I came to Paris because I love everything about French culture – the food, the art, the literature, and more. But after my time here, I’ve realized more and more that Paris is changing – it’s much more like New York than I ever realized, mostly because of its tendency to be a melting pot of cultures.
I’ve always been interested in experiencing different cultures through their religions. One of my most fond memories of field trips at my Catholic school was in the 7th grade when my entire class went to different places of worship: a Jewish temple, a Buddhist temple, a Greek Orthodox church, etc. Having been exposed to Catholicism at home and at school, I found the traditions of other religions to be extremely interesting and beautiful.
With classes over and finals about to begin, my friends and I decided to take a study break by going to the Grande Mosquée of Paris. It takes up an entire block: with gardens, a café, and baths, there is so much to see in this intricately designed building in the middle of the classic-looking city.
If you have a few days to spare in Paris, I really suggest heading to the 5th arrondissement. Paris is a city to visit classically French things, of course, but more and more it’s becoming the home to many other groups of people. At first glance, it may be surprising that this mosque is in the same city as Notre Dame, but it’s a symbol of how cities around the world can adapt to different people.