The everlasting, ever-watchful gargoyles who guard from the towers of Notre Dame
The headless bishops who once sat above the portal of Notre Dame with heads attached (and which were chopped off in the Revolution), and who now reside in the Roman-baths basement over which was built the residence of the abbots of Cluny in in mid-12th Century and is now the magnificent Middle-Ages Cluny museum.
The door to a fortune-teller and herbalist on the street behind Notre Dame, replete with cross and stuffed birds, to visit in case you’re not sure your prayers will be answered.
The feet of St. Peter at the church of Saint Sulpice whose toes have been kissed down to nubs by centuries of worshippers.
St. Denis, the patron saint of Paris, who, after his head was chopped off (see bloody axe), picked it up and went off through the streets, still preaching. Now that must have been a sight to behold!
Voltaire, famed philosopher of the Enlightenment, standing guard over his tomb in the crypt of the Pantheon.
Man walking through walls in Montmartre (Passe-Muraille) based on a short story by French novelist Marcel Aymé. To fláner means to wander aimlessly, more or less, and that’s what we were doing on Montmartre — aimlessly wandering — when we came upon this wall.
the earth rotates!
Foucault’s pendulum, named after the French physicist Léon Foucault, is a simple device conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. While it had long been known that the Earth rotated, the introduction of the Foucault pendulum in 1851 was the first simple proof of the rotation in an easy-to-see experiment.
The first public exhibition of a Foucault pendulum took place in February 1851 in the Meridian of the Paris Observatory. A few weeks later Foucault made his most famous pendulum when he suspended a 28 kg brass-coated lead bob with a 67 meter long wire from the dome of the Panthéon, Paris. The plane of the pendulum’s swing rotated clockwise 11° per hour, making a full circle in 32.7 hours.(Wikipedia)
We saw this when we visited the Pantheon a few years back. What a sign! I stood and watched and took photos as I watched the pendulum inch itself along the degree marks. Foucault’s pendulum had tucked itself away in my knowledge bank for a long time, a miracle I wanted to see. And seeing it felt like I’d completed some circuit of my own.