Paris from the Tower

I had the fortune to climb the Eiffel Tower while in Paris. I climbed as far as they allowed you to go at the time, which was the second observation level. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Needless to say, I was a bit tired when I reached the top. About half way up, I realized that I had my camera backpack still on and should have left it with someone down below!

 

Paris from Above

The Conciergerie on the Seine

Along the Seine River in Paris sits a unique building. Though not as ornate as many historic buildings in Paris, this one has a long history. What began as the royal palace, or the Palais de la Cité, in the 14th century, it was one of the finest buildings in the word at the time.

By the end of the century though, the palaces of Louvre and Vincennes were chosen.  It was then given to the Parliament to be used for administrative offices.
A person, known as “the Concierge” took care of the Palace and had legal and police authority in the city. Hence the name. By 1391, it was converted to a prison. Wealthy prisoners had the best accommodations while common thieves stayed dark, rodent-infested rooms, often succumbing to diseases such as the plague.

During the French Revolution, the Conciergerie became famous as the place where prisoners were held before they were taken to the guillotine to be beheaded. It also housed the Revolutionary Tribunal, a court set up to trial opponents of the French Revolution, sending nearly 2,600 prisoners to the guillotine, including Marie Antoinette.

 

Along the Seine River in Paris sits the Conciergerie. What started as the royal palace, became a famous prison during the French Revolution. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

Monet’s Colorful Garden

When Claude Monet was not painting, he would be overseeing his extensive garden. This view from his upstairs window looked out to a view that most of us could only dream of. He created the garden to have color year-round, to encourage and stimulate his creative paintings.

His home in Giverny, France offered him the opportunity to paint inside in his studio, or outdoors on his property with the privacy he needed, but the inspiration and color he so desired.

 

Claude Monet's colorful garden gave him the opportunity to paint outdoors on his property with the privacy he needed, but the inspiration and color he desired. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography

The Honfleur Marina

If you are an artist in France, then you have certainly heard of, if not have already visited a town called Honfleur. The small picturesque marina, surrounded by shops, restaurants and houses of different colors, is a favorite stop for artists and tourists. Some of the more notables were  Gustave CourbetClaude Monet,  Johan Jongkind and Eugène Boudin.  Today, you see many more cameras that you do canvases. But the scene, nonetheless, is just as beautiful today as it was years ago.

 

The small picturesque marina in Honfleur France, surrounded by shops, restaurants and houses of different colors, is a favorite stop for artists and tourists. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Shining on La Sainte-Chapelle

Prior to that morning in Paris, I had never heard of this famous chapel. But after that morning, I shall never forget it. It was one of the remarkable buildings I saw while in France. With details like its large stained glass windows and gargoyles looking down from above, this building it beautiful inside and out.

 

With details like its large stained glass windows and gargoyles looking down from above, La Sainte-Chapelle is beautiful inside and out. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Entrance to the Grand Palais

Here is another view of the Grand Palais in Paris. It fits right in with the rest of the architectural style found throughout Paris and Europe, with the Roman influence of the large columns and the statues that rise above each entrance and corner of this spectacular building. Visit this site for a great animation of the the Grand Palais.

  

The Grand Palais in Paris fits right in with the rest of the architectural style found throughout Paris and Europe, with the Roman influence of the large columns and the statues that rise above each entrance and corner of this spectacular building.  Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Honfleur Horses

Honfleur, France is a wonderful place to stop while visiting Normandy. The picturesque port has a carousel that I bet stays busy as children of all ages take a ride on the wild side. The antique merry-go-round has a lot of character, as these two “characters”  demonstrate.

Honfleur, France was a wonderful stop on our last leg of Normandy. The picturesque port had a carousel that I bet stays busy as children of all ages take a ride on the wild side. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.