A Day at Versailles: Visiting the Palace of the Sun King

On a September day that was replete with sunshine, we voyaged to Versailles, the decadent Baroque palace of France’s roi soleil (sun king). As Shawn and I wandered among the palace’s 250 gardened acres and peered through windows into the gilded interiors — just as a subject might have done 300 years ago — I was reminded of history lessons about the French Revolution.

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Photo du Jour: Morning at Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel, an abbey built between the 11th and 16th centuries, rises from a rugged island on an overcast day. Located in France’s Normandy region, the Abbaye du Mont St-Michel, as it’s known in French, was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1979. It is dedicated to the Archangel Saint Michel.

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A Return to Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Part II

Père-Lachaise Cemetery has such extraordinary, moving details. Here is a second photo essay dedicated to Paris’ largest cemetery.

If you’d like to see Part I of my Père-Lachaise Cemetery series, see: If Headstones Could Talk: Pondering at Paris’ Père-Lachaise Cemetery.

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If Headstones Could Talk: Pondering at Paris’ Père-Lachaise Cemetery

I had long wanted to visit Paris’ storied Père-Lachaise Cemetery. However, during past jaunts to the ‘City of Lights,’ the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, and Notre Dame had taken center stage on my itinerary.

During our most recent trip to Paris, our hotel in Paris’ 11th arrondissement was a short walk from the cemetery. With blue skies overhead and the ground just starting to be carpeted with crisp, autumn leaves, Shawn and I decided to embark on what we thought would be a short 30-minute stroll through the cemetery named after Père-Lachaise, Louis XIV’s confessor. Our walk ended up lasting a bit longer.

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Photo du Jour: The Gargoyles and Grotesques of Notre Dame

In the shadows of Notre Dame, we waited for just under an hour to ascend the 387 stairs of the cathedral’s north tower.

Once high above the rooftops of Paris, we strolled about the Galerie des Chimères marveling at the figures there. The statues gazing at La Tour Eiffel and Sacré Coeur are technically not gargoyles since they are spoutless. Also, these animal hybrids are not original to Notre Dame, since they were added during renovations in the nineteenth century.

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