Tag Archives: Joan of Arc

Notre Dame de Paris

19 Nov

Notre Dame de Paris

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris dates back to its opening in 1345 with the actual construction beginning in 1163. It is a historic Catholic Church with the meaning behind the words being ‘Our Lady of Paris’ in the French language. It was constructed during the Gothic period and the cathedral reflects it with sculptures and stained glass windows.

Because it took so long to construct, as in 300 years, it contains other styles during that time period. French Gothic dominates but the Renaissance along with a Naturalism complete the architectural styles.

Flying buttresses were added for support due to thin walls, and, of course, damage occurred throughout the last 660 years. The French Revolution in 1786 certainly played its part but was later restored. The grandeur of the Notre Dame cathedral attracts many different faiths which marvel at the uniqueness. It also stands upon an island in Paris.

Pope Pius X beatified Joan of Arc in 1909 at the Cathedral. Beatify means to make holy, or canonize, also bless. This allows a dead person to enter heaven and others who pray in her name to be helped. Joan of Arc told people she had visions from God and she used those to help the French defeat the English in battles. Later she was believed to be a heretic and was burned at the stake. In 1456 her name was cleared, thus she became a martyr.

The Cathedral in Paris is the home of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris. Mass is held three times a day and is open to the public.

The famous novel ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ written by Victor Hugo was published in 1831. This popular story contains the protagonist Esmeralda, and the setting is Paris during the reign of Louis XI (1461-1483) in the Middle Ages. This popular novel that centers on the architectural structure of the church was set to a more recent Disney animated movie. Previous movies have portrayed this novel in realistic terms.

Recently last Friday, the 13th of November, Paris came under attack by terrorism. More than 150 people died and hundreds were wounded in a bloody massacre at several different locations in the city. People enjoying themselves out on a Friday night were targeted. The radical group known as ISIS has claimed responsibility. Paris was in mourning for three days, lights out but not silent. The country responded immediately to the act of terrorism and countered ISIS with massive airstrikes. France has declared that they are at war with ISIS which has its hold in Syria.

Meanwhile the people of Paris were in shock, not only from being in the terrorists proclaimed war zone and experiencing the horror themselves, but also losing loved ones. What did they do? They picked themselves up and came out into the city. They united. They sang songs with candle light and hope. They placed flowers. And they brought their children out and explained to them the best they could. The hope is the children see their own grief, and that the power of song and flowers will protect their souls. That sounds like love.

~See video below for full report on the recent tragedy in Paris and singing near the Notre Dame Cathedral.

By Kim Troike

Photo Image by Thinkstock





Sacre-Coeur Basilica

12 Jun

The Sacre-Coeur Basilica is a Roman Catholic Church in Paris, France. The official address 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France sits atop a hill high in Montmartre. This church opened in 1914 and the architectural style is Ancient Roman-Byzantine. Can you imagine what it might look like?


Tourist Maker

The familiar landmark in Paris rests on the highest point in Montmartre with panoramic views of Paris below. History has it, Saint Denis, back in the 3rd century was beheaded here and this is only the beginning of blood that has been shed on this hill. Apparently, this basilica was built to appease Frances loss in the Franco-Prussian war.

The architect & designer was Paul Abadie who won the contest. The triple arched front is ensconced by two massive bronze equestrian statues ridden by Frances saints, Joan of Arc & King Saint Louis IX, both designed by Hippolyte Lefebvre. The bell, or Savagarde, is one of the worlds heaviest bells. It weighs 19 tons. The stone used to build the basilica is Chateau-Landon or Seine-et-Marne stone. This is a frost free travertine which bleaches as it ages becoming more white. Bronze doors open which contain foliage designs.

Joan of Arc is an enigma herself and history is probably not correct in the exactness of her dilemma and outcome. In memory for her and her name I give you the BLUE OCEAN which no one can deny.


The Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris is open from 6 am until 11 pm.


Once inside you can climb to the top and from the dome see all of Paris. This is 271 feet above Monmartre. A crypt has statues of the saintly kind and some believe the relic contained is the very sacred Heart of Christ. Am I to believe what I just typed?  After all sacre-coeur literally means sacred heart. Gardens and a fountain are out back.

paris_architecture_france_061460This white castle commissioned by the French government in 1873 symbolized confidence for the people and was finally finished around WWI. In 1922 Luc-Olivier Merson created an inside master piece which sits above the choir. Christ in Majesty is a mosaic display of Christ with a golden heart and outstretched arms. Christ is accompanied by none other than his mother, the Virgin Mary and yes, Joan of Arc!

A clear blue sky as a backdrop for the church is spectacular or come at dusk when a pink sky dances with the basilica lights. The views of Paris are extraordinaire and second in height only to the Eiffel Tower.

Basilique_du_Sacré-CœurThe Montmartre hill has been a sacred site for a long time. Druids (Celtic people of education & class from Ireland, Britain and Gaul) worshiped here and the Romans worshiped Mars and Mercury from temples they built. The first bishop, St. Denis, of Paris was memorialized with a Christian chapel around 475 AD.

Monmartre became associated with Christian martyrs and this became a destination during the middle ages, thus pilgrimages for worship. An abbey surrounding the chapel was destroyed during the French revolution in 1792. The Abbess was executed. Furthering the bloody body count in 1871, Paris Commune Members hid in chalk mines. The government blasted the exits with dynamite, thus they were killed.

The painting below belongs to the Fitz William Museum and is Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s rendition of Joan of Arc.

Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_-_Joan_of_Arc_(1882)Why would ones own government dynamite an exit, except to destroy & kill? What was the commune?

The Paris Commune occurred in 1871 from March 18th to May 28th. France had been victorious in the Franco-German war and Napoleon III’s Second Empire had collapsed. Republican Parisians feared a restoration of the monarchy. Quickly communes formed in France but were suppressed. Paris faced the government of Versailles alone. Twenty thousand were killed by government troops in “la semaine sanglante.” Thirty eight thousand were arrested and thousands more deported. History definitely supplants any singular meaning for this historical landmark in Paris.

By Kim Troike

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***I have been asked to give credit (I gladly give) for the picture of the Sacre Coeur Basilica. Thank you for contacting me after three years. I always try to use my own or give credit. Since I have not visited Paris or France, then that is impossible!

Credit: TouristMaker

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