I am so excited to be writing my “C” post. I did some searching around and was going to write about County Cork, Ireland. That is because my last name is Costello and I am of Irish heritage on one side of my family. County Cork is cool and all, but I need to write about something I am even more interested in. Naturally, I drifted to Paris. Then I drifted to metro stops. Alas, I saw the Cité metro stop and decided I should write about where this stop is located and what I recommend around Cité There will be many C’s involved in this post. Come along. Chop, chop!
The Cité stop is located on the larger of the two islands situated in the Seine in Paris. Île de la Cité is the proper name of the this island. When you visit the Cité, you can stand on Kilometre Zero, the geographical center of Paris. This is where distances from other cities are measured.
–Kilometre Zero (in front of Notre-Dame de Paris)
Kilometre Zero is located in front of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. I don’t think I have missed a quick run through on every trip I have taken to Paris. It is especially nice to visit on a rainy day as I learned on my last trip. When I am inside Notre-Dame, I try to take a moment and stop and just listen. Usually you hear the slow shuffles of all the tourists making their way around. Sometimes a mass is in progress and you can hear the sounds of the priest and respondents. At certain times confession might be in progress. Once I went with a group to listen to a Christmas concert. I also had a small gold crucifix for a necklace that I bought at Notre-Dame until thieves absconded with it and all my jewelry. I know I have spent a franc or euro to get a commemorative coin from a machine with the imprint of the cathedral on the front.
Not far from Notre-Dame is La Sainte-Chapelle (The Holy Chapel) and the Palais de Justice. Sainte-Chapelle, built to house King Louis IX’s Christ relics, is famous for the beautiful stained glass windows that sparkle when the sun is shining bright. I also liked the lower chapel with its blue ceiling of stars—it’s a little more cozy.
–upper chapel of Sainte-Chapelle
–lower chapel of Sainte-Chapelle
The Palais de Justice has some beautiful golden gates in the front. This building was a palace for the aforementioned Louis, and now is where justice is dispensed. Gendarmes abound this area not far from Notre-Dame and adjoining Sainte-Chapelle.
–Palais de Justice
One last important building to mention is that of Hôtel-Dieu or Hostel of God. This building dates from 660 A.D. and is still a working hospital with an emergency room. It was founded by St. Landry. You can read about the interesting history of this by clicking HERE.
Thanks for reading my “C” post and hopefully you learned a bit more about Paris and metro Cité. This station is still decorated in that wonderful art deco style: