Like Washington DC, Paris---the Capital City of France--was designed to intimidate foreign dignitaries. I think Paris wins the competition. I love DC, but it looks like it could have been built yesterday. Paris, on the other hand, is filled with spectacular "intimidating" buildings and streets everywhere you look. For instance, this first set of three pictures are taken from the same spot. I was talking to Jamie on my phone and the Eiffel Tower was on my Left, the Grand Palace (with the giant green glass roof) was in front of me--the street flanked with Golden statues, and behind me was the enormous Invalides building where Napoleon is laid to rest in this--attached---dome Cathedral (below):
Notice how the statues on the street are so ornate, that if you get close to one of those tall pillars with the angels on top that even the minor figures in the middle of the columns have gold: in this case, a Golden sword.
Or take this statue constructed on one of many of Paris' bridges. You walk across the bridge, and this is what you see on the edge of the bridge facing out over the Seine.
Or the ornate statues on just one of Notre Dame's doors.
Or the variety of architecture on just one city block in the middle of the city. It really puts every other city to shame.
Perhaps in 2011 or 2012, I would like to lead a group to Paris to visit the Church of God here. I would also lead a tour of the city focused on the secularization of Europe. We would visit key sights in Paris that would help Americans to grasp how and why Europe became so secularized and what this means for the future of Europe and for the United States. Hopefully we can begin planning that relatively soon.