The two islands sitting in the center of Paris are amongst the best preserved areas of the city and represent its historic heart.
Medieval palaces, Gothic cathedrals and of course Notre Dame, the city's oldest monument.
Walk with me through the historic heart of the city & discover vestiges of Paris from the Middle Ages, the hidden treasures of these two beautiful neighbourhoods. A trained historian, I provide commentary & explanations that will provide the historic & architectural context of the buildings we will visit. More than a stroll through Paris, this is a lesson in the history of the city's foundation !
We start on the Pont Neuf, a curious name for the city's oldest bridge (400 years old to be exact !)
We then visit the Conciergerie - the city's 1st royal palace - built by the Romans for their visiting Emperors, expanded under the early Merovingian Kings in the 6th - 8th Centuries, then finished in the 1300s by the Capetian line of kings. When the royal court moved to the Louvre, the Conciergerie became a barracks & prison - we can visit the dungeons where prisoners were held - and see the cell where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned prior to her execution.
Then on to the Sainte Chapelle - constructed in 1248 by St Louis to house his collection of religious relics. Quite possibly the most beautiful church in France, it has the world's largest collection of 13th Century stained glass. A must see for any visitor !
We will then go to Notre Dame - entrance depending on the queus ! The world's most famous Gothic Cathedral - I will explain the iconography & architecture of this renowned monument.
From here we go to the Ile St Louis, viewing its baroque mansions & churches.
A memorable visit !