Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Paris, Day 2

Day two of our trip saw an even hotter day. Even in such heat, we saw a lot of the city.

We passed this open-air market on Boulevard du Port Royal. There were many open-air markets throughout the city on Saturday.

Our first stop of the day was here, at Les Invalides.

This entryway is the front of a cloister-like arrangement of buildings.

Each window atop the building (all the way around) had a window frame designed in the shape of a suit of armor.

Here's the courtyard. Les Invalides houses the Musee de l'Armee. We were incredibly impressed by the exhibits.

Here is Louis XIII's armor. The museum also had artifacts from Louis XIV.

The detail on top of some of the cannons was unbelievable, like the lovers sculpted on this one.

Les Invalides is home to two churches. This first one is Eglise St. Louis which is the soldier's church.

The organ at Eglise St. Louis was beautiful!

Here is the main altar of Eglise St. Louis. The large cross is on the altar in the other church on the other side of the window.

The second church is Eglise du Dome. It houses Napoleon's tomb (as well as the tombs of several of his family members).

The inside of the dome was absolutely beautiful!

Here is the front view of the cross on the main altar in Eglise du Dome.

Napoleon's tomb sits in the center of a circular crypt in the middle of the church. Napoleon's body is placed in 6 coffins, one inside the other.

Around the edges of the crypt are these beautiful bas reliefs, telling the story of important times in Napoleon's life.

This is called Jardin de l'Intendant and is situated just outside the Eglise du Dome.

Here is the Esplanade des Invalides, a very long garden. In the distance (on the left) you can see the Grand Palais. It is located across the Seine.

Our next stop was the Grand Louvre museum. Words cannot even begin to describe this place! We only saw two exhibits and were there over two hours!

This bas relief is called 'Armeme' and dates from the 13th century.

There was an entire room filled with Madonna and Child sculptures and wall decorations.

This is one of many Robbia bas reliefs. It shows Christ at the Mount of Olives.

Believe it or not, this is the ceiling of the Louvre. Even that is art!

'Autel des 12 Dieux' (a ceiling boss) dates from the first century.

Here is Bernini's 'lEnfant Jesus.'

Michelangelo's 'Captif' was also there.

At the top of a grand staircase was this famous sculpture, 'Winged Victory of Samothrace.' Tom was in awe!

And of course, we had to take a picture of the 'Venus de Milo.'

We also walked through the Italian painting section, but were unable to take pictures. The collection was unbelievable!

We then walked toward Sacre Coeur. On the way we passed the 'Moulin Rouge.'

Sacre Coeur sits atop Monmartre.

Here's a close-up view. Since there was a school program going on inside, we didn't take any pictures. It was beautiful, though.

We then decided to go see the Pantheon. On our way, we walked through the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was much prettier than the Jardin des Tuileries.

There is a large reflection pool in the center of the garden.

Look what was in the pool! Of course, Deb had to get pictures of the sailboats.

Here's what the main entryway looks like. Yes, that is blue sand (and there were kids playing in it, too).

Here's the Pantheon.

The dome was just beautiful, in black, grey and white.

Here's another view of the inside of the Pantheon.

The walls were lined with gorgeous murals, like the one pictured here.

Some incredibly famous people are buried in the crypt below, including Voltaire (pictured here), Rousseau, Louis Braille, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie (the first woman so honored).

Behind the Pantheon is this beautiful little church, called St. Etienne du Mont.

This is the nave of the church. As you can see, it is very bright inside.

This is part of the Shrine to St. Genevieve.

Here is another beautiful chapel within St. Etienne du Mont.

The main altar is pictured here.

After that, we decided to go see the Bastille. Deb was very disappointed. All that was left was this monument situated in the middle of the intersection.

This is the Bastille, or 'Opera Bastille.'

Our second day was now over. Time to return to the hotel, exhausted once again, and get ready for a relaxing dinner.


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