Sacre Coeur

Basilique du Sacre Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) sits high on top of Butte de Montmartre (Montmartre Hill) which is the highest point in Paris.  The wedding cake style church was consecrated in 1919.  From the dome of the church you can see all of Paris.  Audrey and I were surprised at how dark the inside of the church was comparing it to the outside, which is definitely where the beauty of the church comes from.  Montmartre which means "Martyr Hill" got its name when the Romans beheaded Saint Denis, the patron saint of France, on the hill.  Saint Denis introduced Christianity to Paris in the 2nd century. 

Sacre Coeur lies at the very top of the hill.  You must climb the steep streets and steps to get to it.  From the dome the view is spectacular.

Looking down from the dome back towards the Eiffel Tower.

Audrey in the dome enjoying the brisk May weather!

Climbing all those steps was tough!

Chateau de Versailles

The enormous chateau was built in the mid-1600s during the reign of Louis XIV (the Sun King).  30,000 workers and soldiers were needed to complete the structure.  Versailles served as the kingdom's political capital and the seat of the royal court between 1682 and 1789.  In addition to the chateau itself there are vast gardens which you can explore, and get lost in!

The huge Chateau de Versailles looking from one of the gardens.

Audrey in front of the immense entrance paved with cobblestones.

Galeries des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors).  Can you imagine the kings and queens walking through the hall admiring themselves?

One of the gardens right before a rain storm rolls in.

The gardens seem to go on and on to the horizon.  If you come to visit here, save a lot of time just for the gardens.  There are many forests, pools, statues, and fountains that you can enjoy.

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