Our Lady of Paris
aka Notre Dame de Paris
|Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, by DG Hudson|
N = Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame de Paris, one of the finest examples of Gothic cathedrals from the medieval period, is one of the largest and most well known of churches. Flying buttresses were integrated into the design to counter the stress fractures that developed from the weight. It was complete by 1345, replacing the Saint Etienne Basilica, which had replaced a Roman temple to Jupiter on the same site.
There is a narrow climb of 387 steps on spiral staircases, to reach the top. As you ascend, the famous bell and gargoyles can be seen, and once you reach the top, Paris lies at your feet.
During the French Revolution in the 1790s, Notre Dame was desecrated, as were many other buildings. Much of the religious imagery was destroyed. Restoration began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991. Today, it is a beautiful sight, with something different in its architecture on each side. The square in front of the church is welcoming and populated with a mix of people and pigeons. It also includes the entrance to the Crypt Archeologique and the Centre of Paris stone marker (see last image).
Pigeons on the wing. . .
|Notre Dame with Pigeons in Flight, by DG Hudson|
Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the gargoyles and chimeras, designed for water run-off.
|A Side View of Notre Dame, Paris, by DG Hudson|
The cathedral treasury of Notre Dame is notable for housing some of Catholicism's most important relics. (See wiki link below for more detail.) That and the fact of previous churches on this same site must make this sacred / hallowed ground.
Do you like visiting churches or cathedrals built in olden times? What do you think of the intricate decorations and the gargoyles and chimera? Have you seen a church or cathedral that made an impression upon you?
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Notre Dame Images, previous A to Z post 2012:
Notre Dame de Paris (re-relics and other details)
Gargoyles and Chimera at Notre Dame
Definition of Gargoyles and Chimera: animal and human figures, half-man and half-beast, grotesque, horrific, fantastic creatures with eagles’ beaks and wings, lions’ talons, serpents’ tails
Notre Dame as Sacred destination