Archive for April, 2010

Paris – A Couple New Favorites

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I think Paris is a spectacular city. Every time I walk along the Seine I am awestruck by its beauty. I have been to Paris numerous times, yet each time I return I always manage to find something amazing that I haven’t seen before. Well I was lucky again last week. I discovered two gems: a church and a museum.

Right near the Pantheon, in the Latin Quarter, is a magnificent little church:  St. Etienne-du-Mont. This church houses the shrine to Sainte Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. The church is mostly Gothic in style featuring huge columns and a high vaulted ceiling. The large stained glass windows that line bothsides of the church fill the room with light even on a cloudy day. As I walked down the right aisle of the the church, my eye was drawn to an intricately carved spiral staircase. The workmanship was incredible.  

St. Etienne du Mont

St. Etienne du Mont

In fact there are two staircases which are part of a fabulous rood-screen, an early Catholic device used to separate the choir where the monks and canons sat, and the congregation during the service. The church also has a spectacular carved wooden pulpit that dates back to 1651. I found this church very moving; the intricate detail was just amazing.

Paris is known for its museums. Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay are the two most popular, and they are world renown. Until last week, my favorite museum in Paris was the MuseeRodin which comprises an excellent collection of sculptures housed in a beautiful mansion with an equally beautiful garden. Now I have a second second gem – Musee Marmottan Monet in the 16th Arrondissiment. This museum is housed in the 19th century mansion of art historian Paul Marmottan. In 1971 Michael Monet, son of famed Impressionist painter Claude Monet,  donated 65 of his father’s paintings to this museum. Many of the works were his father’s paintings from Giverny, including Water-lilies and the Japanese bridge over the water-lily pond. It was fascinating to see multiple versions of the same paintings. Monet would paint the same subject at different times of the day; and he would interpret the light by using drastically different colors. In addition, part of Claude Monet’s personal collection of paintings by Pissarro, Manet,  and Renoir were also donated.  

Musee Marmottan Monet

Musee Marmottan Monet

If you are a fan of Monet then this museum is a must.

 I hope that you get to visit Paris soon. Au revoir and Bon Voyage.