Notre Dame Cathedral

The cathedral's setting on the banks of the Seine has always been memorable. Notre-Dame is the heart of Paris and even of the country itself. Distances from the city to all parts of FranceCathedral of Notre Dame are calculated from a spot at the far end of the place du Parvis, in front of the cathedral, where a circular bronze plaque marks Kilomètre Zéro.

The cathedral was begun in 1163, with an army of stonemasons, carpenters, and sculptors working on a site that previoulsly seen a Roman temple, an early Christian basilica, and a Romanesque church. The chanel and the altar were consecrated in 1182, but the magnificent sculptures surrounding the main doors were not put into position until 1240. The north tower was finished 10 years later.

Notre-Dame has grown and grown over the years, changing as Paris has changed, often falling victims to whims of decorative tastes. Its famous flying buttresses ( the external side supports, giving the massive interior a sense of weightlessnes) were rebuilt in 1330.
It's me  with the view of the Notredame Cathedral

Despite various changes in the 17th century, the cathedral remained substantially unaltered until the French Revolution. Then, the statues of the kings of Israel were hacked down by the mob, chiefly because they were thought to represent the despised royal line of France, and everything inside and out that was deemed" anti-Republican" was striped away. An interesting postscript to this destruction occured in 1977, when some of the heads of these statues were discovered salted away in a bank vault on boulevard Haussmann, They'd apparently been hidden there by an ardent royalist who owned the small mansion that now forms part of the bank. ( The restored head are now on display in the Musée National du Moyen-Age.)

By the early 19th century, the excesses of the Revolution were over, and the cathedral went back to fulfilling its religious functions again. Napoléon crowned himself emperor here in May 1804 (David's heroic painting of the lavish ceremony can be seen in the Louvre). Cathedral of Notre DameFull-scale restoration started in the middle century, the most conspicuous result of which was the reconstruction of the spire. It was then, too, that Haussmann demolished the warren of little buildinngs in front of the cathedral, creating Place du Parvis.

Though many disagree, we feel Notre-Dame is more interesting outside than in, and you'll want to walk all around it to fully appreciate this "vast symphony of stone" Better yet , cross over the pont au Double to the Left Bank and view it from the quay


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