Monday, October 29, 2012

Paris - Day Three, Part Two

Links to all posts in this series:
Paris - Day One
Paris - Day Two
Paris - Day Three, Part One
Paris - Day Three, Part Two
Paris - Day Four
Paris - Day Five, Part One
Paris - Day Five, Part Two

After touring the Notre Dame Cathedral, we crossed the Pont de l'Archeveche to the Latin Quarter, where we ate lunch at a cute little cafe.

This is the bridge where the custom of lovers hanging padlocks and tossing the keys into the Seine River to symbolize their unbreakable love began. As you can see, this bridge is getting crowded. This tradition has spread to several other bridges in Paris, as well as bridges in several cities across Europe (and also in Vancouver and Toronto!).

After lunch, we walked several blocks to the Cluny Museum, also known as France's National Museum of the Middle Ages, which is located in a former abbey built in the 15th century. 

Artifacts on display here include wood carvings, medieval statues, Crusader tombs, and beautiful wall-sized tapestries.

Notice the hinges in this wood carving that depicts the life of Christ. We saw many of these at the Cluny Museum and in the Louvre. They were able to be closed and transported in times of war and other emergencies.

Beautiful tapestries like these covered cold stone walls in winter, which made them useful as well as decorative.

There were also many bits of stained glass art.

When we finished touring the Cluny Museum, we walked to the Pantheon, the French Revolution's Temple of Reason. This is a grand, impressive building.

The lower level of the Pantheon contains a crypt that houses the remains of many famous French citizens, including Rousseau, Hugo and Voltaire.

Upon completing our tour of the Latin Quarter, we walked across the Ile St. Louis and through the Jewish Quarter, where we hoped to see the Holocaust Museum. Unfortunately, it was closed that day, so we ended up eating an early dinner, then walking back to our hotel and calling it an early night.

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