Saturday, July 14, 2012

Paris July 8th w/ Capetian Tours

 Didn't have much time to do stuff on Saturday morning because I was meeting people at noon and most things opened at 9:30-10.  By the time I got to the Musee d'Orsay there was already a long lineup so I knew that even if I got in I would have to hurry through it and decided I wasn't going to try. Instead I walked around taking pictures of nearby pretty buildings.

At noon I met with my friends Jason Sager and Chris Enns of Capetian Tours. Jason and Chris are two professional historians who started their tour guide in Paris this summer. They offer personalized tours that are capped at 5-6 people so you'll never have to crowd into a site with 25 other tourists all trying to hear a single tour guide.  Jason is a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and taught both Chris and myself while we attended. His courses were the type of class I took even if I wasn't necessarily interested in the material (Renaissance, ick!) but knew it would have interesting lectures and be a worthwhile credit.
The tour started at Basilica of St Denis which is in the north part of the city. Legend has it that St. Denis who is the patron saint of France was decapitated at Montmartre and afterward carried his head to the location of the current church.
 There's a necropolis where all but three French kings have been buried which is pretty cool. I won't tell you any details because I'll let Jason and Chris do that. They have a store of interesting and historical stories to tell that are relevant to each site and the history of Paris.
Rose window

That tart Marie Antoinette falling out of her dress. 
Next was St. Germain des Pres church which is a really cool painted Romanesque church. It's also the home of the tomb of Rene Descartes.
 After that we passed by the ruins of the oldest church in Paris, St Julien le Pauvre on our ways to St. Chappelle's church which was built by Louis IX to house Jesus' crown of thorns (yyeahh, right). The upstairs of this church is absolutely stunning. It seems like there is more glass than wall.
SO if you're in Paris and at all a fan of medieval history you should most definitely contact Capetian Tours. I believe the price listed on the website is currently under discussion so don't let that stop you. It's a really interesting and informative tour that would make any medievalist happy.

I went back to my hostel after looking around some shopping streets and again there was a get-together in the evening in the common room of the hostel and I told Chris and another fellow student Barry and his cousin to come to the hostel to meet people, so they did and we all had a pretty good time just sitting around chatting with people known old and new.

1 comment:

  1. St. Germain des Près was my favourite church in Paris. It felt so old! And was also functioning as a gallery for a local photographer so that was a cool community use of the space.