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Published: September 19th 2012
Sunday - Day 20
We had big plans for the day. After all, the entry to the museums would be free.
Well, that all changed when we got to the first museum on our list. We arrived about 9:30am at the Louvre. It took about ten minutes to get to the end of the line. About half way to the end I saw a notice that said that it was a “two hour wait from this point.” Now, I know how important this museum is. I want to see the real Mona Lisa, too. But I think I could paint another one before I would see it on this day.
So, we quickly changed our plans. Next stop, Notre Dame. After all, it is Sunday. Surely we would be able to enter and see this notable church. This time we were lucky. Although a good crowd was there, we were able to see the church, even while the Mass was underway.
As I have mentioned before, Jackie and I often use the R. Steve’s guidebook as a challenge in the nature of the TV program, “Amazing Race.” Whenever Rick says "notice a halo" or look for "Eve’s
apple," we are determined to find it. In the case of Notre Dame there were many. First, was finding Mary at center stage, cradling Jesus, surrounding by the halo of the rose window. Yes, we spotted that.
Then there were the 28 statues in a row, known as the Kings of Judah. Rick explains that during the French Revolution these biblical kings were mistaken for the hated French kings and were decapitated by the crowd. Fortunately, all of the heads have been returned. I can't help but wonder if any were switched.
Then there is a carving above the doorway on the left. It includes a man with his head in his hands. This is St. Denis. It seems that when Christianity began making converts in the 4th
century, this bishop was beheaded. The story is that after the event, the bishop (now known as St. Denis) got up, tucked his head under his arm, headed north, paused to wash it off, and continued until he found the right place to meet his maker. Parisians were convinced that this was a miracle and made him a saint.
Another challenge was to find the carving above the central
We were lucky that the church was open. In fact, when we entered there was mass on-going.
portal that portrays the end of the world. An angel and a demon weigh souls in the balance. The demon cheats by pressing down on the balance. The “good” stand on the left and the bad ones on the right. The look of the demon is strange!
After Notre Dame, we went to St. Sulpice Church. This is one of the churches noted in “The Da Vinci Code.” Since the book and movies, this church is a popular spot for the book fans. Jackie chose this church to visit because of its famous pipe-organ. For 300 years, there has been a succession of world-class organists. After the 10:30am Sunday Mass, there is a 25-minute recital. Then visitors are allowed to climb the spiral stairs to see the organ and meet the organist. Of course, we did.
From here, we went to the Rodin Museum. Rodin is considered the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. Although there were lines here, we were able to tour the museum and outdoor gardens. His style is unique and I’m glad we came.
After this tour, we walked back, via the Army Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb, to the hotel.
After dinner, we decided
Notre Dame Church
Here are the 28 Kings. Below the Holy Mary, Adam and Eve.
to go back to the Eiffel Tower. We could not get tickets to the top but thought we would check if we could walk up, at least to the second floor.
We did and it was great. There is a total of 669 steps and we did it quickly. The views were spectacular. We waited for the sun to set while we were on the second level. Then at 10pm, we were surprised when the entire tower was showered in strobe lights for about five minutes. It was great to see from this view.
We walked home afterwards satisfied that we had a full, and successful day of touring.
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