After walking around the streets for a bit, we were a bit tired and MyMan and I hung out on the benches in this park behind Notre Dame while the girls played. There is a small playground under the trees, and lots of benches on the other side.
We walked around to the front of the Cathedral where the girls (mainly Oldest) had a fantastic time with all the pigeons!
During my research for this trip, I found a private guided tour agency that is geared towards families called Paris Muse. After looking over their site, and looking through their blog, and reading all the rave reviews about them on TripAdvisor, I thought I would give them a try. So I ended up booking 3 different tours with them – A Louvre tour, a Paris Discovery Walk, and a Notre Dame tour. What’s fantastic about these tours is that they are private, or at the very least…very small groups (no more than 5 people, unless they are a larger family). So it’s personalized, slower paced, and a lot of fun! The tours were all 2-3 hours long. The tour guides were super nice and friendly, and definitely knew their stuff!
Our guide was Emily, and she was a graduate student from Boston. She was a real pleasure, and the girls took to her immediately. We went around Notre Dame learning about various pieces of the architecture, learned more about gargoyles and how they are actually water spouts, learned how to read stained glass windows and the statues and the stories they played out. It was all quite fascinating.
For example…all of the men that are just above the 3 arches on the bottom are all kings. And during the French Revolution when they were destroying everything that related to the Royal families in any way…all of those kings were removed. They were mistaken in that those were kings of the bible, not of the royal family, so they were all replaced.
It was incredible how massive this Cathedral is! For anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a very religious person. But the moment I went into Notre Dame and took in the sheer size of it, and its beauty, my eyes filled with tears. I cannot even imagine how it must have looked when it was first built. And the intricate details everywhere you look are simply amazing.
Statue of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc)
This is only one small part of this sculpture, as it was huge. And it tells the entire story of Jesus Christ from his birth to his Resurrection. But so very detailed.
The stained glass windows were beautiful. Below on the left is the Rose Window.
It was amazing that in spite of how many people were there visiting, it was pretty quite.
I can’t imagine anyone entering this magnificent Cathedral and not being awe-inspired.