Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip: Into Paris

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
October 18, Sunday – Road between Orléans and Paris, France
Went to Mass at cathedral in Orléans.  Decided to drive to Chartres to see famous cathedral.  High Mass was going on so didn't get to see much of inside.  Then drove to Versailles and drove through grounds -- saw Le Petit Trianon.  Got into Paris around 2 P.M. and after just getting lost once found our hotel,* which is very nice and quiet.  Before dinner, Joye and I walked along the Place de l'Opera, which is supposed to be one of the best streets in Paris.  Had dinner and went to bed.

* According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Louvois Hotel during their time in Paris.

Although she didn't get to see much of the interior of the Chartres Cathedral, Mom likely saw a lot of the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix (Holy Cross Cathedral) in Orléans since she attended Mass there.  This gorgeous edifice, pictured below left, was built from 1278 to 1329 and 1601-1829 (after partial destruction in 1568 by Protestants).  Joan of Arc supposedly attended Mass here on May 5, 1429 (the Feast of the Ascension) during the Siege of Orléans.  

The church has nine chapels in a curved area behind the main high altar, each with a beautiful stained glass window.  One of those chapels is pictured below right.
Orléans Cathedrale [29 October 2005, cropped] /
  Patrick GIRAUD / CC-BY-SA-1.0 or CC-BY-SA-1.0
Cathédrale Sainte-Croix, Orléans, Chapelle, Vitraux
[Holy Cross Cathedral, Orleans, Chapel, Stained Glass,
24 July 2012] / MMensler (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Chartres Cathedral [from the north, 6 July 2007] / Steve Cadman / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres (Our Lady of Chartres Cathedral) in the town of the same name was constructed mostly between 1134 and 1250.  The building's exterior features heavy flying buttresses, some of which are visible in the photo above (along with the 14th-15th century St Piat Chapel, to the left in the photo).  This allowed for large stained glass windowsapproximately 152 of the original 176 survive.
Notre-Dame de la Belle Verrière [7 February 2009] / Eusebius (Guillaume Piolle) (Own work) / [Public domain]
Chartres, South Trancept Rose and Lancet Windows [22 March 2011]
/ Steven Zucker / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The most famous of the windows is the Notre Dame de la Belle Verriere (Our Lady of the Beautiful Window), pictured above. The central panels that picture the Virgin and Child on a throne held up by angels date to about 1180.  The cathedral also has three beautiful rose windows, one of which is pictured at left.

The three entrances or portals in the north, south, and west façades are filled with intricate carvings.  The Portail Royal on the west side (pictured below) is part of the original church that (besides the Belle Verriere) survived an 1194 fire.  It's called the Royal Portal because of the elegant elongated statues of kings and queens from the Old Testament on the columns by the doors.
Chartres [Cathedral] - Royal Portal [8 December 1960] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0
Portail Royale [detail - Samuel, David, the Queen of Sheba, Solomon - 18 June 2006] / Urban (Own work) / Public domain

Versailles - North Wing [9 May 1960] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0

Le Petit Trianon (pictured below) is a small château located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles (pictured above).  Louis XV had it built between 1762 and 1768 originally for his long-term mistress, Madame de Pompadour.  She died before its completion, so it was first occupied by her successor, Madame du Barry. When Louis XVI took the throne in 1774, he gave the château and its surrounding park to his 19-year-old queen, Marie Antoinette, for her exclusive use and enjoyment.

Marie Antoinette would come to Le Petit Trianon to escape the formality of court life and shake off the burden of her royal responsibilities. No one could visit Le Petit Trianon without the Queen's permission - apparently not even her husband.
Le Petit Trianon, seen from French Garden [23 October 2010] / Rose Trinh / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I couldn't find any good photos of the Place de l'Opéra, but here is one of the opera for which it is named:
Paris Opéra [11 May 2011] / Tony Kent / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Palais Garnier, pictured above, was named for its architect Charles Garnier and built from 1861 to 1875.  It was the primary home of the Paris Opera and Ballet from 1875 until 1989. 

At left is a map of the probable route for the day.

This is the 72nd in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

No comments:

Post a Comment