much looking forward to the one focusing on Dali & Gaudi when we visit next month.

Street Art

But art in Paris isn’t limited to galleries and exhibitions. Paris enjoys a vibrant street art scene with works dotted across the city. Some by famous graffeurs and many by others still trying to make a name for themselves. One of my favourites – so far – is this beauty by artist Gregos which was created to recognise Women’s Day is 2004. You can find more information here.

Terraces

Sitting on a terrace in Paris is a pastime enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. It’s a wonderful way to spend time people watching over a cup of coffee, or catching up with friends over a bottle of wine. Whether you’re simply looking for an excuse to rest your feet or enjoy a café or glass of perfectly chilled rosé, a terrace is the perfect place to do so.

Green Spaces

Being a Vancouverite, where we’re used to being surrounded by nature, it’s a welcome sight in Paris to come across one of the city’s many green spaces. Jardin de Tuileries and Jardin Luxembourg are the most famous, but there are so many more of varying sizes to enjoy. One of my favourites is above, Jardin du Palais Royal.

Walkability

Paris ranks as one of the top walkable cities in the world. The Metro and bus systems are efficient but there’s something to be said about experiencing the city by foot. It’s a much more immersive experience, with Paris feeling like countless little villages strung together. Walking gives you the option of dipping into little shops or churches that catch your eye, stopping for a photo when the mood strikes or taking a break at a café. Even during my last visit, injured and forced to wear the ugliest of footwear, I still opted to walk as much as I possibly could.

Shopping

While you probably won’t find me perusing the expensive luxury brand shops on Rue Saint-Honoré, you can expect to find me shopping for food, homewares and random souvenirs to bring home for myself and those near and dear to me. I look for less crowded and unique options, like specialty shops or little brocantes (flea markets with a specialised focus) like this one in Le Village Saint Paul.

Doors

Paris is a treat for door lovers. If you’ve been following along on my adventures, you’ll remember this door as being my first entry into Thursday Doors. And you’ll also remember me mentioning I almost got run over when I foolishly stepped out onto the road to take this photo. Not my finest moment, but a good example of how much I love the beautiful doors of Paris.

There you have it, my very short list of reasons I love Paris. Obviously there are many many more, but I hope you’ve found some inspiration in the above to visit or return to Paris yourself.

Thursday Doors – Paris

Normally for my Thursday Doors posts I share images of full doors and entrances. This week I thought I’d do something a little different. I’ll share close up shots of the smaller details that I’ve fallen in love with while walking around Paris during my many visits.

Let me know in the comments section below which is your favourite.

This last photo was taken at Le Grande Mosquée, which is one of my favourite places to visit in Paris. To see my full post I previously wrote, click here.


Thursday Doors is a weekly event facilitated by Dan. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

Thursday Doors – Victoria

This week we’re taking a look at a couple of doors at Hatley Castle, a National Historic Site located on the grounds of Royal Roads University.

The property of this historic site includes several buildings and formal gardens, as well as first and second-growth forest where one can find large Douglas fir and western red cedar.

Unfortunately, at the time of our visit we were unable to tour the interior or visit the gardens. But that’s fine, because the entrance and exterior were worth the stop.

The first door we’ll look at is at the covered main entrance. There are several things going on, from the old iron hinges to the decorative archway with its faces.

Here’s a closer look at the intricately detailed door handles, and the borderline creepy door bell panel.

The second door feels a bit like a secret, hidden back from the main facade of the castle and up a few stairs.

I like the mix of stained glass, carved wood and impressive handle.

Fun fact..

Hatley Castle is a popular location for filming, and has been used in many movies and television programs – Spider Man, X-Men, The Professor, Smallville, Supernatural, MacGyver.. just to name a few.

Have you visited Hatley Castle? Comments below.


Thursday Doors is a weekly event facilitated by Dan. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

Thursday Doors – Paris

This week we’re in Paris at Hôtel de Ville, or City Hall, which houses the city’s local administration. The building itself is striking, but I’m happy to focus on a couple of entrances today.

Look at this beauty, with its intricate iron work, glass and ornate gold touches. This is the door used by staff (at least early the morning I visited), and you can see a bit of the security scanner just inside.

And here’s the official main entrance with its beautiful engravings.

The inscription carved above the door reads, “In this place, September 4, 1870, the people of Paris proclaimed the Republic.”, referencing the Siege of Paris.

Hopefully one day I’ll be able to visit the inside of Hôtel de Ville, as I’ve heard that the function room was built to replicate the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Which reminds me to add it to my ever-growing list of places in Paris I want to check out.


Thursday Doors is a weekly event facilitated by Dan. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

Thursday Doors – Provins

It feels like it’s been forever since I last took part in Thursday Doors. So long, in fact, that Norm has passed the torch over to Dan, who now facilitates this fun weekly event. If you’re interested in participating, check out Dan’s blog.

This week we’re in Provins, a picturesque medieval town just over an hour from Paris by train. The town is split into two parts, an upper and lower. It’s up on the hill that you’ll find Eglise Saint-Quiriace (Saint-Quiriace collegiate church). Here’s the main entrance.

I particularly enjoy the stone carving above the doors.

Unlike most churches I’ve visited in France, Eglise Saint-Quiriace sits mostly empty. But with a bit of imagination, it’s easy to picture what it would have looked like buzzing with people.

Construction of this church began during the 12th century, but it was never completed due to finances (or lack thereof). The 17th century saw a dome added to its roof, with people living in the nearby area then known as “the children of the dome”. Erm.

Outside is a plaque referencing Jean d’Arc attending mass with King Charles VII. The two had been in Reims for his consecration, and stopped in at Eglise Saint-Quiriace on their way through town.

I didn’t spend nearly enough time in Provins. It definitely justifies a proper visit, and look forward to returning one day. Have you been? Any suggestions for when I make it back?

Thursday Doors – Paris

Fun fact: today is my birthday!

To celebrate, I’ve taken the day off from working from home and will pretend that I’m in Paris.

A Parisian Pandemic Birthday!

So it’s only fitting that this week’s door be in Paris. I considered going with a gorgeous and ornate door, but I chose this one instead. Because there is beauty to be found all around us, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. We just need to take the time to look for it.

I hope you are well, staying safe and enjoying the beauty around you.

Bonne journée!

Marla


Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments section over at Norm’s blog, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

Thursday Doors – Maincy

This week we’re in Maincy, at Vaux-le-Vicomte, again. I love this door and its surround. It feels to me that great things are on the other side. Like a magical world full pastries, strong tea, soft music and lots and lots of fluffy kittens.

Bonne journée!

Marla


Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments section over at Norm’s blog, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

Vaux-le-Vicomte – Dome with a View

Located at the back of the Chateau is an impressive dome that towers above you at an height of 25 metres. Climbing to its top provides a 360° view around the expansive estate.

In order to climb the tower, I had to pay an additional 3€ at it’s entrance. The woman collecting money looked down at my walking cast and seemed concerned that I wouldn’t make it up the stairs. Feeling quite confident, I assured her that I had been traipsing around Paris and would be fine.

Of course, as soon as I saw the stairs themselves I questioned my bravado.

What the hell had I got myself into?

I took my time, stopping along the way and forcing myself to not look down. Aside from my injured foot, I’m actually quite scared of heights.

When I had finally reached the top I turned around to look back where I came from. Truth be told, I was dreading heading back down the rickety stairs.

But the view of the gardens more than made up for my white knuckles experience. The tiered gardens stretch outwards for near 3 km and are self watered by canals.

The swirly design on the grass in the foreground is an art installation called, Ephemeral Ribbons, by Patrick Hourcade. They take the place of the previous boxwood hedges that were destroyed by disease.

If memory serves correct, I believe that the owners of Vaux-le-Vicomte live in the building in the distance.

One last look up towards the sky before I headed for the stairs

With trepidation, and an hand firmly grasping the railing, I made my way safely back down

Check back tomorrow to start the tour of the Château’s jaw dropping interior.

Bonne journée!

Marla

Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe – The Bones

We’ve taken a look at the exterior, as well as the famed murals, of Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe in previous posts. Today I’ve decided to share some photos that I took of the bones of the church. By that, I mean architectural pieces that I found to be interesting. Sorry to anyone hoping to see real bones.

Continue reading “Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe – The Bones”

Thursday Doors – Chantilly

I know, I know. My contribution to Thursday Doors last week was also from Château de Chantilly. But this week’s door is different, and you’ll soon see why I wanted to share it.

While last week’s door was over the top shiny and gold, understandably not to everyone’s taste, this week’s is more natural.

I immediately noticed the carving, with the crown and Fleur de Lys (which is pretty standard for French Châteaux in my experience).

But another feature I really liked was the door’s hardware.

(Eek.. sorry for the blurriness)

Aren’t they lovely with their intricate details? If I wasn’t feeling so lazy right now, I’d get up and take a photo of the door to our apartment to share as comparison. It’s depressingly boring and drab. Le sigh.

Tomorrow I’ve got the third Alphabet series post scheduled to be published, but will be back the day after that with more Château de Chantilly. Until then..

Bonne journée!

Marla

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments section over at Norm’s blog, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).