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Paris Venice 2011

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S: Paris and Venice 2011

BC: Paris and Venice 2011

FC: Our 20th Anniversary Vacation 2011 Paris and Venice

1: In celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary, we decided to spend the week in Paris and Venice. I got around speaking a little French, while Mike made me laugh all week. We walked all throughout Paris, from its original founding place, Ile de la Cite, to Le Vesinet, and Montmartre. From there, Venice was unlike anything we had ever seen, with a city built practically on water and roads made of canals. And knowing that the children were in good hands with Pammy and Grammy, we were able to enjoy every minute. It was a dream!

3: In the 1st century AD the Parisii settled on an island in the middle of the River Seine, later called Ile de la Cite. They founded the town Lutecia (our hotel was Hotel de Lutece), which in the 5th century became Paris. In the 6th century, King Clovis (1st king of Paris) built Le Palais de la Cite for his royal residence. At that time, Paris was considered the 2nd holiest city in the world. At the turn of the first millenium, Paris was a busy, thriving city, so in 1163 the king commissioned Maurice de Sully to build Notre Dame on the island. It took 107 years to build, hence the French expression "Oh it will take 107 years again." In the 13th century, the island was renamed Ile Saint Louis, after King Louis IX.

4: Saint-Chapelle and Le Palais du Justice, the oldest palace of the kings of France, are now a museum and Paris' police headquarters. The Palais de la Cite was home to French Kings from 10th to 14th centuries. The cathedral was built in 1248, commissioned by King Louis IX (the future Saint Louis), to house the relics of the Passion of Christ. These included the Crown of Thorns, the Sponge and the Sword that was used to pierce Jesus. The cost of these relics greatly exceeded the cost of building the Chapel itself. Until then the relics belonged to the Emperors of Constantinople, so this purchase added to the prestige of France, where Europe considered it the "New Jerusalem". During the French revolution, most of the relics were destroyed along with much of Sainte Chapelle. Since 1846, a restoration process has been ongoing to preserve its original appearance.

5: This is the upper chapel, where only the king, his close friends and family, and the priests entered via the outdoor terrace, which at the time was connected to the palace. Today the entrance is through a small winding staircase from the lower chapel, which was used for the palace staff. The windows in this chapel are unlike any Mike and I have seen: 1,113 scenes depicted in 15 stained glass windows tell the story of mankind from Genesis to Christ's resurrection. The stories are read from left to right, from the bottom upwards.

6: Ile de la Cite | Charlemagne, Emporer of the Holy Roman Empire and father of the Frenh monarchy

7: Notre Dame, 1270 | Notre Dame has many symbolisms: Mary, the Holy Trinity, John's interpretation of heaven, and the 2 testaments of the Bible. The trinity is depicted 3 fold: 3 levels, 3 facade parts, and 3 cathedral sections. The many colors in the cathedral represent the Heavenly Jewels that John describes in his writings. Because colors were afforded only by the wealthy, the French were fascinated by the heavenly splendor of the colorful walls and windows. The 2 famous rose windows have meanings: the North window is blue, depicting scenes from the Old Testament, while the South window is red , representing Jesus' blood shed for us in the New Testament.

9: Another beautiful picture taken from the River Seine of Ile de la Cite with Notre Dame in the background | Notre Dame at night | The facade of ND displays the statues of many saints, but only St. Denis carries his head. In the year 250 AD, St. Denis was the 1st bishop of Paris, and was beheaded by the Roman government in Montmartre. Legend has it that after his execution he carried his head 7 km before falling to his death. This is the place now where the St. Denis cathedral was built.

10: Dinner at Jules Verne was fabulous! Perfect table and view, we had a romantic dinner just like 15 years ago. We are so very grateful to God for our marriage and family.

12: The bike tour was so much fun! Jeff, our American, 20-something tour guide was witty and informative. We toured the city with the theme "domination!", referring to the way we took the streets of Paris. Jeff armed us with the "power of the palm" and the "no no no!" to maneuver our way through the city. We performed the ATM (advanced traffic maneuver) at La Place de la Concorde, meaning get in front of traffic before it gets in front of you! Jeff believes that the French's perfectly topped-off and symmetrical way of landscaping is their version of "man's domination over nature". Very funny!

13: Le Marais (the swamp) is an historical district, preserved from before the revolution with its beautiful cobblestone streets and old architecture.

14: Paris highlights | Place de la Concorde, a gift from the Egyptians in 1829 | Le Tour St. Jacques: all that's left from a 16th century church | Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (Place du Carrousel) 1806 Commemorates Napoleon's victories, and was also le place de guillotine in 1792 (Le Louvre in background)

15: Arc de Triomphe (Place Charles de Gaulle) 1806 Twice as large as Arc de Tromphe du Carrousel, holds the tomb of the unknown soldier from WWI, and stands at the west end of the Champs Elysees.

16: Les Invalides | Louis XIV built the Chapel of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides, Paris in 1679. | Napoleon's tomb sits in Les Invalides, with Greek guards watching over him. | Entrance to L'Htel national des Invalides was originally built as a retirement home for war veterans, and now also contains the Musée de l'Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, as well as the burial site of Napoleon Bonaparte

17: Les Invalides from the Eiffel Tower | From Pont Alexandre III

18: Pont Alexandre III | Built for the International Exposition of 1900, the bridge connects Les Invalides to Le Grand and Le Petit Palais.

19: A view of Paris from Le Bateaux-Mouches along la Seine | Le Tour Eiffel avec le Pont Alexander III

20: Our favorite French cafes! | Freshly squeezed orange juice Chocolate croissants Fresh fruit European coffee more European coffee.... Maison Berthillon Les Glaces

21: St. Louise de Marillac, Foundress of the Daughters of Charity along with St. Vincent de Paul | St. Catherine Laboure, incorrupt | Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal on Rue du Bac | On July 18-19, 1830, Sr. Catherine Laboure (later Saint) was received by the Blessed Virgin Mary. She invited all to "Come to the foot of this alter; there, graces will be showered upon all." | We had mass here, in French

22: La Tour Eiffel | From tour Montparnasse

23: The tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, and was the tallest building in the world for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building was erected in Chicago.

24: Place des Vosges et Square Louis-XIII | Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris, and is located in the Marais district.

25: More Parisian Cathedrals

26: Le mur des Je t'Aime, Montmartre | Created by the poet Frederick Baron in 1994, the wall posts "I love you" in 250 languages

27: This Metropolitain sign was created in 1900, and is 1 of 2 original Parisian works. | We didn't know what to expect before taking the Metro here, and we were so glad we did! Montmartre is rich with Parisian history: still the highest point in Paris, it was once a central power point with 15 windmills. Today the town has only 2 remaining. Montmartre is home to many artists, and was once home to Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Renoir. | Le Moulin de la Galette was the origination of Le Moulin Rouge. Today it is a cafe. | Montmartre

28: Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) In Montmartre, the highest point in Paris, Sacre Coeur has had perpetual Eucharistic Adoration for 125 years, since 1886. | Built 1875-1919, 2 statues flank the front entrance of Sacre Coeur: King (St.) Louis IX who lived in the 13th century, and Joan of Arc (also St.), who lived in the 14th century.

29: Rue de L'Abrevoir The road leading to Sacre Coeur | Looking over Paris from the steps of Sacre Coeur

30: Venice, Italy A beautiful, unique, picturesque city! It nearly doesn't seem real. The city was settled in 421 ad, on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, so Venetians have a special place in their hearts for the Blessed Virgin Mary. With 100 islands, the city of Venice has 114 churches, most built with baroque style architecture.

31: The gondola ride was so romantic!

32: Gondolas: A romantic tour of Venice

33: One of Venice's many "streets"

34: Scenes from Venice

35: Ponte de Rialto 1591

36: ~ Ahh Venice ~ | Venetian police: a dream job! | Mike in a Venice alley | Arriving in Venice by taxi

37: Famous Venetians | Marco Polo 13th century explorer and traveler, was most famous for his 24-year journey to Asia. Giacomo Casanova 18th century writer, philosopher and traveler, but was most famous for being a lady's man. | Marco Polo's home | We had dinner with Milena and Wolfgang (Milena is Mike's work colleague)

38: St. Marks Basilica overlooks Piazza San Marco | Built in 834 in Byzantine architecture | Venice has a history of being the center of art galleries and exhibitions. Murano glass is originated here. Doges Palace has its famous Bridge of Sighs, where men (Casanova) entered the prison.

39: Doges Palace Mars God of war Neptune God of sea | Pillars preserved from 8th century | Inside Doges Palace overlooking the square | Doges Palace and St. Marks Basilica In 726 the Doges government was established, and in 814 Doges Palace was constructed. It was the world's 1st democracy. In 1797 the Venetian Republic was defeated by Napoleon and became part of Austria. In 1866 Venice becomes part of Italy. | During WWII, Venice was left untouched, since all sides recognized its beauty.

40: Basilica of St. Mary of Health completed in 1681 after an outbreak of the plague | Churches of Venice | Scuola Grande di San Marco built in 1260, is now a hospital

41: Designed by Palladio and was built in 1566, now it is headquarters of the Cini Foundation arts centre, known for its library and is also home to the Teatro Verde open-air theatre. | A great view from atop St. Marks tower | San Giorgio Maggiore

42: Venice from atop St. Marks Tower | Mike and me in front of St. Marks Basilica

43: Our perfect vacation A gift we are truly thankful for ~ But now faith, hope, and love remain— these three. The greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13

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  • By: Laurie C.
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  • Title: Paris Venice 2011
  • Our 20th anniversary vacation
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  • Published: over 8 years ago