May 19, 2014

Paris Part 4

The next day we made the trek up a giant hill to the Pantheon. It was a brisk morning in a quiet corner of Paris. Not many shops were open and there weren't very many people on the streets. 

Paris absolutely full of gorgeous old churches like this one we passed on our walk. Finally we made it to the giant building and wouldn't you know, it was under construction! (As is everything else in Paris it seems)

The outside of the Pantheon is gorgeously crafted with giant marble columns and ornate carvings on the roof. The Pantheon is a grand memorial that houses the graves of many a great Parisian including Marie and Pierre Curie, Robespierre, and Victor Hugo. It was an incredible feeling to walk amongst the graves of people who literally changed history and created the world as we know it today.
A nice close-up of my grandparents and I in front of one of the giant Pantheon doors

We spent a solid two hours wandering around the giant Pantheon and the catacombs underneath it. This place is the center of Parisian history and I highly recommend visiting it if you're a history buff, architect fan, ancient/slightly religious art major or even a "governmental shaping" fan as the main honchos of government are all buried here.
Silence follows you as you walk around the main floor of the Pantheon, a nice silence that makes you wish you could live in a house as huge as this place (sometimes)
The grand foyer is just that: grand
The ceiling gave me a happy attack: it's unbelievably gorgeous!

The center focal point of the main floor is a giant shrine to the patron saint of Paris: Saint Genevieve. That's right, you heard it here first folks. The Parisians know the value of a kick-ass woman.

After we gaped at the monuments of the Pantheon, we hopped on the subway and rode it back across town to visit my favorite place: Angelina. Not only was the line out the door, but people kept squeezing in to buy pastries from the little shop they have in addition to the restaurant. There were several Gypsy street artists selling wonderful paintings of Paris, one of which I purchased as the perfect souvenir of my trip to this magical place.
My outfit for the day: 'posh' raincoat, red reverse-collar blouse, polka dot skirt, leggings, boots

After waiting in line for what seemed like ever but was really only 30-40 minutes, we were seated upstairs. We ordered our food and I am telling you now, I should have listened when the waiter warned me I was getting a lot of chocolate when I ordered the hot chocolate that Angelina is famous for and a chocolate pastry that sounded just heavenly. 
Our entire table ended up looking more decedent than Kaley Cuoco's upside down wedding cake/chandelier thing
My hot chocolate came in it's own tiny pitcher with a largish mug next to it…lemme tell you, that hot chocolate was the best I've ever had as in EVER: it was thicker than tar and richer than Betty Crocker and Paula Deen's blood mixed together! I was in sheer chocolate heaven. I couldn't even FINISH the hot chocolate, that's how rich it was. 
My chocolate dish that was absolutely indescribable…seriously I don't have words. 

After basking in the richness of our "meal", we continued on to La Madeleine--another long subway ride away. 

The outside of the church is reminiscent of the Pantheon actually. La Madeleine is a Roman Catholic church that was originally designed as a temple to "the glory of" Napoleon's army. Nowadays, mass and church services are held everyday. Funerals and weddings can also be held in this glorious chapel.

What I found really interesting was that because of the set up of the church, the big shrine at the very front (or middle or back whichever way you look at it) meant the ornate pulpit had to be placed at the side of the congregation. Also, as with many grand churches in Paris, the massive pipe organ was a site to be seen. 

(Read Paris Part 5 here!)

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