Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Creepy old bones in Paris

Bonjour! Having been in Paris for a few days already I thought I'd write briefly about a few of the standouts for me in this beautiful city.

On our first day we walked our feet off through the Louvre. We easily spent the majority of the day wandering through the vast halls which, even without the paintings, are a sight worthy of attention just as much as any of the artworks. You can almost imagine the princes and princesses of long ago walking the halls and it's simply astounding to think you're in a building that is hundreds of years old.

The catacombes were a creepy experience. Situated approximately 20 metres under Paris are a series of tunnels, originally built as a quarry. In the late 1700s complaints were made regarding outbreaks of diseases originating from nearby cemeteries, and authorities decided to move remains to the old quarry. Since their creation people have visited them out of curiosity. It certainly was a disturbing experience wandering down dark narrow tunnels lined floor to ceiling with tightly packed human bones.

Saint-chapelle was simply awe-inspiring. As you step into the lower chapel, the vibrant colours of the walls and paintings grab you. Built in 1248, the church was used by the France's royalty and their servants, the lower chapel being used by the servants. When you climb the stairs to the upper chapel and see the massive stained glass windows surrounding it, the lower chapel immediately seems insignificant. Despite being so old they clearly depict 1,113 scenes from the Bible over 15 windows. Whether or not you have an understanding of these stories, you'll be blown away by the beauty and artistry of these windows.

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