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Steps and History

May 31, 2012

Today as I walked up the 13th century steps of Sainte Chapelle, I tried to imagine who had walked up these stairs before: King Louis, his mother Blanche, myself much younger with a troop of students from the school where I used to teach, my beloved uncle, my best friend from college, Napoleon. I assumed that this was what my son was thinking about, too — the mysterious past, history etc. — but no. From behind me came his voice, hushed and contemplative, “Mom, look at how the steps are getting narrower.” They were? My son was patient with me. “They had to make them this way,” he said, “that’s how they built towers.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 5, 2012 4:44 am

    I’m interested that Ste. Chapelle has 13 steps – an uneven number. In SE Asia, steps are always in uneven numbers, whereas in western societies they are usually even numbers. SEAsians believe that uneven numbers are auspicious – but when did we, in the west, make even numbers the norm? And 13 is particularly inauspicious.

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