Part 2 of day 9 of our trip took us back to the center of Paris. See part one here. First we went to Notre Dame- and as always it was spectacular. The official name is the Notre Dame de Paris, in French it means ‘Our Lady of Paris’ – and she is beautiful! The Notre Dame is considered by many to be one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture. Construction started in 1163 and was completed in 1345. The design originally did not include the flying buttresses, but stress fractures occurring as the structure was built upward made them necessary and the Notre Dame became one of the first buildings to use flying buttresses as external support. The cathedral originally was painted with vivid colors which have since worn off exposing the gray stone. The cathedral sustained heavy damage in the French Revolution in the 1790s. Today the cathedral is still in use as a Catholic church and starting this December 12, 2012 will be celebrating it’s 850th year:
Surprise surprise, it started raining again as we made our way to the restaurant we had reserved for dinner:
We had a three course dinner at Chez Clement and it was so delicous. Our appetizer was crazy good- tomatoes with some sort of olive oil/herb concoction and baguettes. The main dish was duck with mashed potatoes and the dessert was creme brulee! Very enjoyable and relaxing meal with a thunderstorm in the background: 🙂
After our dinner we took the metro to the Eiffel Tower! This is one of my favorite places in Paris and coming up to it still hasn’t gotten old. Even though it is a large metal tower it is so delicate and feels powerful walking up to it. It was erected in 1889 for the World’s Fair and was named for Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. It stands about 1,050 feet tall which is equivilent to an 81 story building. At the time it was built it held the title of the tallest man-made building for 41 years until the Chrysler Building was built in NYC in 1930. It is the most visited monument in the world:
We had a great day with so many amazing experiences and went to bed late with the promise of another great day in Paris.