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.

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

As promised last week, we’re back at the British Columbia Parliament Buildings taking a look at the Ceremonial Entrance

This entrance sits front and centre of the building’s front facade, and is used by only the Legislative Assembly’s most esteemed guests. By most esteemed I mean the Monarch or visiting heads of state. Which means that elected officials, including the Prime Minister, are forced to slouch up through another door like a regular peasant.

Queen Elizabeth II and other visiting monarchs (from various countries) have used this entrance throughout the building’s history, but it’s far more commonly used by the Queen’s representative to British Columbia, the Lieutenant Governor.

For non-Canadians, Canada is one of the Commonwealth of Nations. While we’re independent and run our country as we like, symbolically Queen Elizabeth II is our official head of state. The Governor General is the monarch’s head representative for the country, while the Lieutenant Governors represent Her Majesty at a provincial/territorial level.

The Lieutenant Governor visits The Legislature to perform such tasks as delivering the Speech from the Throne or to grant Royal Assent (symbolically passing laws).

Since 1998, and the signing of the Nisga’a treaty, Indigenous chiefs from across (the province heads of their respective Nations and communities) are also invited to use Ceremonial Entrance.

During our recent visit to Victoria, James and I took an informative tour of The Legislature. Which means that I was able to get a couple of photos from inside.

And there you have it, officially the most important door in British Columbia.

Let me know in the comments below if you’re interested in a post covering the tour we took.


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

Thursday Doors – Victoria

I’m back after a couple of weeks, part of which was spent in Victoria. Victoria, being the capital city for the province of British Columbia, is home to the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

It’s here that the provincial Legislative Assembly meets for government matters, most of which goes right over my head.

The Parliament Buildings are located overlooking the city’s inner harbour, which is sort of like point zero for anyone visiting. You’re almost guaranteed to spend some time poking around the property enjoying the architecture.

At the back of the property is where we found this door and its impressive facade.

The wrought iron gate is the perfect mix of design and function. I love it. And the purple colour for the door is a nice choice.

Next week I’ll be back with the other entrance, the main entrance at the front of the building used for special guests.

See you then!


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, close to Notre Dame Cathedral. Earlier this week it was announced that the safety work done since the devastating fire of 2019 is complete, and the restorations can now begin. It’s exciting to think that visitors might be able to return as soon as 2024!

For now though, Notre Dame remains surrounded by protective walls. Which means an up close and personal look isn’t possible. It was while I wandered the neighbourhood, catching glimpses of the cathedral between rooftops, that I turned up the curved rue Chanoinesse and noticed her.

This is the kind of door that means business. Old (17th century old), sturdy and dotted with studs to get its point across. I love stumbling across doors like this because I can’t help but wonder what secrets hide behind them.

It turns out the 12 rue Chanoinesse is a residential apartment building. 15 units are spread over the building’s 4 floors. And sadly, none of them belong to me.

Le sigh.

While investigating the address I discovered a new (to me) website that mentioned part of this building was once rented to the Aga Khan and his family. Seriously? Either that or he owned it. Explanations vary from source to source.

Also interesting is that the road itself was the main artery of the Notre Dame cloisters, and its name is a nod to the many clergymen (canons) who lived here throughout history. I love learning fascinating tidbits like this.


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 – Reims

This week’s door can be found on the property of Basilique Saint-Remi. While it’s true that Champagne is what brought my friend, Stephanie, and me to the city, we quickly found several things that we wanted to check out during our visit.

One of those things was Basilique Saint-Remi, the UNESCO medieval Abbey church that’s home to St. Rémi’s tomb.

I’m sure that it’s gorgeous inside. From the photos I’ve seen online, I can tell it’s just the kind of space that I love to visit while on holiday. Sadly Basilique Saint-Remi was closed so we couldn’t make it inside. But we did find a nice relaxing place to sit for a while at the back of the property, which is where we are for this week’s post.

I’m not clear on what this old building was used for. Perhaps someone else can fill me in below, in the comments section.

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 – 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).

Thursday Doors – Saint-Savin

This week’s door is from Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe in Saint-Savin, France.

The church, a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site, is famed for biblical themed murals – many which date back to the late 11th Century.

Just like last week’s door, this one caught my eye not for the door itself but because of its impressive surround.

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 – Paris

This week’s post isn’t so much about doors themselves, but instead what I found on some doors in Paris. While making my way from Jardin du Luxembourg back to my hotel, I came across these little cuties. Of course I had to stop to take photos.

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The accompanying business was closed, so I wasn’t sure what the images were supposed to be telling me. Later, I googled the company name and discovered that La Maison de Poupee is a seller of collectible dolls.

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They’re only open by appointment. But go check out their website, which features an adorable chat.

Le miaou!

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 – Paris

Remember when I shared photos from my visit Musée Marmottan Monet earlier this week? While I was preparing those posts I came across a photo of a fantastic door that I passed near to the museum entrance, and knew that I’d have to show it off today.

I’m nothing if not a cat fanatic, so of course I fell in love with the door’s design. Take a closer look..

How amazing is that?

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 – Beynac-et-Cazenac

It’s days like today that I’m extra thankful for our home. It’s the one place where I can relax and feel safe while blocking out the craziness – and a certain virus – at the door. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this.

Continue reading “Thursday Doors – Beynac-et-Cazenac”