September 26th, 2007 – by: sarah_82
We were lucky to have a Metro stop 3 minutes from our hotel, so gettig around was easy. I had made a rough plan of things to do each day so-as to fit in as much as possible in our short trip. Today was the Right Bank. First on the agenda was Sainte Chapelle ,but first we followed a suggested walking tour of the island. We saw the Conciergerie, which used to be an importance prison during the Revolution. This is where Marie-Antoinette was held until she got the chop. The building's sinister look and feel is probably due to the grim part it played in French history. You can go inside with the same ticket for the Sainte Chapelle, but we decided to keep moving.
The gates going through to the courtyard of the Palais de Justice where the Sainte Chapelle is situated are as breath-taking as the building itself.
I don't know if they're coated with real gold or if its just paint, but either way it sets the mood for the majestic atmosphere inside. The downstairs area of the chapel isn't much and when we were there it was mainly filled with stalls for the tourists - postacrds, books, ect...We filed up the winding stairs to the part of the chapel that was used by royalty. I had never seen stained-glass windows as big. They were about 50ft tall and filled 3 of the 4 walls. The 4th had a huge round window called 'The Rose Window'. We must have spent an hour just gazing upwards at the colours that were seeping through the glass walls.
When it came time to head to the Notre Dame cathedral I wasn't sure what to expect. I always associated Notre Dame with the Disney movie I had seen as a child, 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', so I didn't have a realistic image of it in my head.
As we neared, I saw the familiar Gothic tower that Quasimodo used to hide in. We went inside and found a fully functioning cathedral. The artwork on the walls could rival that of any gallery. We did a quick tour, but our main interest was getting up to the top of the towers to see the gargoyles up close and view the city for the first time from above. The queue was the only downfall. It was one of the few times we couldn't go straight to the frontwith our 'Paris Pass' tickets, but it was well worth the wait (and the 387 step climb). I can honestly say this was one of the highlights of the trip. The gargoyles are mesmerizing. Few 2 are the same and you get the feeling that they are watching over the city. The view stretches as far as the Sacré Couer. Its very narrow and was sardine-packed up there, but like I've said, well worth the trouble. I will definitely go back next time I'm in Paris