Monthly Archives: May 2016

Hidden Treasures in Paris

Far from the Madding Crowd at 65 Rue D’Orsay inside the American Church are two amazingly beautiful windows designed in the late 1920s by the great Louis Comfort Tiffany. Who knew? Well some folk obviously do but when we visited this afternoon the place was deserted. Actually it was locked but my buddy and I must have looked so woebegone since we had made a “pilgrimage” on foot all the way from the far end of the Latin Quarter to visit these windows that the guardienne took pity on us and let us in. There we spent a few wonderful Continue reading Hidden Treasures in Paris

Joan of Arc

May 30th. Joan of Arc’s saint’s day – that was yesterday and I’m sorry Joan, I forgot.  To be fair it was absolutely lashing with rain in Paris and if it had been this wet in Rouen 585 years ago those bastards who sent you to the stake (unfortunately the English) would never have got that fire going. But here she is, exonerated from the charges of witchcraft (just because she beat the English) and heresy (because she claimed to have heard voices from God – and also beat the English) standing tall holding her banner emblazoned with the Cross of Lorraine in no less a place than Notre Dame de Paris.  A woman of true courage and integrity born in a time when women were supposed to have neither. She was only 19.

The Ultimate Reliquary – la Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, France

Entering La Sainte-Chapelle (The Holy Chapel) is like stepping into a glass jewel box studded with brilliantly colored gems. This stunning wonder of 13th century architecture and artistry (consecrated in 1248) was once part of the royal palace, though today it is hidden behind a cluster of 18th century administrative buildings on the Île de la Cité in Paris.

Built by King Louis IX to house his precious collection of holy relics, the Sainte-Chapelle is itself the ultimate holy reliquary (the containers, usually made of precious metals and jewels, were designed to hold the bones of Christian saints and martyrs). In 1239, Louis (1214-1270, the only French King to be designed a saint) acquired one of the greatest of holy relics, the Crown of Thorns, allegedly worn Continue reading The Ultimate Reliquary – la Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, France