5 Cathedrals That Are a Must-Visit in Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame cathedral is one of the most beautiful and famous cathedrals in the world. The building of the cathedral was started in the 12th century, and completed in the 14th century. I quickly became the central structure in Paris. However, it did go through a period of decay until Victor Hugo immortalized it in his book “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

Saint-Eustache Church

This gorgeous and unique church was constructed between 1532 and 1642 right in the heart of Parisa in the Les Halles and Rue Montorgueil districts. It boasts both Renaissance elements and gothic design in a seemingly unfinished design that has an essence of charm and elegance. The organ located within the church was famously used by composers Franz Listz and Berlioz to compose various works. You can still catch a concert to this day that the church.

Eglise de la Madeleine

The church, named after Mary Magdalene, resembles none other than the famous Parthenon! It was originally set to be a government hall, a library, and a national bank, however Louis XVIII decided he’d rather it be a church. Inside the church is a remarkable statue of Joan of Arc, as well as paintings depicting the marriage of the Virgin Mary and Christ’s baptism.

Saint Etienne du Mont Church

This beauty lies right behind the Pantheon in Paris’ Latin Quarter. The church was originally constructed in the 13th century, but was rebuilt between 15th and 17th century. It houses a bell tower, beautiful stained glass, and some of Paris’ oldest organs.

Saint Coeur Basilica

Sitting right in the Montmarte quarter is the Sacre Coeur Basilica, which is actually a relatively new addition to the structures in Paris. It was built during the French Revolution of 1789 and completed in the year 1919 right after World War One. This church differs from others in Paris in that it was not built in the gothic or Renaissance style, and instead was built with a Romano-Byzantine style in mind. Inside you can find a lot of gold leaf and some gorgeous decor.

Paris in Springtime

Ahhh Springtime in Paris has finally arrived! The birds a singing, skies are blue, the flowers are blooming, and everyone has relaxed from the dreariness of winter. Paris is one of those cities that is beautiful, but even more remarkable while in full bloom during springtime. The pictures prove it.

The Castles of Loire Valley

castle 1

Outside of Paris lies the gorgeous Loire Valley – full of rolling hills, vineyards, delicious wine, and astonishingly gorgeous old castles. Over three hundred castles were built in the valley between the 10th century and the 16th century, some as fortifications and some as symbols of wealth and power. The Loire became a favorite location of French royalty throughout time. Today. some of the castles are privately owned and open to the public for viewing, others are used as hotels, and still others are operated by the government and displayed as tourist attractions.

If you’re looking to make your way outside of Paris for some sights, Loire Valley and its castles are a great choice. Here’s a list of some of the most popular castles to view in this region:

  • Amboise Castle

Amboise Castle

  • Clos Luce

 

Clos Luce

  • Villandry Castle

Villandry Castle

  • Chambord Castle

Chambord Castle

  • Cheverny Castle

Cheverny Cadtle

  • Angers Castle

Angers Castle

Mosquée de Paris

Mosquée de Paris

This gorgeous mosque was founded in 1926 as Paris’ token of gratitude to the Muslim tirailleurs after World War I where 100,000 or more died fighting against Germany. Rising a total of 33 meters high, the mosque was built in traditional  mudéjar style, and was inaugurated by President Gaston Doumergue on July 15th, 1926. Ahmad al-Alwai, founder of the modern Sufi order  Darqawiyya Alawiyya, held the first communal prayer in the mosque during its inauguration in front of the president. During World War II, the mosque was a refuge for Jews being  persecuted by the Nazis. It provided safe passage, shelter, food, and forged Muslim birth certificates.

Today, the mosque has rooms (one for man and one for wife), a clinic for circumcision, a coffee bar and restaurant serving couscous, turkish coffee, mint tea, and pastries, a souvenir shop for tourists, and a Turkish bath house. The bath house is done is traditional Turkish bath house style and can be seen below. It’s open to the public:

Mosquée de Paris

The mosque also offers courses in Arabic, a ‘great hall of honor’ for receptions and conferences, a prayer hall, a library, and a beautiful courtyard filled with cascading waters, green trees, and gorgeous sculptures. The gardens are a place where meditation is encouraged.

If you wish to visit the mosque, it’s welcomed, however modest attire is a requirement. It’s located at 2 bis place of the well of the hermit, 75005, Paris. Phone number is 33-1-45-35-97-33. They also offer a wealth of information on their website if you’re interested, including detailed history and explanations of the Quran and a guided picture tour of the mosque. Website: http://www.mosquee-de-paris.org