This morning we had a timed entrance ticket to visit Sainte-Chapelle. The sun was rising as we were walking toward the chapel.
There was a restaurant nearby so we had some breakfast before it was time for our entrance. We had a great breakfast at Brasserie Les Deux Palais.
It was a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky. Sainte Chapelle and the Palais de Justice were Part of the former royal palace. The Palais de Justice was a courthouse that contained the Court of Appeals. Sainte Chapelle was the Royal Chapel and was built in the middle of the 13th century and of the High Gothic architecture.
King Louis IX built this chapel to hold his sacred relics. He went on crusades and paid enormous prices. His chapel was specifically designed to follow his wishes. Louis IX was considered a saint during his lifetime and was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1297 and was Saint Louis.
The security checkpoint was backed up and we were a little delayed getting into Sainte Chapelle. It was worth the wait! Sainte Chapelle had two levels. The upper chapel housed the king’s most precious relics: the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross. The Crown was a wreath of thorns that was supposedly placed on Jesus Christ at his crucifixion. The fragment of the True Cross which was made of wood of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. The relics were no longer kept there.
We went up the spiral stairs to the second level first. It had 1,113 stained glass windows that depicted scenes from the Old and New Testament. It was gorgeous.
Facing west and almost 30 feet in width was the Rose of the Apocalypse which was rebuilt around 1485 under Charles VIII and consisted of 87 panels.
When we were finished admiring all of the beauty of the stained glass we then went to the lower chapel (first floor) was fro the royal palace staff. The ceiling was lower and it was much darker because there were fewer windows. The lower level was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the area was divided into a nave and side aisles. The ceiling was filled with the fleur-de-lis pattern and had decorated columns.
There were 13th century original elements from Sainte Chapelle before the French Revolution destroyed them.
The scary gargoyles outside Sainte Chapelle were quite fun to see.
After Sainte Chapelle we walked to the Eiffel Tower to get tickets to go up the tower. We walked along the bank of the Seine River for most of the way. We passed many of the 240 bouquinistes (book sellers) who sell out of green boxes that house over 300,000 old books, journals, stamps and trading cards. In 1991 the bouquinistes of Paris became an UNESCO World Heritage site. These green boxes are located on both sides of the Seine.
It was a great day for a three mile walk to the Eiffel Tower entrance. Below were some of our sites on our walk!
We stopped for a drink at a small cafe on the way because we needed to use the restroom before going in the Eiffel Tower security entrance.
We stood in line to purchase our tickets for the Eiffel Tower and when we were almost to the ticket counter the sign for the tower summit changed from open to close. Three of our group had really wanted to go to the summit and it was a perfect day for it so they were disappointed. We found out later from our hotel clerk that they closed the summit due to the winds!
In a nearby neighborhood was an Italian restaurant that’s menu was 100% gluten free! The food was delicious. If you need to eat gluten free in Paris we would recommend Tasca Bio.
By the time we finished our meal we walked back to the Louvre mall entrance. We wanted to check out the Paris 2024 Olympic store. We looked around but didn’t find anything we had to have other than we purchased the Paris 2024 mascot (the Phryges) for our granddaughter. We stopped by the hotel to freshen up and since it was our last night in Paris we walked around the neighborhood from our hotel.
We passed the Church of Sainte Marie-Madeleine that was built in the style of a Greek temple and was finished in 1842.
There were some interesting head busts by the artist Rero. One had Shift carved on it, one had low resolution and another had Error 404 carved on it.
We eventually stopped at the Cafe Madeleine for wine and shared a charcuterie board. We toasted our great trip and great friends!
Today we leave Paris for home. We have a late afternoon flight so the hotel gave us a late checkout. The six of us walked for breakfast at Ladurée Paris Royale restaurant. It had a quaint decor.
The hot chocolate was very rich and we enjoyed the gluten free Eugénie which was a shortbread cookie with a soft center and melted coating! Delicious!
After breakfast we said goodbye to our nephew who traveled with us for two weeks. He was staying in Paris for one more day before heading home. We went back to our hotel to pack our bags for flying home and wait for our ride to Charles de Gaulle airport. We said goodbye to the Hotel Du Continent.
Our driver showed up on when scheduled and our flights were on time! We arrived home close to midnight. It was a wonderful adventure in France but as always it was good to be home!