Tag Archives: Notre Dam

Notre Dame

In our travels we have seen many interesting churches (and other places of worship), both large and small.  Of course, while in Paris we visited Notre Dame – a fairly unique church.

What hadn’t occurred to me was that Notre Dame is more generic than I had realised before I was hit with the reality as we toured around France. Naturally, if I had thought more about the translation (Our Lady) I would have realised that there were probably as many Notre Dames in France as there are Santa Marias in Italy (well maybe only as many as in Rome).

Every city or largish town  in France seems to have a “Notre Dame”.  There also seems to have been a competition going for several hundred years to see who could build the most imposing edifice. While Notre Dame Paris is certainly the most famous and the one that immediately comes to mind, it is not necessarily the largest or oldest of the Notre Dames.

Paris certainly holds the interest in terms of it’s gothic architecture and the romance of the building but we came across quite a few Notre Dames with larger naves, or taller bell-towers, more ornate interiors or, for us, more beauty.  Surprisingly some of the larger churches (albeit not necessarily as attractive as others) have been in relatively small towns. and some of the more interesting have been smaller churches.

While it is not possible to visit every church in every town, the (relatively) few we have visited each hold their own interest in some way – and not just those named Notre Dame.

An Anniversary in Paris

Our anniversary this year (2012) was extra special as we spent it in Paris. We arrived early enough to also celebrate my birthday and on both days the hosts of the B&B we stayed in  (B&B Bouchardon) greeted us at breakfast with champagne and flowers.

The morning of our anniversary, was fine if a little chilly. After our special breakfast we headed for Notre Dam to climb the bell tower. The climb to the top is done in a few stages and while it is narrow in parts it is fairly easy and well worth it when you get to the top.

The view down the Seine and across Paris in the morning light was amazing. While the towers are not tall, the skyline of Paris is fairly flat and you are well above most of the city at this height. Once on the ground again a hot chocolate was in order to ward off the chill before we wandered into the Saint Germain quarter.

At lunchtime we strolled down the Seine and tied ourselves to Paris by locking our names on the Passerella Solferino.

We ended the day with a trip up the Eiffel Tower at sunset (pre booked to avoid the enormous queues). It was magical time of the day watching the light fade from the sky as Paris lit up around us – made even more special by the Christmas lights everywhere. We spent over an hour wandering around the various levels of the tower soaking up the amazing view and feeling very privileged.

It was a magical day, made much more so by sharing the experience with the man I love.