We are in Paris for the holidays
and this past week the Chef and I celebrated 25 years together
with a trip to the French countryside and Reims (pronounced Rance) Cathedral,
lunch on the square
and a complimentary glass of champagne.
Our first date 25 years ago
involved Champagne Cocktails.
And this week, as we stood a couple of blocks from the square in Reims
perusing menus in restaurant windows, wondering where to have lunch
before touring the church on our anniversary,
a man walked up, handed us a brochure and told us
if we took it to a certain restaurant on the square
and showed them the picture, we would be treated to a glass of champagne.
Not having found anything else we were interested in,
we wandered over to the restaurant and had the perfect lunch,
at the perfect place, right on the square
... with champagne.
Angels were smiling on us.
And if you look closely, you'll see that
the very first figure to the right of these doors
looks like it could be one of the Smiling Angels of Reims.
Below is a picture of the famous Smiling Angel
on a votive holder.
The cathedral was built in the 1200's
over the site of an earlier church
where Clovis (the first king of the Franks)
was baptized in 496 A.D
(the original being built about 400.)
It is the church where the Kings of France were crowned.
Like Chartres, a labyrinth was built into the floor
but here it was later destroyed.
In its number of statue-laden portals,
Reims is second only to Chartres.
In 2011, the cathedral celebrated its 800th anniversary
with the installation of 6 new stained glass windows
by German artist Imi Knoebel
and nearly 6 months of celebrations
including light shows, concerts, performances, exhibitions.
Click HERE for a Guardian article
(his first newspaper interview ever given)
with Imi Knoebel (a man of 700 colors)
and a photo of the actual windows.
During the first world war,
it served as a hospital
and many of its stained glass windows
were sadly damaged or destroyed.
With help partly from the Rockefellers,
it was restored and reopened in 1938.
And above, the gorgeous Marc Chagall windows in the very far end of the cathedral.
Tomorrow starts 2017, ready or not.
In numerology, 2016 equals a 9
which is an ending year.
And with all of the loss this year,
it certainly has been that.
Loss upon loss upon loss...
And with 2017, I'm wishing you a magnificent one!
A new beginning, a cycle of abundance and joy
giving the future now what we want to reap.
I wish for you all the miraculous beauty you can hold within your heart.
A vous, Bonne Annee!!
Til next year....
(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen
Info via Wiki)