Greetings from le weekend,
C’est dimanche…it’s Sunday…in Paris, a day which starts very slowly and quietly with late café breakfasts and family picnics in the parks. It’s not as slow and quiet as it once was. We were here back in 2012 when the stores started to open on Sundays. Prior to that, other than street cafés and a few museums, the commercial stores and restaurants were all closed. There was one grocery store open per neighborhood and even those rotated around from week to week. There was almost no traffic. It was French President Sarkosy who started this change. I suppose it was inevitable, but I cherished those perfect Sundays in Paris, devoid of anything but church bells and laughter.
To attend church, all I have to do is step across the narrow rue St. Paul and enter our gorgeous Eglise St. Paul/St. Louis through an ancient side passage.
Yes, I can hardly understand a word but can still light a candle and worship for a short while in the privacy of this holy spot. It’s wonderful. Sometimes, we go to the American Cathedral of Paris off the Champs but we’ll wait until late August and September to do that. The regular choir will be back from summer vacations, and they are superb.
This afternoon we plan to attend a free organ concert at 5pm at Eglise St. Eustache which has undergone years of cleaning and restoration. They are not finished with it but getting close. It is massive and is situated in the first arrondissement amid the remnants of Les Halles, the largest food market in Paris which closed in 1969 and moved out near Orly Airport.
The current building which we visited yesterday afternoon was constructed between 1532 and 1632 and is considered French Gothic, French Renaissance and French Classical given the 100-year span. Its origins are much earlier, but I’ll let you look that up if you’re interested. Yesterday, a young man from Hungary was the attending church representative and told us the story of St. Eustache. He was a Roman general from the second century who was burned to death for converting to Christianity along with his family. He was hunting in the forest one day when he was confronted face-to-face by a huge deer with massive antlers. It was a conversion experience for him and the moment he became a Christian. And this became the symbol of the church which is on the front facade and in the featured photo above.
The church has a line of famous people who are connected to it: Louis XIV’s first communion was held there in 1649; Cardinal Richelieu and Molière were both baptized there and Molière was married there; Mozart held his mother’s funeral there.
This church is just magnificent, not as famous perhaps, but we highly recommend a visit if you’re in Paris. Directly behind it is what we call the “food street” or rue Montorgueil. Full of life, street cafés, bakeries, and fruit markets, this pedestrian street always makes for a fun time. If we didn’t stay in Le Marais, this area would be our next best choice. We had an early dinner there last night trying to beat the rain which never came. Enjoy the photos of the church and our outing.
Here’s our lovers of the day:
We’ll leave you with a giggle. Bernie has found both War Eagle (Orange) and Roll Tide hair (Red). If you’re reading this and not from Alabama, that’s a reference to the intense football rivalry between Auburn and Alabama.
Have a lovely weekend.
L & B