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Paris Diary: The Enchanted City

Any view of Notre Dame de Paris is moving, but if you transport yourself back to the 13th century, your sense of wonder can only increase. Imagine that you are a peasant of that era — ok, I know this is not possible in a real sense, but make the effort anyway. You labor in the fields and return home each day to a simple dwelling. Even the wealthy people in your community have no more than one- or two-story stone houses. And then you come to Paris and behold Notre Dame Cathedral.

When art historian Frederick Hartt came to the College back in the day, he offered the view that a Gothic cathedral was intended to be an awe-inspiring heaven on earth. Viewed from a table in the Tour d’Argent on a clear day last fall, one can share a soupçon of that sentiment.

Notre Dame2.jpg

There has been a restaurant on the site of the Tour d’Argent since 1582; and it was mentioned by Marcel Proust in “In Search of Lost Time” in the volume “In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower”:

Proust Tour d'Argent.jpg


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