Celebrating Easter (Paques) in Paris

High-end chocolate Easter egg

Nominally Catholic—but in reality mostly secular—France does, indeed, celebrate Easter (called Paques in French) every year. But the celebrations in the City of Light are not nearly as Jesus-y for the faithful or as candy-filled for the non-church-going as are those for Americans. Yes, all of the churches throughout Paris will hold a series of masses on Easter Sunday. And yes, sweet treats are an integral part of Parisian Paques family traditions, including Easter eggs. But that’s where the similarities between Easter in the U.S. and Paques in France end. Continue Reading →

An Easter Visit to the Dazzling Sainte Chapelle

saintchapelle2

It’s Easter weekend in Paris—called Paques in French. And visitors to the City of Light can enhance their appreciation of the role of Catholicism in the history of Paris through all of the fine art and architecture that can be seen via the city’s 125-plus churches. One of the very best of these—and a must-see destination for first-time visitors—is the dazzling Sainte Chapelle, located just a few blocks from its more famous cousin, Notre Dame. Continue Reading →

Notre Dame de Paris: Simply Breathtaking

Notre Dame 1

There are many beautiful churches in Paris, and I may even be persuaded to admit that Sainte Chapelle and Saint Eustache are more grand and glorious, but nothing beats Notre Dame’s position along the Seine on the gorgeous Ile de la Cite. From the gargoyles to the massive stained-glass windows to the iconic towers and flying buttresses, Notre Dame is a complete delight. Continue Reading →

Gorgeous Churches: Eglise Saint-Paul–Saint-Louis

St. Paul-St. Louis

As a lover of Paris, and particularly the Marais neighborhood, I’m always awed by the gorgeous Saint Paul-Saint Louis church on the Rue Saint-Antoine. One of the main draws inside (aside from the gorgeous white marble altar and impressive pipe organ) is the Delacroix painting “Christ In Agony on the Mount of Olives,” which was commissioned specifically to hang in this Parisian house of worship. Continue Reading →

The Heart of French History

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

One of my favorite sights to visit in Paris is the gorgeous and historic Basilica of Saint Denis in the suburb of Saint Denis. The church and abbey have been the burial place of French royalty since the 10th century (although kings from as far back as the year 500 have had their remains moved here). Parts of the church itself were constructed more than 1,300 years ago. The history here is mind-boggling. Continue Reading →