Valentine’s Day.. A celebration of Love and Romance

Venus and Cupid

Valentine’s Day has origins that go back to the era of ancient Rome. Saint Valentine was a priest during the early Roman Empire and he was martyred February 14th 269 AD for marrying Christian couples who were being persecuted by the Romans. He was easily recognized by other Christians as he passed through the streets because of the amethyst ring he wore which was inscribed with a cupid. Today the amethyst stone is associated with the month of February. But it wasn’t until Chaucer started writing about romantic love in the 14th century that Valentine’s Day took on the idealized romantic meaning.

So to celebrate the romance in our lives and Valentines Day we are focusing on one of the most romantic destinations in Europe: Paris France.

Paris France is noted for being a romantic city and the setting of many famous novels. Two romantic novels that are set in Paris are Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, both of which focus on unrequited love set against the backdrop of famous Paris landmarks.

Phantom of the Opera and the Paris Garnier Opera House

The stage of the Garnier Opera courtesy Twister Sifter.
The stage of the Garnier Opera courtesy Twister Sifter.

The Garnier Opera House was built during the 1860’s and is named after it’s architect Charles Garnier. The style is one of opulence, and layers upon layers of ornate design surrounded by gilded ornaments and columns. There are similarities between Phantom of the Opera and the actual Garnier Opera House. When the land was cleared to build the opera house, an underground lake was found and it remains beneath the foundation of the building to this day; acting as a ballast for the structure of opera house. Underneath the the stage is labyrinth of passageways, 7 floors and a stable for the horses of the opera troupe, which is very similar to the depiction of the scenery in Phantom of the Opera.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame  and the famous bell towers


The bells of Notre Dame have been a constant sound against the backdrop of the noise of Paris. They have rung during the daily lives of Parisians for centuries announcing the time and daily church services. The church, which was built during the 13th century, is famous for its Gothic architecture and  the bell towers that provide dramatic views overlooking the beautiful Paris skyline .  The largest bell is named Emanuel and weighs 13 tons and resides in the South Tower. It is the only remaining  bell, out of the  original 9 bells, that still hangs in the towers . The others bells were melted during the French Revolution and used as canon balls and ammunition.  In 2013 replicas of the original bells were created using historical methods and they now ring in unison about the streets of Paris.  But sadly, there are no bell ringers, or lovelorn souls,  roaming the towers as the bell ringing function has been automated.

Planning a Romantic Trip to Paris

Paris is a romantic destination no matter the time of year you plan on visiting.  History, food, culture, art all combine to a great destination for couples. This boutique hotel is located in the Champs Elysees near all the sights, attractions and restaurants.

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