Soul le ciel de Paris

Paris, the city of cities

Montmartre
One more beautiful landmark is Sacre-Coeur (the Holy Heart), a white cathedral that sits on the side of the hill Montmartre, overlooking all of Paris. It was built after the French-German war in 1870-71, where more then 58.000 soldiers died. The catholics considered this a punishment by God, so they wanted to show their repent and save to souls by building a church. The priests of the church still pray 24 hours a day for souls of the dead soldiers. The church was financed by public subscription - maybe that is the reason why it took 35 years to complete the building. The church was finished in 1914, but because of the war it was not consecrated until 1919. When we visited Sacre Coeur we listened to a wonderful concert. The best time of the day is to come late in the afternoon, when the sun is setting, and the light is so beautiful. (People with more knowledge of art than I, claim that the church looks like a vulgar wedding cake. Don't pay attention to them. I myself find it more romantic than vulgar). Outside the church is a bronze statue of Jeanne d'Arc, the virgin of Orlean. You may take the cable railway and save your tired legs from climbing stairs and ramps. After having returned to Denmark we found, that we should have visited the cemitery of Montmartre, where so many famous persons have been burried: P.A. Heiberg (who was expelled from Denmark), Berlioz, Offenbach, Heine etc. Alexander Dumas is burried close to his love Marie Duplessis ("Kameliadamen").

Place du Tertre

Montmartre, high on the only hill overlooking Paris, has long been famous for its artists, and its magnificant church Sacre Coeur. If you want to climb Montmartre, you should start close to Moulin Rouge. On your way you pass 'Lapin Agile' (the smart rabbit), where Picasso and Utrillo used to come. Close by Sacre Coeur is the Place du Tertre; usually completely covered with tables and bright umbrellas...... and ``artists.'' Don't expect to find a new Gauguin here, then you should have come 100 years ago. You won't find (m)any Parisians here, but it is certainly harmless fun.

This is the place to come if you want to get your portrait, or that of your travel companion, drawn. Walk around this small square, which is the old council place, and look over the shoulder of the artist as they draws someone; or drink a coffee (we took a beer) at one of the cafes which occupy every inch of the square.

Pont Neuf
Built between 1578 and 1604 this is the oldest and the most famous of all Paris bridges. Its name has been connected with famous people like Henri III and Henri IV who inaugurated it in 1603. This architectural masterpiece is formed by a segment of five arches and another of seven, the Pont Neuf has been very popular ever since it was built.

Along the Seine especially, you find lined up little used book, magazine, and print shops. Lots of fun to browse these displays, there's even lots of old English speaking books. Edith and Kurt lead us to The English Bookshop (or Bookstore?) situated along the Seine. Tremendous piles of books. The order was something like Henning Clausen's bookstore in Århus. The store had just been restored after a fire some years ago.
France is for the French, Paris belongs to the whole world. Montesquieu.