The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Proceeded by a Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter, a Christian basilica, and a Romanesque church, construction of Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII. Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone. The idea to replace the Romanesque church occupying the site - the Cathedral of St. Etienne (founded by Childebert in 528) - was that of Bishop Maurice de Sully (who died in 1196). (Some accounts claim that there were two churches existing on the site, one to the Virgin Mary, the other to St. Stephen.) Construction was completed roughly 200 years later in about 1345.
The reigns of Louis XIV (end of the 17th century) and Louis XV saw significant alterations including the destruction of tombs, and stained glass. At the end of the 18th century, during the Revolution, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. Only the great bells avoided being melted down, and the Cathedral was dedicated first to the cult of Reason, and to the cult of the Supreme being. The church interior was used as a warehouse for the storage of forage and food.
After falling into disrepair, a restoration program overseen by Lassus (died 1857) and Viollet-le-Duc, was carried out in 1845. This program lasted 23 years, and included the construction of the spire (see image) and the sacristy.
During the Commune of 1871, the Cathedral was nearly burned by the Communards - and some accounts suggest that indeed a huge mound of chairs was set on fire in its interior. Whatever happened, the Notre Dame survived the Commune essentially unscathed.
Now in 1991, a 10 year program of general maintenance and restoration has begun, and sections of the structure are likely to be shrouded in scaffolds for the foreseeable future.
The picture is not a close-up of an army-uniform, it is the bark of the Plane trees you see everywhere in France, and also in Paris. This Plane tree, or Platanus x acerifolia as its Latin name is, is a perfect tree for parks and along streets, because it is very strong and doesn't need much space for its roots.
In many places in Paris you see these trees: the Champs Elysées, Place des Vosges, Jardin des Plantes, even La Défense. Often their leaves pruned into perfect square or round shapes to create the most romantic places. The thing I like most about this tree though, is its bark. I call it the "jigsaw-puzzle-tree" because that is exactly what it looks like.
Living Breathing Art ....
The burst of colors that awaits one at Montmartre is delightful respite from the cold, passive glimpse of art at the Louvre. If you are an art afficianado, and had to choose between the Louvre and Montmartre, I would suggest the latter. being jostled by hordes of sightseers, the canvasses lining the corridors of the Louvre are not done justice to. Whatever there is to be seen at the Louvre can be much better seen in art books. go to Montmartre and see art being created, talented hands breathing life onto canvasses ...
French Kissing tips &...
French Kissing tips & technics. (Note: from a website)French kisses are kisses in which you also use your
tongues. (That's why you part your lips slightly.)
So, after you've started kissing, the next step
is that either he will slip his tongue into your
mouth or you'll slip yours into his. Don't let your
tongue go limp but move it around his, or playfully
push his tongue out with yours, then let him
push your tongue back into your mouth, and so on. This is a guide to basic kissing, i.e. you learn the basics and get the basics right, then experiment and try different styles and more advanced techniques.
1. Brush your teeth, get a good bath, nicely groomed and clean and fresh, before meeting the other person. There's nothing worse than kissing the rear end of a garbage truck
2. Get into a comfortable position - you can't kiss if your back feels like it's gonna break. Suggestion - Sit side by side on a comfy sofa.
3. Hold your lover , firmly but gently - don't cause pain. Suggestion would be to hold the shoulders, the neck or gently on the side of the face, one side or both sides.
4. Move your faces closer. Don't bump noses. Suggestion would be the guy angle his face slightly so you don't bump noses.
5. Kiss gently, normal closed lips kissing, and close your eyes. Closing your eyes increases the sensations you feel, and also sets the mood.
6. Continue kissing gently. Get comfortable with simple closed lips, lip-to-lip kissing before going anywhere else.
7. If fine till here, tentatively, slowly and lightly draw your tongue across the other person's lips.
8. Chances are from here, if the other person lightly parts her tongue, slowly explore the other person's tongue in a light licking motion.
9. The tongue has a very sensitive surface, which is why tongue to tongue is the essence of french kissing.
10. After you've tried lightly licking the other person's tongue, you can try sucking on it, wrestling with it ( see if you can hold it to the floor of her mouth ) and other things like that.
11. Explore the other areas of the mouth. Especially the roof of the mouth. Lightly lick, or tickle the area with your tongue.
12. Don't bite. whatever you do, don't bite.
13. Don't swing your tongue round and round like a windmill. Explore lightly, don't drill your way through.
14. Breathe through your nose. Breathe through your nose. I say again, breathe through your nose.
15. Follow so far ? You can lightly use your hands too, lightly rubbing the other person. Suggestions, along the waist, along the back, the arms, especially the inside of the arm, the neck, maybe running your fingers through her hair. Again, don't cause pain.
16. Continue kissing.
Base nautique de la Villette (19th)
Learn how to handle a canoe-kayak. The basin is 600 meters long and 65 meters wide and is located between Stalingrad and the park de la Villette.
Licensed teachers will help you discover the joys of rowing. There is a wide choice of boats: avirons, two person canoes and individual kayaks. The only requirement is that you know how to swim.
For those over 18, there is a free initiation to rowing every Saturday at 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm (weather permitting).
Reservations required, call 01 42 40 29 90, on Saturday to reserve for the following Saturday, bring 2 ID photos and a certificate indicating that you can swim at least 50 meters.
Base nautique de La Villette
Direction de la jeunesse et des sports de la Mairie de Paris
41 bis, quai de la Loire, Paris 19e
Metro: Jaurès ou Stalingrad
01 42 40 29 90 (Wednesdays and Saturdays only)