By Chris Bonds
Being an enthusiast of great architecture as well as a history buff, I have developed a fascination, with European cathedrals. My wife has never quite shared my passion, but since she adores traveling and shopping, we have a perfect arrangement. Our special time of the year is Easter, for the religious significance of the day, and also because we were married on Easter. This year our journey took us to Paris, a city that is known throughout the world as a cultural mecca with a gorgeous architectural heritage.
Soon after we arrived in the City of Lights, we couldn’t wait to visit one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Accommodations in Paris were abundant, we opted to stay at the Franklin Roosevelt Hotel, which was a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysees. This was a bit of an indulgence, but the casino inside the hotel was all of the justification that I needed.
The Notre Dame cathedral was everything that I expected and more. The entrance to the cathedral was highlighted by a magnificent sculpture of ‘Adam and Eve and the Serpent’. The bell ‘Emmanuel’, which is located in the South Tower, weighs 13 metric tons (over 28,000 pounds) and the sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which is known as the Virgin of Paris, was just a few of the sights that make Notre Dame one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world.
The most memorable trip by far, was our very first Easter outing three years ago. We went to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome where we checked into the stunning Aldrovandi Palace. We had initially set out to enjoy all the wonders that Rome had to offer – the Sistine Chapel was to be the highlight for me. Little did we know at the time that this chapel would incite such emotion and begin a life-long tradition.
The sensation that took hold of me as I viewed the works of Michelangelo, seeing the actual artistic quality and mesmerizing beauty of his famous ceiling, had a profound effect on both my wife and I. We were left utterly speechless viewing the frescoes, which depicted the ancestors of Christ. My personal favourite, and arguably the most famous, was an apex containing a scene from the Genesis: The Creation of Adam.
In order to appreciate the beauty and the magnitude of artistry, you would have to see it for yourself. It is a vision that will forever keep a place in my heart. Our continued love for these colossal pieces of history has us already planning for next Easter!
About the Author
Chris Bonds is a consultant for HotelTravel – a leading international online travel information and hotel reservations service offering discounted hotel rates in top destinations world wide. Visit http://www.hoteltravel.com for additional travel information.