Monday, March 2, 2015

From Notre Dame to Eglise Saint Louis en l'Ile

To return to our small Paris tour from last time,
we walked from the lovely Notre Dame de Paris,
seen here in the setting sun,

across the bridge

past the brasseries

to the Eglise Saint Louis en l'Ile.

Built between 1664 and 1726,
and according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau,
built according to plans by Le Vau, the royal architect of Versaille. 

While I'm not a Catholic
I DO love those Catholic churches

for their graceful beauty, their architecture,

moving paintings
and stained glass windows
filled with stunning color and detailed story.

for their quiet places

their history


and reverence

their painted arches

and hiding shadows

their amazing shots

and because I always learn something.

What about you? 
Anything you especially love about churches?

Next time we'll do a little more walking 
along the island. 


19 bis rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile
75004 Paris

(All Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Our Favorite Corner of Paris

A trip to Paris is never complete 
without a visit to our favorite corner not far from Notre Dame. 
And our favorite little eatery. 

I've posted before about La Reserve de Quasimodo
which serves old French favorites
and does them well. 

Their bread is from one of Paris' finest boulangeries
using the old style of baking. 

And a separate entrance leads into their wine shop. 

The view looks out on
 Paris' magificent Hotel de Ville 
right across the Seine. 

And just around the corner,

sits another building claiming to be one of the oldest in Paris. 

All decked out for Noel
including Bethlehem polar bears. 

Paris is always beautiful
but even more so at Christmas! 
Next time I'll have more photos of a walk on the other side of this bridge
and the church of St. Louis. 

(Photos copyright:Kirsten Steen)

Monday, February 2, 2015

29, Avenue Rapp in Paris

One of my favorite places to stop and snap photos (every visit)
is 29, Avenue Rapp
right across the Champ de Mars from us. 

This Art Nouveau jewel was built by Jules Lavirotte (1864~1929)
who studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in both Lyon and Paris. 

Even in winter, 
flowers grace the windows above the intricate entryway. 

Looking up you can see the oxen heads 
positioned just under the lower balcony
and the patina'd columns of the upper terrace. 

The stunning exterior is an example of glazed earthenware
created by ceramicist Alexandre Bigot. 

The door frame was designed by sculptor Jean-Baptiste Larrive
and sculpted by three different people. 

Notice the lizard door handle. 

I couldn't help getting a shot of this little guy
scraping the window like he wanted to come out and play. 

Passersby gawk just like I do every single time!

And the view from the building?
Must be astounding at night
with the tower lit up and shimmering every hour. 

Lavirotte built many buildings,
quite a few of them in the 7th arrondissement.
Click on his name to see a list of them.

One is actually just around the corner on Square Rapp.
This post shows a little of Square Rapp
though not much of the building. 

Might have to make it a treasure hunt 
to see each of his buildings next time. 

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)
(Info on Lavirotte via Wikipedia)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Vivaldi Concert at La Sainte Chapelle Church in Paris

Enfin!! Finally! 
I'm here...I'm back...
from Paris
and the holidays! 

I do hope you had a joyous holiday season. 

Our first set of photos from this most recent visit to Paris
is to the royal medieval Gothic chapel of
La Sainte Chapelle.

For the 23rd anniversary of our first date
on the 23rd of December,
I decided rather than spending a huge amount on a fancy restaurant,
the Chef and I should see a concert in a cathedral
and then have a nice dinner nearby. 

I've always wanted to see one of these cathedral concerts
so this was the perfect day...and excuse. 

But it was COLD! 
A friend had warned me:
Bundle up! 
It will be cold. 

But a magnificent backdrop
for such exquisite music. 
Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  

These beautiful angels hovered just next to me as I listened.

And religious figures stood nearby. 

Even the floors are colorful and exquisite.

Adam and Eve grace the exterior doors on the way out. 

And the ancient church spire
hovers under a darkened sky. 

The church, located on the Ile de la Cite,
was commissioned by Louis IXth 
to hold his Passion Relics
one of which was to be the Crown of Thorns. 
The church itself was opened in 1248. 
Sainte Chapelle is most known, among other things,
for being the largest collection of 13th century stained glass windows anywhere.
(See first photos above for a small sampling.)

It was my 3rd visit to this special church
and I never tire of it. 
Next time, I hope to see a concert there in the summer! 

From the church, we made our way to the restaurant L'Absinthe,
quoted as a 'neo-retro bistro'.
A little Paris, a little New York,
the restaurant is run by Caroline Rostang,
daughter of the famous Michel Rostang.
I wish I'd gotten some shots of the interior
but you can see photos by clicking the link below. 

We sipped bubbly 
(in memory of our very first bubbly together on that first date)
and had a fabulous meal just near the clock. 
I highly recommend it. 

Thanks for coming along 
for the first of many photos of our recent time in Paris!

(All photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)


8, rue Blvd. du Palais,
75001, Paris, France

L'Absinthe (Paris)
24, Place du Marche Saint Honore
75001 Paris France