Wednesday, April 21, 2010

La Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève

This morning, I woke up and immediately spent an hour on hold to try to get a refund on my flights from Granada to Madrid and Madrid to Paris. After the hour on hold, I got an Irish guy who told me that there are no refunds if they don't cancel the flight, so I spent half an hour explaining that I can't fly back from Spain if they don't fly me there to begin with, and finally he agreed to make an exception and refund my money. Then, I decided to go get some Berthillon ice cream before meeting Alexandra to go to the Middle Ages museum (she got out of her internship early), but when I got onto the island, the Berthillon store was closed! So, now I'm stranded in Paris without any ice cream until next Wednesday! This isn't safe!

Obviously, I thought it would be a horrible day, but then Alexandra called me while I was on my way to meet her for the Middle Ages museum and said there was absolutely no line to climb to the very top of Notre-Dame. So, we did that first. It is a really interesting view, and at the very top, they have excerpts from Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo. The part where he describes what Paris looked like from the top of Notre-Dame back during the Middle Ages. It was a good introduction to the middle ages museum.

That's my favorite gargoyle and me, pensive, as usual. 

There's beautiful Paris! And me!

Where I would ultimately end up. The library is the little building that you can't even see to the left of the Pantheon in this picture. 

There's Notre-Dame from a beautiful little park that I love. There's a tree there that's basically been ripped in half, but they've preserved it for some reason. 

The flowers in the garden. 

At the Middle Ages museum at Cluny (in the Latin Quarter), there are also the Roman baths, one of the oldest sites in Paris (the oldest being the Arènes de Lutèce). The museum was interesting too, especially since I took the class on the middle ages last year at Hopkins. In fact, I'm glad that my Hopkins courses more than prepared me for my semester in France. This museum is filled with tapestries and statues, and the best part: it's free for histoire de l'art students, and that's me! I'm going to miss that little perk...

Old stained glass windows in the Cluny museum. 

Some of the heads of the kings that were cut off the facade of Notre-Dame during the French Revolution (1789). The people thought that they represented the kings of France, but they really represented the kings of the old testament. Oops...

Incredible Gothic pillar inside the Cluny museum. 

Pitying Mary and Jesus. I liked the expression on her face. It didn't seem bad enough to be from the Middle Ages at all!

The museum. Nice building, huh?

After that, Alexandra had to stop by the hospital, so I decided to head over to my library! It's my new favorite place in Paris. I walked in, but apparently my Sorbonne student card wasn't enough, so I registered and got my very own Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève library card! It is beautiful! I love it!! Plus, it's permanent - with it came a bunch of rules, but I don't mind. In America, libraries are a peaceful place to study because there's absolutely no one there, but here, everyone has to wait in a long line to get in and then, they all follow the rules! It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. And the room I sat in is the most beautiful room ever - it's better than the BnF because it's from the 1600's and feels much more literary than a gigantic skyscraper. Here's a picture - I will be going back just about every day until I leave, but I'm afraid that taking a picture might be against one of the rules in the instruction manual they gave me, so I won't take my own picture.

They look studious, don't they?

Finally, I came home and found an email from Professor Neefs waiting for me! He said I can do a research project for French literature next year even though I'm not a major and that I can take his graduate level seminar! So, I suppose today was a good day after all! I'll put new Notre-Dame pictures up later - I don't feel like it tonight. 

No comments:

Post a Comment