Going to Paris was an experience of a life time.
Seeing the sites and experiencing the culture
riding the metro,
walking through the city,
eating eclaires and palmiers from every corner bakery we stumbled upon.
Like I said... experience of a lifetime.
Our first full day there we made a quick trip to the Eiffel Tower, saw the massive crowds and scooted down to the docks on the Sienne River to ride a boat to see the Notre Dame.
Visiting Notre Dame and walking through the cathedral, examining the art and sculptures, marveling at the stain glass, lighting candles and seeing the flickering of others candles was amazing. Truly surreal. Walking into the cathedral, I felt bombarded with emotions. The millions of prayers petitioned within those walls; the hope, faith and desperation amidst those prayers had an almost tangible presence. The prayers I murmured as I walked along seemed more powerful as they reverberated around the other prayers being offered up. It was an emotional, spiritual and pretty much indescribable visit.
I took a slew of pictures and they do absolutely no justice to the splendor of the Notre Dame. Here's a few:
|West Front of the Notre Dame|
|North Rose Window - depicting the New Testamen|
|South Rose Window - depicting the Old Testament|
|West Rose Window|
Interesting facts about the Notre Dame:
~The Notre Dame stands on the site of Paris' first Christian church.
~ It's the most popular monument in Paris, and all of France with an estimated 13 million visitors each year.
~ Notre Dame is still an active Catholic church, a place of pilgrimage for Catholics around the world and a focal point for religious events for all of France
~ Construction began in 1163 and was mostly completed by 1220 (it seems crazy to me how something so magnificent was made without the use of modern construction tools).
If I had to recommend one place to go in Paris (of the places we visited), with absolutely no reservation my answer would be here. From the Gothic architecture to the historical significance(Napoleon, Joan of Arc, etc) to the religious and spiritual importance of the cathedral and all it entails, it truly is no wonder it is the most visited landmark in France.