Gargoyles, stained glass, flying buttresses - nothing symbolizes the Gothic mystery of Paris like Notre Dame, which is brought to life by one of our scholars. Paris' mother church symbolizes the dark, mysterious medieval era like no other, evoking Arthurian legends, castles, and a seemingly mythical past. That past, however, is very real. And there are few better places to learn about the Gothic than on Paris' Ile de la Cité - the small island in the city's center that is home not only to Notre Dame, but also to several other Gothic masterpieces. The goal of this walk is to bring gothic to life vividly for young people.
Our walk is designed with kids (and their enthusiastic parents) in mind. Our docents are especially gifted with children and will cater the walk to suit the age of the participants, getting a little more sophisticated with children above 12. We will talk about the birth of Gothic and the many changes the cathedral has undergone through different historical events, including the French Revolution and the restoration that made it what we see today. At Sainte-Chapelle, a masterpiece of gothic art, we'll discuss how stained glass was made and the relationship between religion, politics, and the common person during the middle ages. (Don't worry, we make it fun and interesting.) In order to maintain the sacredness of the chapel, strict rules prohibit group lecturing in the upper part of the chapel, so we will do most of our structured discussion of Sainte-Chapelle from the exterior before immersing ourselves in the interior spaces.
This kids-focused itinerary is always designed around your children's needs. The itinerary may also include a visit to the Conciergerie, the residence of France's early royal family that later became an infamous prison during the Revolution (Marie-Antoinette was detained here prior to her execution), or perhaps the excavated Roman ruins beneath Notre Dame. Regardless of how it unfolds, our focus remains on the learning experience of the children in the group.
Please note: There is some overlap with Kings Quest, Roman Paris for Kids, and Gothic Paris for Families. It is not recommended to take all three walks and we advise against taking two.