Looking for the Soul of Paris

Paris resides via extraordinary days and for some time it will likely be tough to expertise town in the identical carefree method as earlier than. At such instances most of us have to mirror.

Listed below are some strategies for locations to go in Paris, or on a day journey from town, if you wish to discover a peaceable place to suppose.

* Locations with an asterisk are marked on the map on the backside of the article.

Locations to see in Paris

Tour St Jacques (Saint-Jacques Tower)*

Tour de St Jacques, Paris

(c) Nick Inman

This good-looking remnant of an extended vanished church stands in a peaceable public backyard. It marks the beginning of the pilgrimage route stretching 800km to the Pyrenees after which an extra 800km throughout northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. It’s possible you’ll not wish to do the entire journey however the first a part of the route is simple to comply with via the Latin Quarter. Strolling mindfully even a brief distance may be therapeutic for the ideas.

Musée – Librairie du Compagnonnage*

Musée du Compagnonnage, Paris

(c) Nick Inman

This tiny museum simply off the Boulevard Saint Germain will get few guests regardless of its free admission. It encapsulates two large concepts which the world can all the time do with: co-operation and constructive exercise. The uniquely French system of compagnonnage is a method of coaching apprentice craftsmen and ladies to the best requirements and forming robust bonds of solidarity between them.

Concorde Metro Station*

It’s straightforward to hurry round Paris and never discover the metro stations that you simply go via. Concorde is a well timed reminder of the respect we owe to one another. Its ceramic tiles spell out the textual content of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man of the Citizen. The French Revolution could have had its share of brutality however out of it got here some noble beliefs price championing.

Sq. du Temple*

Square du Temple, Paris

(c) Nick Inman

The Order of Knights Templars would be capable to inform us a lot concerning the difficult interface between Europe and the Center East however sadly the order was suppressed within the 14th century. All that’s left of them is thriller: did they possess some nice secret that died with them. This sq. now occupies the positioning of their headquarters of which no hint stays however it’s a stunning place to sit down. Alternatively, it’s possible you’ll wish to search out the previous Templar commandery within the city of Coulommiers, east of Paris.


Montmartre is a village inside a metropolis however most individuals get no additional than Sacre-Coeur and the crowded and commercialised Place de Tertre. There are different facets to Montmartre if you happen to search for them. Subsequent to Sacre-Coeur is the atmospheric previous church of St Pierre. North and west of the touristy half there are some quiet gardens to sit down in.

Locations to see round Paris

Musée d’Archeologie Nationale, Saint Germain en Laye

There may be nothing like visiting a prehistoric web site to place the current day into context and your cares into perspective. There are a number of standing stones, dolmens and even rock engravings inside attain of Paris however they aren’t straightforward to get to by public transport. The Nationwide Archaeology Museum* is the following smartest thing. It has a lot of unimaginably historical collectible figurines and artefacts to gaze on whilst you ponder the character of human life. Alternatively, you may favor the Musée du Quai Branly* (in Paris) which might be seen as a reminder that there’s extra that unites humanity than divides us.


Monasteries, whether or not or not nonetheless occupied by monks or nuns, have a soothing impact on the soul. There are a number of abbeys round Paris. Notable amongst them are Chaalis* (to the northeast), Lieu-Restauré (northwest), Port Poyale de Champs at Meaux* (east) and Royaumont* (north). There are a number of extra not that distant down the Seine valley, in Normandy.



(c) Nick Inman

Paris is ringed by nice Gothic cathedrals, all zinging nonetheless with non secular power. Notre-Dame, within the metropolis centre, is splendid however often heaving with vacationers and never a spot to hunt peace. St-Denis within the northern suburbs of town – the place Gothic started – is much less busy. However there isn’t a beating Chartres, definitely worth the hour and 1 / 4 practice trip from Paris. Constructed to the rules of sacred structure, it’s famend for its use of symbolism and numerology, and for its stained glass. Set into the nave flooring is a round labyrinth which most likely served as a processional path to occupy the ft of devotees whereas leaving their minds free to soar into different realms. Trains from Gare Montparnasse.


The well-known shrine of Lourdes is deep within the south of France however the nation’s second hottest pilgrimage vacation spot, Lisieux, is inside attain of Paris, solely lower than two hours by practice from Saint Lazare station.


France has an extended custom of alchemy, a a lot misunderstood esoteric system of information to do with the mysteries of existence. 51 rue Montmorency in Paris is alleged to have been the house of town’s most well-known alchemist, Nicolas Flamel, however a practice trip of simply over two hours will take you to the small metropolis of Bourges, thought-about to be the capital of alchemy. The Hôtel Lallemant has many intriguing alchemical designs on its coffered ceiling. Trains from Gare Austerlitz.

This text is an extract from A Information to Mystical France: Secrets and techniques, Myseries, Sacred Websites, an authoritative exploration of the mysteries and sacred websites of France – an invite to go deeper into this magical nation, probably the most visited, but not well-known, nation on the planet.

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