Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
Every time I went to Paris, I never failed to pay a visit to Notre Dame if only to listen to the awesome pipe organ playing during Mass. Because of its rich history, there is so much to see of course like the beautiful stained glass rose windows.
Built in 1163 on the site of a Roman temple, it epitomizes the history of the city of Paris because it has been witness to momentous events of French history including the crowning of England’s Henry VI as King of France and the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Though originally of Romanesque design as seen from the twin towers on the facade, Gothic elements were introduced later in the 13th century when magnificent flying buttresses were added on the sides to distribute the weight of the walls and add space to the interiors.
After the French Revolution, the church was plundered and desecrated and turned into an atheist’s Temple of Reason. As such, it came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food and other non-religious purposes.
After almost being demolished because of disrepair, the church was restored and renovated upon King Louis Philippe’s order thanks in part to Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” which was a bestseller and raised awareness among people of the cathedral’s decaying state. It was during this time when the middle spire was added and those mythical creatures, the gargoyles on the rooftops serving as waterspouts, were added.
The Cathedral is now undergoing repairs and renovation after the terrible fire that gutted the roof and spire on April 15, 2019. The plan is to build the roof structure just like the original, cutting the oakwood from a forest with 200-year-old trees near Le Mans. So there’s much hope that Our Lady of Paris will be back to its grand old self as one of the most beloved symbols of the City of Lights.
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About the Author
Al P. Manlangit is a Filipino architect based in Kuwait who loves to travel and take photos everytime he gets the chance to do so. The genres that he explores are landscape, architecture, and street photography which come in handy wherever he goes. He blogs at designerq8.com, focusing on interesting places he visited with short stories to tell behind each frame.