Published: May 17th 2012May 17th 2012
Happy ascension thursday everyone! Today was our 'church day' in paris. We started off the morning at the sacra couers, a newer cathedral for france, but still incredibly beautiful. It sits on a hill overlooking Paris, so the walk there was long and painful, but the view was AMAZING. Sophie got a weird experience with an actor standing outside the cathedral, posing as a statue. He was pretty convincing, because all she could say was, "their statues move!?!" inside, the Sacra Couers was incredible, with paintings everywhere and beautiful chapels. Some of our favorites were a marian chapel, showing several Marian apparations, and the chapels dedicated to St. Therese Lisieux and St. Margaret Mary Alocque, which held the saints relics. The ceiling above the altar was gorgeous, with saints from many periods of Frech history, including the revolution, adoring Christ.
After the Sacra Couers, we were able to celebrate ascension Mass in Notre Dame. Amazing. As altar servers, emily, sophie, and i had some magor envy for the thurible, the church was huge but that thing filled the whole cathedral with incense. The choir was amazing, and even though we didn't understand the french, it sounded beautiful. This was definitely the most magnificent of the churches, it was amazingly beautiful with the old stone and stained glass windows within. Outside, it was unbelievable. We were able to take a tour of the towers, and it is incredible how much detail was put in every square inch. Hundreds of saints are carved in the enterance, and crazy gargoyles are everywhere. It was especially cool climbing the stairs and seeing how worn down they were from centuries of people climbing them. From the top of the towers, we again had an awesome view, and could see where the rheims river split and rejoined to form the island where notre dame is. It was just an incredible church.
Our final church was Sainte Chapelle, which we decided to just run through. Oh. My. Gosh. It was insane. Outside, it looked like just a little chapel, nice, but nothing like notre dame. Inside, it literally was a kaleidescope. The chapel walls were made entirely of stained glass, not huge pictures, but tiny images, thousands of them. Arouns 1,131 bible stories were told in only 15 windows. When we walked up the stairs and first saw it, literally my jaw dropped on the ground. Few of the french were impressed by that. It was so incredibly unbelievably beautiful. There was no way to see it all, so don't worry, we brought back the most descriptive book on the windows. That was truly the most beautiful place i have ever been.
The rest of our day was spent in a long and painful journey. We had decided to go see the picasso building. We realized, on the way 1) french train maps and stations are impossible to understand. They are a labrynth. 2) Every placew in the city of france looks the same. Its crazy. After hours of train hopping, searching, and walking in circles, we reached the museum's adress. There were no doors, just arrows pointing nowhere, and finally we found out: closed for renovations. In fact, it had been closed almost a year. After losing ourselves in the streets and alleys, walking through a gang fight, ensuring a terrible experience with a waiter, and getting rained upon, we finally found our way back home. By the end of the day, we were convinced we would never walk again. We'll see how the next few days go... (: au revoir!
Hopefully we'll get some pictures up soon! (when we figure out how to)!