July in France

Paris Day 5

3:21 AM

Started off with noon mass at Notre Dame (front pew), strolled around the public areas of l'Hôtel Dieu (the oldest hospital in Paris, which proximity to Notre Dame kept the radicals from buring down the great cathedral during the Revolution)...

then on to the Palais de Justice to see la Sainte-Chapelle ajacent to historic La Conciergerie. Of all the beautiful churches in Paris, Sainte-Chapelle ("The Holy Chapel") is the most breath-taking; it has so much stained glass that the walls and supports seem to disappear, as if the walls themselves were stained glass....

It was built in the 13th century by King Saint Louis IX to house the Crown of Thorns our Lord wore on Calvary, among other holy relics.

La Conciergerie is the infamous prison of the French Revolution where many people, including Marie-Antoinette, were held until their execution, guillotine-style. An interesting tidbit we learned: the women whilst in prison still changed their clothes three times a day (according to the custom of the time), and if they didn't have that many outfits, they would wash what little they had to always maintain a sense of propriety and cleanlinesss.

After this, the school bell began to ring. I had a mandatory meeting with my professor and classmates. It was to be for 1.5 hours but ran longer (this would be a recurring symptom of my whole educational experience at the Louvre). Much of our mandatory meeting in May was repeated, but I got my Carte Orange, Carte Louvre Enseignants, a very cool map book of Paris, and a citron presse' (fresh lemonade) for Tom and myself courtesy of Rutgers.

Then we went on our first Battan Death March, as my hubby likes to call them. We tried to find the restaurants mentioned in our guidebook in the Louvre vicinity to have our dinner, but they were closed, or didn't exist at all. We finally dined at Villalys. The food was good (kind of fusiony) with middle eastern overtones, and we dined outdoors (as we mostly did in Paris) in a beatiful wooded courtyard surrounding by towering centuries-old stone walls and columns, but the waitress overcharged us for our water.... it was Corsican.

the twilight view from our terrace

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