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The rest of Paris awaits...

Our first morning we went to the Louve, we had to pass by the Musee d’Orsay:

These are the Tuileries Gardens that sit where a palace used to make the Louvre a square palace.  Terrorists burned it down.

This is I.M. Pei’s (American) pyramid entrance to the Louve.  My understanding is that the French aren’t particularly keen with American architecture, particularly this piece.  I thought it was cool.  But what do we Americans know anyway.

This is the Venus below the Venus de Milo. 

The Borghese Gladiator and I are ready to fight for her. 

You're not really supposed to take any pictures of the paintings but I couldn’t resist snapping one of the Mona Lisa.  Everyone else was.  What are a few more million photons.

Out of the Louve, and onto the Isle of  the City, towards Notre Dame. 

In front of Notre Dame is “Point Zero” which is considered the center of France, from which all distances are mesured.  That’s me standing on the center of France.

The back of Notre Dame is above. 

This is the Deportation Memorial which is located at the tip of the Isle of the City.  This is a memorial to the 200,000 French citizens who were deported to Concentration camp.  There are 200,000 lit crystals on the side of the wall to memorialize them.  Above the exit as you leave you see the same message you see at all Nazi sights: “Forgive, but never forget.”  Doesn’t it look like you’re looking down an elevator shaft?

This is Paris’ oldest inhabitant, a false acacia tree ("Robinier”) that may have once shaded Louis XIV. 

Not too far down the street at 22 St. Severin Road is the skinniest house in Paris.  It’s just 2 windows wide.

This is at Place St. Michel.  This is the traditional core of the Left Bank's atrsy, liberal, hippie, bohemian district of poets, philosophers, and winos.

To the left is Sainte Chapelle.  It was built in 1248 for St. Louis IX (France’s only canonized king) to house the supposed crown of thorns.  Louis paid three times what it cost to build Sainte Chapelle for the crown of thorns because he was sure he found the official crown.   The Palace of Justice (France’s Supreme Court) sits just to the right of Sainte Chapelle.

The stained glass is Sainte Chapelle tells the story of the Bible in stained glass.  It is pretty remarkable.  There are 15 windows inside like the one above and they are massive.