Sunday, November 11, 2012

La Madeleine: Flowers and Statues

La Madeleine in Paris was built for other purposes than as a church--a train station or a memorial to Napoleon's soldiers, and it has always seemed a little sere on the outside to me. But this year, we saw the profusion of flowers on her front steps and found the outside porticos open (in other years we've visited, they were covered in scaffolding and netting).

Since we walked up by the flowers we continued up the stairs to the left of the entrance, and there we saw the statues along the outside aisles, which are being cleaned--see the contrast between St. Denis on the left and St. Michel on the right?

So we walked all the way around La Madeleine:

And found this souvenir of World War I at the back of the church: St. Luc sans tete (not St. Denis, as usual), bombed by the Germans in 1918:

Unfortunately, the neat art nouveau public toilettes in front of La Madeleine are closed, and have been since 2011! We saw that a homeless person had set up his apartment down their steps.

The front steps of La Madeleine provide a good view down Rue Royale toward Place de la Concorde and the Assemblee Nationale.

Of course, we went inside La Madeleine, and my husband took a few pictures with his camera with the appropriately high ISO (our little Canon, which I was using, just couldn't handle the darkness). Perhaps I'll post some of them someday. My next blog post from our Paris trip will feature Tour St. Jacques, all that remains of a tremendous church that was the starting point for the Parisian departures on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

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