I am a sucker for churches! I probably went to close to 10 churches this past weekend while I was in Paris. That is the nice part about being in a large old city there are plenty of churches because each community needed its own parish. I love looking at the architecture from the outside – they sit squatly with their towers pointing high into the sky. Although ornate they look rather simple from the outside. Once you step inside the senses are overwhelmed by the division of spaces and each space as beautiful as the next. Currently many are in a state of disrepair inside which is most evident in the radiating chapels that are each dedicated to a particular saint where the murals or paintings are almost completely eroded because of the constant exposure to sunlight and other factors.
This is the first church of many that caught my eye.
While I was at the Pompidou and standing on the circular tube escalator I saw another church that I decided I must see. It sat far off on a hill rather dominating the parisian landscape. When I asked Lexie about it, it was Sacre Coeur. I got up relatively early Saturday morning and set out to see this magnificent church.
There is a tram that will take you up all of those first steps, but who needs a tram when you have two able bodied legs? As you can tell from the photo it is a popular tourist attraction with many people coming and going. I took my time getting to the top, stopping at the various verandas along the way to see the mounting view. Inside the church is decorated with many many mosaics and large statues. I personally liked the capilla depicting Mary’s ascension into heaven. Like the outside the architects and builders strove to make the interior match the grandeur of the exterior. I am not wholly convinced they succeeded. The 19th century gem is a must see because of the expansive view if offers of the city of Paris. The Basilica was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ, to whom they pray daily at mass, and what better pilgrimage site than the highest point in Paris. I had been told that I had to actually climb to the top of the tower to get the best view and so following that advice I climbed 340 more stairs to see this view:
As you can tell it was most definitely worth the few euros to climb to the top. The Parisian churches did not disappoint and I had a wonderful time walking around their aisles and halls.