Saturday, March 7, 2009

Paris Day 5 - Extravaganza!

Friday was the day that I feel like we ran all over the city. Our first stop were the Catacombs. Here is a little background on the Catacombs. At the end of the 18th century the largest cemetery in Paris was closed because it was full. Locals complained that so many dead bodies in one place was a danger to public health so in 1785 the State council decreed that they would transfer the bones to an old mine. Bones from every cemetery in Paris were transferred to this site until 1860. There are approximately 6 million bodies arraigned in the tunnels. I thought it would be a lot creepier then it was. The scariest part was walking down over 100 stairs and then through long dark tunnels with no one else around just to get there.

One of the miners carved out Port Mahon where he was a prisoner for many years. He died in a collapse while trying to make a separate entrance to this area.
The miners dug down to the water table so that they would have fresh water while working. One thing that surprised me was how moist it felt in the tunnels. Towards the end there was even water dripping from the ceiling. That kind of grosed us out.
Entering the Catacombs...

Yes, those really are all bones.

After the Catacombs we decided to go look for Saint Sulpice church (from the Da Vinci code where Silas traces the Rose line to). At first we thought this was it but we quickly realized this was Saint Germain-Des-Pres Abby which was still pretty cool because it was built in 558.

After many wrong turns and retracing of steps, we finally found Saint Sulpice. Apparently, what it is really famous for is having one of the worlds finest organs, which was playing when we were there. I was still pretty excited to see the "Rose Line" though. I could just imagine an albino monk smashing through the floor tile.

After the churches we went to Napoleons tomb and the War Museum. The building in itself was amazing. We probably spent too much time wandering around looking for churches and taking picture of the building because we definitely ran out of time here. They had to chase us out at 5:00. Sean said that this was his favorite place and that he could of spent more time here then at the Louvre! Crazy!

This is Napoleon's Tomb.

There were tons of suits of suits of armor.
Sean was excited about all the armor.

And all the canons.

This is Sean jumping for joy because he loved the War Museum so much.

Me too!

We still felt like the day was young and we could see the Eiffel Tower from the museum so decided to walk over and go on top and watch the sun set. How romantic!
We were in a jumping mood.

This is down town Paris from the Eiffel Tower.
The Arc de Triomphe.

The museum we were just at!

Oh Paris...

What are the chances of two pigeons flying by just as I took the picture?!
That big black building in the middle of the picture is the only thing that stands in between Cecilia's family's top floor apartment having a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. At night we could see one of the legs of the Eiffel Tower sparkeling.
This mini Statue of Liberty faces her sister in the USA.

Paris by Night Tour
Our night time event was a special tour by Cecilia that we like to call Paris by Night. She took us all around in her little car, including the crazy traffic circle around the Arc de Triophe, to see the lights of Paris. We took a few pictures at the beginning of the tour but then just decided to sit back and enjoy the ride. Paris is beautiful by night!

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