Paris: Introduction

Paris. How do you describe it? Words don’t do justice so all you’re left with are pictures. And yet it’s impossible to capture the essence of each park, café, arrondisment. Right Bank? Left Bank? Each district is unique in its own right and yet it’s the sum of the parts which makes up the whole. There are only so many pictures one can take. So there is little more I can do than give you a flavor of the city. I have supplemented my pictures from this trip with a few I took on an earlier trip a couple of years ago. I have been luck enough to have visited the city several times in the last year, revisiting old haunts and exploring new ones each time.

For the first post, I thought I would begin with Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint-Louis, the geographic and historic heart of the city where the first settlement was founded some 6000 years ago. The former island is most famous for Basilique Notre Dame, immortalized in the classic the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo. Other notable buildings on the island include the Prefecture de Police (Police Station), Palais de Justice (Court House) and Hotel Dieu (a hospital).

By comparison, Ile Saint-Louis is much quieter; a quaint residential district which offers some of the best patisseries and boulangeries along its narrow cobblestone streets. The apartments located above these shops and restaurants offer some of the city’s most prized real estate for those lucky (and wealthy) enough to get their hands on it.

A view up the Seine with the twin spires of Basilique Notre Dame in the distance

Notre Dame

A close-up of the flying buttresses used to support the weight of the church

The main entrance to Notre Dame with intricate stonework above the doorway

Exquisite stained-glass windows

More stained glass. The cathedral is considered to have some of the largest and most intricate stained glass in the world

A peaceful side-channel of the Seine just off the south side of Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame

A ubiquitous Bateau Mouche going under the venerable Pont Neuf (New Bridge). Despite its name, the bridge is the oldest in Paris. Notice the stonework faces at the bottom of each supporting arch

Beautiful apartments which are scattered throughout Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint Louis. If you need to ask how much they cost, you can’t afford them

I always love this picture. Despite the millions of tourists buzzing around, you can always find a quiet oasis to relax and do what you enjoy most

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About Canadianindenmark

A Canadian expat working in the biotechnology industry in Copenhagen, Denmark
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