in front of Notre Dame
May 2000

Day four -- Ile de la Cite

Francis woke after pretty much 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. The day started, for all practical purposes, with Mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and then a stroll around the oldest part of Paris on the Ile de la Cite.

Notre Dame

Inside the cathedral, the service was in French but we were able to understand it as much as we did in English in the States. (Give me that old time religion). Afterwards we were able to shoot a few pictures inside before the ushers chased us out so they could start the next mass. Here's one of the three rose windows:

A rose by another window

Intermittent rain kept pestering us throughout the day but here's some pictures we took while it let up after church:

South side view

The south side

The east side

Some of the artwork on the tympanum


After a quick lunch, we ventured through the metal detectors into the old palace where the medieval kings lived long ago when Paris was confined to the single island that Parisians could defend. St. Chapelle is a small chapel with incredible stain glass which nearly fill the walls of the upper chapel. (There are, of course, two levels: one for the commoners below and one above for royalty. Here's a few more pictures.

Typical stain glass -- the upper chapel walls are completely surrounded by such windows.

The upper portico at St. Chapelle (I think)


Next we were off to the 14th century palace, the Conciergerie.

Here's two views of the Hall of the Gendarmes -- 200 feet long

Another view

Fountain of the Innocents

We then crossed the Seine to visit St. Eustache, a very beautiful and large structure pretty well unknown to tourists. (And it will remain pretty much unknown for you since my batteries wore down). On the way, we stopped to rest by the Fountain of the Innocents, the only Renaissance fountain in Paris and the site of what was once the city's largest cemetery (2 million bodies). (All the bones have been since moved to the catacombs).

Innocents fountain

After visiting the church, we headed home on the subway even though the subway doors tried to eat Francis. He survived to live to eat dinner at a Moroccan restaurant. The evening ended with a short stroll around Place Vendome including inspecting the metre stick which Brother Paul pointed out to us on the night we snuck into the Ritz.

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