Recommendation: Out of the Way Places in Paris

The last few years that I was working, I spent a lot of time in Paris. It is the greatest tourist city in the world. If asked to list the things to see, most people would say the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Museum d’Orsay, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triumph and the Champs Elysees.

My two favorite places to visit in Paris are not on that list. They are a little difficult to find. But they are well worth the effort. My recommendation is that you go out of your way to see the Musee Marmottan and Sainte Chapelle.

The Marmottan Museum is in the west Paris suburbs. It takes about an hour to get there by train and a very pleasant short walk. The building, its museum quality furnishings, and sculptures were donated to the country in 1932 by Paul Marmottan, an art historian.

The museum received an unbelievable gift in 1971, when Claude Monet’s son donated 65 of his father’s masterpieces. The collection includes his best known painting, Impression – soleil levant, which gave the Impressionist movement its name. In addition, the museum contains a collection of paintings by Claude Monet’s contemporaries such as Renoir and Gaugin. The extraordinary paintings in this small museum make the short trip to travel there worthwhile.

My second “must see” recommendation in Paris is Sainte Chapelle. This medieval chapel is hard to find because it is located within the walls of the Palace of Justice. To get there, go to the Ile de la Cite, where Notre Dame is located. The chapel is a short walk from there.

The chapel was built in 1248 by King Louis IX to be his personal place of worship and to store priceless Christian relics that he had purchased. Among the treasures were items thought to be authentic that included a piece of wood from the cross on which Christ was crucified, the crown of thorns he wore, and a drop of his blood. He paid almost four times as much for these relics as he spent on the building to house them in. Those items are now stored elsewhere.

The reason to go visit this structure is the sixteen stained glass windows fifty feet in height which depict more than 1100 biblical stories. To walk into the chapel and see the light of day coming through more than 6500 square feet of stained glass is a breathtaking experience.

I must warn you that to get to the upper level and see this wonderful room, it is necessary to climb a very steep, winding staircase. You will be glad that you did. One other thing, in case you have forgotten, leave your wallet in your hotel room.

Ed is a Families.com Adoption Blogger:
Read his blogs here.

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