Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at our online Travel Store. A plaque shares their monastic message: “We were what you are…you will become what we are now.”. — into a cathedral that seems to be made of nothing more than glowing colors and radiant light. If you know where to look, you can find human bones on display in many corners of Europe. Along the way, plaques encourage you to reflect upon your destiny: “Happy is he who is forever faced with the hour of his death and prepares himself for the end every day.” Emerging far from where you entered with white limestone-covered toes is a dead giveaway you’ve been underground, gawking at bones. More intricate details — like folds in the robes or the line of a mouth — are created by scratching or painting the glass. Monet worked at Giverny, in a special studio with skylights and wheeled easels to accommodate the big canvases. Team Marco Polo presents "Steve Ricks: The Euro-Nerd" You've seen PBS' phenomenally popular Rick Steves, with his fantastic tours of Europe and … The Venus de Milo — the goddess of love, sculpted in about 100 BC — sums up all that ancient Greece stood for. Blow glass into a cylinder shape, cut lengthwise, and lay flat to cool. He planted a garden with rose trellises, built a Japanese bridge, and made an artificial pond stocked with water lilies (nymphéas in French). Each individual scene is interesting, and the whole effect is overwhelming. And in doing so, they learn that many of these bones — even long after death — still have something to say. His favorite subject of all was the water lilies. Fiat lux. Who was this beautiful woman? Thank you Rick Steves for recommending Londres Eiffel. Daily Dose of Europe: Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral. And for me, one of the great joys of travel is having in-person encounters with great art — which I’ve collected in a book called “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces.” Here’s one of my favorites. Louis came upon the crown in Constantinople while on Crusade. Throughout Europe, Capuchin monks offer a different bone-venture. Convinced he’d found the real McCoy, he spent a fortune to build a suitable chapel to hold it — and paid triple that for the precious crown. Rick Steves Pocket Paris works best for people taking a short trip, or perhaps a return trip, to Paris. Despite all this motion, the impression is one of stillness, as Venus orbits slowly around a vertical axis. It was purpose-built by King Louis IX — the only French king who is also a saint — to house Jesus’ supposed Crown of Thorns. Still to come: Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and more. Notre-Dame’s facade is instantly recognizable: the twin rectangular towers, the circular rose window, the three arched doorways, the rows of statues…and the impish gargoyles that line the roof. Gothic architects used new technology to turn dark stone buildings into lanterns of light. What is she thinking? I jumped at the opportunity to pick up what, once upon a time, was a human head. In 1914, Monet, now in his seventies, began a water-lily project on a massive scale. It was a skull… dry, hollow, and easy to hold in one hand. Their mission: to remind us that in a relatively short period of time, we’ll be dead, too — so give some thought to mortality and how we might be spending eternity. The crisis of this year has overshadowed one from last year: the shocking fire at France’s top church, Notre-Dame Cathedral. The rooms have character and just enough space for those more intent on discovering Paris than lounging in a hotel room. Travel Talks: Paris In this travel class, Rick Steves guidebook co-author Steve Smith suggests strategies for touring Paris — the Louvre, Orsay, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Rodin Museum, and Montmartre — plus tips on sleeping, eating, and getting around affordably. Worshippers are surrounded by 15 big windowpanes, with more than 1,000 different scenes. She’s actually made from two different pieces of stone plugged together at the hips (you can see the seam). Get close to see how Monet worked. The Paris Catacombs show off the anonymous bones of six million permanent residents. Regardless, though Venus’ arms have been lost over the centuries, her eternal beauty remains intact. In 1786, the French government decided to relieve congestion and improve sanitary conditions by emptying the city cemeteries, which had traditionally surrounded churches. The coronavirus can derail our travel plans…but it can’t stop our travel dreams. In Kutná Hora, in the Czech Republic, monks take bone decor to an unrivaled extreme. This art moment — a sampling of how we share our love of art in our tours — is an excerpt from the new, full-color coffee-table book, “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces,” by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw. You enter Sainte-Chapelle on the somber ground floor, wind your way up a tight spiral staircase, and then pop out — wow! This tiny jewel of Gothic architecture is a cathedral of glass like none other. Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Sainte-Chappelle. The lilies float among sun-kissed clouds and blue sky reflected in the water. Today, the supposed Crown of Thorns is not on display, but the church is, along with its star attraction: stained glass. The statue is a rare Greek original, not a Roman copy. The dazzling glory of Gothic glows brighter here than in any other church. Sainte-Chapelle was completed in a mere six years (Notre-Dame, just a few steps away, took 200), creating a harmonious structure that’s the essence of Gothic. But in 1927, the “Water Lilies” were hung as Monet had instructed, in this specially built space to enhance the immersive experience. As I travel with Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, research my guidebooks, and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences across Europe. You don't want a Paris Visite travel pass which is what comes with the Paris Pass as it is already very expensive. They were the key to the Gothic structure. Home / Blog; Posted on January 8, 2021 January 11, 2021 by Rick Steves. It’s like taking a stroll in the gardens at Monet’s home at Giverny, enjoying his tranquil pond dotted with colorful water lilies. With pointed arches supporting the roof, the weight of the roof pressed outward, not down (as with earlier round arches). They broke ground in the year 1163 with the hope that someday their great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren might attend the dedication Mass. Like the rest of our world right now, that cathedral is damaged and on the mend…yet it survives, as ever, as a powerful symbol of France. Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Sainte-Chappelle. Europe was already in the grip of a classical fad, and this statue was a hit. This is Gothic. Daily Dose of Europe: A Little Bone Envy. The artist might use, say, blue glass for background, green for clothes, brown for hair. Most of all, Venus brought with her an air of mystery. Mix in rusty metals to get different colors — iron makes red, cobalt makes blue, copper makes green, and so on. Home / Blog; Destination: Paris. To enhance your art experience, you can find a clip related to this artwork at Rick Steves Classroom Europe; just search for Louvre. The dazzling glory of Gothic glows brighter here than in any other church. I do believe he (and his staff) update information much more diligently than most guides. Deep under the city streets, I was all alone…surrounded by literally millions of bones — tibiae, fibulae, pelvises, and skulls, all stacked along miles of tunnels. Monet landscaped like he painted — filling the “blank canvas” with “brushstrokes” of shrubs and colorful flowers. The Paris Pass is very poor value. In the apartment, the washer took an hour. She then lifts her left leg, setting her whole body in motion. Worshippers are surrounded by 15 big windowpanes, with more than 1,000 different scenes. Smaller text Larger text. Each transfer was completed with the placement of a plaque indicating the church and district from which that stack of bones came and the date they arrived. As America continues to suffer crisis upon crisis, it has never been more important to broaden our perspectives and learn about the people and places that shape our world. Show Rick Steves Paris Audio Tours, Ep Historic Paris Walk Audio Tour - Feb 28, 2018 Paris, the City of Light, is a beacon of civilization. By Rick Steves, Steve Smith, and Gene Openshaw. Later bone-stackers were more into design than theology — creating, for instance, a chandelier made with every bone in the human body. After death, dressed in their Sunday best, their body (sans soul) would be hung up to dry. As what seemed like two centuries of dust tumbled off the skull, I looked at it…Hamlet-style. Sainte-Chapelle was completed in a mere six years (Notre-Dame, just a few steps away, took 200), creating a harmonious structure that’s the essence of Gothic. For centuries, people would thoughtfully choose their niche before they died, and even linger there, getting to know their macabre neighborhood. Each lily is a tangled Impressionist smudge composed of several different-colored brushstrokes: green, red, white, lavender, blue. Fiat lux. Did it three years ago in Paris too. Stepping inside, put on a medieval pilgrim’s perspective as you soak in the ambience of this centuries-old space. Learning the stories behind great art can shed new light on our lives today.