Notre Dame vs. Eiffel Tower

Did you know that more people visit the Notre Dame cathedral each year than the Eiffel Tower? I was surprised to learn that fact. I really enjoyed my visit to both, but for very different reasons.

Eiffel Tower as seen from the top of Arch de Triumph

This is what is considered the "front" or main entrance to Notre Dame

When you visit a cathedral like Notre Dame, its easy to be distracted by the tourism.  But I tried hard not to forget that this beautiful building was built to be a place of worship, not a museum.  So as I moved inside the building and through the crowds, admiring the gorgeous stained glass and intricate stone carvings, each depicting stories and scenes from the Bible, I couldn’t help but connect with the building on a spiritual level.  I know that may sound really weird, but I did feel like I was worshiping God in all his glory as I marveled at the beauty of the Notre Dame.  I couldn’t help but thinking to myself, “lovers of God built this building, formed the stained glass, carved these statues. How could they NOT love God because their attention to detail in the art they created seems to be an act of worship.”

The great thing about the part of town where we stayed in Paris is that is was super close to Notre Dame.  So we were able to soak in the outside of the building just about every day we were there as we passed by it on our way to different places.  As I mentioned before, our first day in Paris was cold and rainy, but the weather turned out to be very nice the last two days of our stay.  This allowed us to enjoy the outside of the building just about every days as we walked from site to site. A couple of times we just parked it on a bench with some gellato and looked at the building.  It looks so different from back to front.  We decided we really like the back side better than the front.

Notre Dame from the back, don’t mind the random strager on the bike!

From the Side... also very amazing

Now the Eiffel Tower is also interesting.  While Notre Dame is the most visited location in Paris, I believe that the Eiffel Tower is the most photographed location in Paris.  At least it was in my camera!

I literally couldn’t get enough of it.  I am sure I had romanticized what Parisians at the time of construction called an “eye-sore” to be a symbol of the beauty and mystique when really its just a large rusty radio tower that they have to paint to keep looking nice.  But WOW it is just SO COOL I CANT STOP TAKING PICTURES OF IT!

On the day we were to take our tour to the second level of the Eiffel Tower, it was raining.  So we didn’t get the views we were hoping for, but we still got some amazing views despite the mist and the fog.  There are two restaurants in the Eiffel Tower, we did not eat at either of them but I think it would be neat to do sometime just to say you did!

We found that the best time to view the Eiffel Tower is at night.  Once it gets dark, the tower will sparkle for 5 minutes, every hour, on the hour.  After dinner our third night in Paris, we walked over to catch the light show.  It was nothing but glitz and glitter.  I loved it.  It was like a ginormous diamond ring! Watch this video to see what I mean!

I don’t know who is right about Paris’ most famous landmarks and attractions.  But for me, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower were definitely top on the list.

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