Parisienne Serendipity

Today was a great day. We decided to take a hike to reorient ourselves to the city we last saw 8 years ago. Our intent was to walk to St. Sulpice for the organ concert after morning mass. However, due to staying up late, getting up a bit late, and taking a long time to walk, we arrived for the last 8 bars of music and the long (about a minute) chord at the end of the concert. St. Sulpice has one of the most magnificent pipe organs in Europe and we will go back another Sunday to hear the full concert. The people gave the organist a standing ovation at the end, which is a bit odd in a church.

After that we decided to wander back home past some familiar sights. We wound through the Left Bank past the home and museum of Eugene Delacroix, through the Latin Quarter, and onto Ile de la Cite. Along the way we happened upon a free exhibition of frescoes by Fra Angelico. This is one of those things that can only happen in a city like Paris. Fra Angelico is one of the fathers of modern painting. Although he painted in the 15th century and in religious motifs, he changed the world of painting with his use of color, perspective, and realistic detail. This exhibit at St. Germain des Pres, a monestary church, was a rare treasure that we weren’t aware of until we saw the sign in front of this old abbey church. I’ve included a few photos taken by Jean of some of the paintings.

After leaving St. Germain des Pres we visited the flower market on Ile de Cite, filled with flowers and birds and all the accoutrements on this warm Sunday afternoon. Then we walked past Notre Dame to the Deportation Memorial at the end of the island. This memorial is to around 200,000 French citizens who were deported to concentration camps in WWII. It is a stark place designed to make on feel as if you are in a prison. A long wall in an underground bunker has one tiny light for each person deported.

After sitting a while in the garden outside the memorial we walked home across Ile St. Louis, to Place de Bastille, and back streets to Rue de Charone. What a wonderful day!

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About Paul

I'm retired, but working at painting, photography, and song writing. We like to travel and paint plein air in new places. Of course that's also where photography comes into the picture, so to speak. Sometimes I get inspired to write songs about the people and places we visit.
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