Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Church of Saint-Merri

Malaysian tourists travel in fear most of the time. Now, I'm not talking about fear of robbery or fear of losing passports. Those are very legitimate & natural feelings that any tourists would have travelling in any unfamiliar places. But what's really pervasive in the psyche of Malaysian tourists (or should I include Singaporean as well) is the fear of running out of time. Everyday, there are places to go, targets to hit, before the sun goes down. A holiday where you relax & do nothing does not exist.

So being the true Malaysians that we were, as soon as we dumped our luggage into our room, we hit the streets of Paris. Now, the great thing about being in Europe is that everywhere that you turn your head, you're looking at another historical monument.

This is the Church of Saint-Merri. We were strolling along Rue Saint-Martin when we came across it.The facade of the church was under renovation & was quite inconspicuous. We would have missed it if not for my killer tourist instincts.

The church was completed in 1552 & was dedicated to an 8th century abbot by the name of Meredicus, or otherwise also known as Merri. So that's who Merri was... I kept thinking that it was Mary, or something close to that. Strangely enough, French men often have girly sounding names.

This beeautiful organ was reconstructed in 1781 by Cliquot, a famous organ builder. Of course there's no way I could have known this. Its from Wikkipedia.

The gothic interior architecture is just simply breathtaking & as with most churches, the place offers a quiet solitude from the hustle & bustle of the Parisians outside.

Apparently, this church carries the oldest bell in the history of Paris. It was built in 1331 & had somehow survived the bloody French Revolution. I didn't know where it was, or whether the entrance to the bell tower was accesible to tourists at all. So there was no sign of it.

The church is basically surrounded by individual open chambers which are dedicated to different saints.
Being there, you can't help but be in awe at the grandeur & scale of things. It is first & foremost a place of worship, a spiritual sanctuary. The place is so silent that you can even hear your own thoughts & prayers. I know what I prayed for, but I hope Nee was not asking for a bigger kitchen again.

The Church of Saint-Merri is located along rue Saint-Martin & Rue de la Verrerie.


Denise ^ ChickyEGG said...

pretty pretty pictures!
oh, of cuz Nee's dream will come true very soon!!!! :D

Anonymous said...

very nice pictures! but i didn't visit this one. r u going to blog about Louvre Museum soon? :)

Greg Wee said...

Hi Denise & Cassie. Yeah, the Louvre will be up next. In fact, we were walking towards the Louvre when we chanced upon this little church. I couldn't resist it.

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