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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
			
           A SUMMER VACATION IN EUROPE.                  301

lighted at night, looks like a great torch-light procession. The
most attractive and thronged promenade in, the world is doubt-
less the five miles from the Church of the Madeline to the Place
de Bastile  After the boulevards, comes in point of vivid im-
pression, the Champs Elysees, the Place de la Concorde, and
the Gardens of the Tuileries (the palace being in ruins).  The
Champs Elysees stretches from the Louvre to the Arc dle Tri-
umphe, with its trees, its fountains, its walks, its pleasure pal-
aces-and its palaces are unequalled in all Europe. Whether
early in the morning, when the nurses are giving the children
an airing in their neat and, in many cases, gorgeous attire; or
in the afternoon, when the stream of carriages roll endlessly
to the Bois de Bologne (the Central Park of Paris); or in the
evening, when the lights are glittering in the trees and the
cafes are in full swing, the Champs Elysees is always fresh,
inspiring and essentially different from all the world besides.
The population of Paris is about 2,000,000. It abounds in many
noble edifices, chief among which is the Grand Opera House,
built by Napoleon III, at a cost of several millions. It covers
three acres, and is the most magnificent structure of the kind
in the world. The great number of strangers made it almost
impossible to secure a seat, unless you were booked at least a
week in advance. I was fortunate in being able to enter and
hear the opera of "L'Africaine." It goes without saying that
it was presented, and sung in a style of grandeur and magnifi-
cence that I never saw approached.
  And then the Seine, with its swift current, its magnificent
bridges, which are real works of art, and built under the Empire
at great cost, its lively steamers and sluggish canal boats, and
the great buildings which look down upon it from the banks,
and, crowning and glorifying all, the great Cathedral of Notre
Dame, one of the world's great churches, and equalled only
by the cathedrals at Strasburg and Cologne. For eighteen
hundred years-since the days of the Roman Empire the spot
has been the heart and soul of Paris, as Paris is the heart, soul
and brain of France. Notre Dame is the Cathedral of Paris,
and, by its great age, the majesty of its proportions, and stormy
scenes of its many centuries, is one of the historical monuments
of the city. Though the present building is but seven hundred
years old, history does not reach to a time when the spot was
not the site of a sanctuary. Under the Roman Emperor Ti-
berius, altars for pagan worship existed there. In the revolu-
tion of 1793, the cathedral became, by law of the Revolutionists,
the Temple of Reason. The altars to Christianity were razed
and the so-called torch of Truth blazed on a mound in the
choir, before the busts of Voltaire, Rousseau and other apostles
of the Revolution and Reason. The great rose window which,
when irradiated by the sun, glows with a glory and beauty at
which you can only sit and wonder, and worship as at the
jewelled breast-plate of an archangel. From 1182 to the present
day, its altars and its chapels have been the scene of all the




			
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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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