Famous Churches-Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France


Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France (Interior)

Paris, formerly known as Lutetium, was evangelized in the 3rd century. Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, “Our Lady of Paris”) is a beautiful cathedral on the the Île de la Cité in Paris. The Notre Dame Cathedral is the most popular monument in Paris and in all of France, beating even the Eiffel Tower with 13 million visitors each year. The Notre Dame de Paris stands on the site of Paris’ first Christian Church, Saint Etienne basilica, which was built on the site of a Roman Temple of Jupiter. Notre Dame’s first stone was laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III. The new building was designed according to the new art movement known as the gothic style (or the ogival style). Notre Dame Cathedral  was not completed until roughly 180 years later in about 1345. The appearance of the interior was radically transformed in the mid-13th century when the small clerestory windows typical of the Early Gothic style were enlarged downward and filled with High Gothictracery.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France (Window)

During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV at the end of the 17th century the cathedral underwent major alterations, during which many tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed. Notre-Dame was plundered during the French Revolution, as were a number of other cathedrals throughout France. Citizens mistook statues of saints above the portals on the west front for representations of their kings, and, in the midst of their revolutionary fervor, took them down (Some of these statues were found in the 1970s, almost two hundred years later, in the Latin Quarter).Many of the cathedral’s other treasures were either destroyed or plundered, stolen or destroyed. Restoration of the Cathedral (begun in 1844 and lasting 23 years), Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc reinstated the triforium and small clerestory windows in the eastern bay of the nave. The sculpture on the west facade, badly damaged during the French Revolution, was also restored during this period. During the Commune of 1871, the Cathedral was nearly burned by the Communards. Starting in 1991, a 10 year program of general maintenance and restoration was initiated

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