Tag Archives: Paris

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





Visiting The Louvre in Paris

22 Jul


Follow me on Bloglovin

The Louvre has almost 10 million people visiting a year, a museum which is dedicated to informative education and the preservation of art and history for generations to come. The Louvre is open daily with the exception of Tuesdays from nine am until six pm. Extended hours are until nine forty-five pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. The museum closes only three days of the year, that being January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th. Tickets may be purchased online.

Jean-Luc Martinez is the director of this vast museum which extends beyond its walls out into gardens called The Tuileries. French kings have resided in the Louvre before it became a museum in 1793. Thirty five thousand pieces of artwork are displayed and some are centuries old. One in fact is over 7,000 years old. Eight departments of keeping heritage exist: Egyptian Antiquities, Roman Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Islamic Antiquities, Paintings, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, and Prints or Drawings.

The Tuileries Garden which is next to the museum is the oldest garden in Paris. It is also the largest public park. Settled right in the heart of the city tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays, including public holidays beginning in April and go through October. The Arc de Triomphe is the starting point. On a special note, a new museum is set to open in the Middle East in 2015. This is called the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The French museum is contributing to the project.

Louvre_PyramidLouvre history begins back in the late 12th century out on the cities west side. Paris saw The Louvre begin as a fortress which later held Francois I and Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. The fortress built on the banks of the Seine became prominent to defend this largest city in Europe known as Paris. What’s left from Medieval times is the Salle Bosse, a hall which historians are not even sure what function it may have provided. Later in the 1300’s the Louvre was transformed by Raymond du Temple, an architect for Charles V, into a royal residence. Further on into the 1500’s, the Medieval Louvre transformed into a Renaissance palace when Francois became a resident of Paris.

A young king at nine years old, Louis XIII, began work fifteen years later at age 24 and it was completed by Louis XIV. This classical period would allow us to see The Louvre we see today, yet, something nearby, notably Versailles, would place this Louvre into the low interest category by royals. In 1674, Louis XIV, went to Versailles and work at the Louvre was halted. By 1699, exhibitions began to be held at The Louvre and these shows were called or known as “Salon.” Almost a hundred years later “The Museum Central des Arts” was formed. Artists, painters, and architects could view collections from royals of the French aristocrats. The general public was welcome on the weekends.

napoleon-bonapartes-dinning-room-at-the-louvre-museum-paris-pierre-leclercFor a short while Austria, Italy, and other nations had art shown there. Paintings from the Vatican and Venice were displayed, too. In 1803 it was actually called Musee` Napolean and the entrance contained a bust of the emperor. When the empire fell in 1815, the nations reclaimed their stolen treasures.

Jean-Francois Champollion discovered ideas of hieroglyphics and published articles pertaining to the Rosetta Stone, housed in London at the British Museum. Jean-Francois became the museums 1st curator in the department of Egyptian Antiquities. This occurred on May 15th, 1826. He had articles published on transcribing hieroglyphics into Greek.

A Spanish gallery was formed under Louis-Phillipe in 1837-1848, later these 400 paintings were sold to London. A Mexican display was created along with Algerian and other exotic crafts and folk arts. Ceilings were painted, new buildings added, extensions of existing wings, courtyards added, and a connection built for The Tuileries and The Louvre. After the Paris Commune in May 1871, The Tuileries, which were a symbol for monarchy were demolished. This marked a beginning after the end. The Louvre was re-birthed and became a cultural provision.

louvreIn 1922 the 1st Islamic gallery was opened due to generosities from Baroness Delort de Gleon. During WWII the contents of The Louvre were housed at Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley, and also dispersed to other chateaus. The Cubist painter, Georges Braque, produced three ceiling paintings of birds in 1953.

Under French President, Jacques Chirac, the tribal and aboriginal art museums were created. The Pavillion des Sessions house masterpieces from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania which opened in 2006. And, of course, there is the Mona Lisa.

The Louvre by Kim Troike



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

Google Images

Wikimedia Images





***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

Novel Excerpt

26 Apr

Into the Vines by Kim Troike

Kim TroikeAn Excerpt from part one, French Bleu:

Waving goodbye, she knew she was ready for this. Daniela did not like flying. She blamed the stomach twisting, chest tightening, and anxious thoughts on her parents long ago plane crash, but she bounded for the gate with her bag full of new clothes, nonetheless, showing no hesitation. She was going to Paris! I wish I had taken a French class or listened to audio books or something. I know nothing! Oh, well, I’ll just have to wing it, she mused, as she boarded the plane. The flight attendant, a pretty French woman with dark hair and red lips, set her up for a movie with ear buds and took her drink order.

“Mademoiselle Daniela, champagne for you. Please enjoy!” said the flight attendant with a light, gorgeous accent. She handed her the small bottle and a glass filled with bubbly.

Bleu MoonOoh la la, thought Daniela, thinking like a French gal, as she giggled. She sipped her champagne as she leaned back to watch the in-flight film in French, wanting to immerse herself in the culture as soon as possible. The male protagonist was very smooth talking and extremely handsome, and so far the plot seemed to involve him taking some beauty on a moped to the seashore. Daniela was at two glasses of champagne by the time the plane was mid Atlantic, and she didn’t have a care in the world. So much for being worried. Daniela drifted off and dreamt she was in a cabin, looking out the window towards the sea.

The Aegean Sea was a bright turquoise blue, and sparkling white caps were crashing against the sandy grey shore. The sky was washed denim, and she took it all in as her lover came up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders, pulling her into his chest. She shivered with anticipation and desire as his breath tickled her neck and his tongue traveled the outer shell of her ear. Daniela’s chest heaved, and his hands traveled down and moved lightly across her stomach. This sensation felt electric and radiated across her body. His right hand traveled up searching until he pushed her shoulder into him, causing her to gasp in pleasure. Turning her head, she met his mouth and they kissed luxuriously.

Daniela took a deep breath, startled, and tasted her lips, expecting something besides champagne. She had fallen asleep and had been awakened by a dreamy kiss. She straightened herself in her seat, embarrassed, before getting up to go to the bathroom. Champagne . . . Flying . . . Crazy dreams. Good dreams. When she was done, she returned to her seat. “You okay?” asked the lady next to her.

by Kim TroikeToday begins my promo for Into the Vines! The novel was released in January 2015 with a mellow celebration of sorts, similar to a coaster ride ending its journey after a thrill and then glides back into the station. Now, I’m ready to rock n roll and shake things up a bit! Up above in this excerpt you read the beginning, the opening of wonderful things to happen for a young nurse making a transatlantic flight. You can purchase this contemporary novel of fiction for teens, YA, or adults on Amazon and Barnes & Noble under my name Kim Troike or go here.

Once a week I’ll be posting full length articles, newsworthy or pertaining to the novel and definitely global at times. Please join me over the next nine months in my creative  and journalistic endeavor. Thanks for stopping by!

Kim Troike

photo credit Amazon.com & Thinkstock


10 Feb

SOMEDAY  is a poem I wrote for my novel “Into the Vines.”

by Kim Troike


Maybe you’ve dreamed of visiting the city of light and love. Growing up, I can say it is the place I wanted to go to, especially when I was in my teens.

Someday I will get there. Though, I’m not worried as it will fall into place.

Thanks for visiting, and let me know if you if you get a chance to read my novel. I hope it makes you feel enlightened towards others in this universe.





Someday when I’m in Paris,

Touring the Avenues along the Seine;

My eyes will venture to the sky,

Noting Gothic Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower line.

My francs exchanged for euros to pay for Louvre Art;

Rich history and beauty fill chambers in my heart.

But first a café and selected sinful fruit tart . . .


“Qui, Qui. S’il vous plait,” I say.

“D’accord.” She hands me the baked sweet.

“Merci,” I add.

“De rein,” she replies.

“Donnez-moi, s’il vous plait un verre de vin.”

“Qui.” She smiles.

“Merci, ou est the Louvre?” I ask.

“La tout droit.” She points.

Translation of Quotes


“Yes, yes please,” I say.

“Okay.” She hands me the delicious sweet.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Please give me a glass of wine. I changed my mind.”

“Yes.” She smiles.

“Thank you. Where is the Louvre?” I ask.

“There, straight ahead.” She points.


By Caroline Clemens~pen


Into the Vines

26 Jan

by Kim Troike


This is the cover reveal for my novel “Into the Vines.”


I think it turned out perfect. It is up on Amazon for print and later will be available per e-book or kindle.


Have a look … Into the Vines on Amazon here.



The book synopsis is on the back cover and here is what it says:

Into the Vines is a novel of discovery, personal triumph and heroism. French Bleu, a vintage-jazz nightclub in Paris offers a reprieve to its inhabitants from death, illness and captivity. Olivier is a pilot who rescues stranded and desperate souls from famine and war torn areas of Africa, while Daniela, a young nurse, seeks that which is amiss in her own life. Brie, a strong woman, must find a destiny which awaits her own ambition. She celebrates a milestone birthday after encountering an illness, bringing grace and experience in her search for something more.

Daniela dreamed. “I want to be as confident as Brie on a sunny day in Savannah in the summertime” From the vineyard cooking school in the garden-like Loire Valley, where these three lives meet, to the streets of Paris, where fate brings blessings from angst and longing. This story revels in realism.

This sanctuary seemingly held an inspirational deity as they witnessed a spiritual unity on the Ceremonial Cliffs. Hawa dreams of flying a plane someday, while Francis possesses natural talents of the musical kind. Together they keep a secret for fear of retribution. “I heard LOVE lasts forever and my mom says there are all kinds of love. So maybe you should find another kind of love, since your first love lasted forever” said Francis.

My Author page on Amazon can be seen here: Kim Troike Author page here.

Other books I’ve written can be viewed here as well: Books by Kim Troike here.

Thank you for stopping by today. Of course, I’m very proud of myself and actually, it’s quite unbelievable! I think I’ve got this writing thing somewhat developed, and therefore may try to write another self-published novel for summer. You see, I’m quite goal oriented and probably have my mother or father or grandmother’s to thank for that. Maybe, it’s just being one of five and recording everything in my brain that later tries to retell it making new outcomes. I think it’s plain old creativity you are born with. Who knows?

Self-promotion is difficult but a must do for us Indie Authors. Period. I will post on Tuesdays something relevant to my novel on one of my blogs, which will make it to Twitter and Tumblr. Then, I’ll be hanging around on Fridays for fun! Please comment as I’d love to hear from readers, authors and others. 😉

By Kim Troike

~Into the Vines is for teens, YA, and contemporary fiction adult readers.

%d bloggers like this: