The grand cathedral has always been the heart of Paris to me. If I possibly can, I stay at a nearby boutique hotel, its front door opening onto the parvis, the cathedral and its crowds just metres away.
Exactly a year ago I was up at dawn – my body clock still running on Melbourne time – and made a panorama, the sun coming up over Ile St Louis, the parvis deserted.
Every time I have visited Paris, the cathedral has been a place of adoring pilgrimage. If Paris has a heart, here it is.
Inside, the light and the grace lift the soul. I remember a performance of Gregorian chanting one evening, where four monks sang with no musical accompaniment at all, yet their voices filled the entire cathedral. It was glorious.
Now only the stones and the memories remain.
Photo by Britni Pepper