Friday, 30 December 2011

Oh carol ! - Christmas in Paris...

On Christmas Eve evening we wanted to experience the midnight service at the beautiful  Sacré-Coeur so headed up to one of our favourite areas of Paris - Montmartre. The service was to start with an hour long  organ recital at 10.00pm then an hour of carols followed by the mass itself. We decided we would try and slip in towards the end of the organ recital.

We went up early enough to stroll around the area and take in the atmosphere.
The photograph of the steps was also  taken here.

The Place du Tertre was unrecognisable or should that be recognisable as normally you can see little but throngs of tourists. We sat down at one of the pavement tables of the restaurant you see in the photograph above - after a few minutes we were approached by a waiter who had just finished explaining the bill to another couple  we asked what his price for a glass of wine was - 8.00 euros  - we thanked him and left, went around the corner and had a glass for 4.00 along with the company of a couple of charming Australian girls and a young American guy.

I took this shot of the Paris night skyline and the basilica itself before heading in to the sound of the organ.


Inside,where understandably, no photography was allowed, was jaw-dropping and packed, so much so, that there were large video screens set up to the side of the main altar so no-one would miss any of the 'action'. We listened to the last of the organ recital that had (honest) literally sent part of the audience to sleep before standing for the procession into the church. The procession consisted of a group of priests and nuns who would be the choir for the service. We listened to unfamiliar carols in French (obviously), although we had thought we might have had some in Latin to appease the international audience but no.. it was actually proving to be too 'high-brow' for us 'Philistines' so we decided to slip out and try and catch the mass at the  church local to Francoise and Richard's apartment.

                                              This pic. is from a visit last August.

Unfortunately this was further over our heads, it was a service conducted in Portuguese for the local community from that part of the world. There had been services throughout the day in different languages -  confirming what a cosmopolitan city Paris really is.


  1. These photographs are stunning and capture the atmosphere beautifully! We were only talking of visiting Paris the other day and this has really spurred us on. Perhaps we'll invest in some water bottles and a small rucksack first, though!!

  2. Thanks for comments on pics - I did the unmanly thing of looking at the instructions for the night shots - made all the difference!Paris under any conditions is great!

  3. Jim, Karen and I planning on visiting Paris in April. I'll get some tourist advice before we do.

    Photo's are great.