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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in French | 0 comments

Interesting Facts on the Notre Dame Cathedral in France

Interesting Facts on the Notre Dame Cathedral in France

The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris or Notre Dame de Paris (‘Our Lady of Paris’ in French) is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern 1 / 2 of the Île de la Cite in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France, using its main entrance to the west. France, using its main entrance to the west and is widely considered one of the finest types of French Gothic architecture.

Notre Dame Cathedral in France

It had been restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France’s most well-known architects, and to this day it is still used like a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris.This is the most important cathedral in all France because it contains the “cathedra” that is the official chair for the Archbishop of Paris. Till this very day this historical structure is undoubtedly being the finest illustration of French Gothic architecture and has turned into a major tourist attraction for the country.

This magnificent building is one of the first Gothic cathedrals to possess been constructed in Paris. The construction of the unique cathedral spanned on the long period of time. It includes many sculptures and artwork created in stained glass. All the artistic elements happen to be heavily relying on the naturalist movement that prevailed during the duration of its construction. This is exactly what makes this church building not the same as others which had a Romanesque feel for their architecture.

Designed in the Gothic fashion and built between the 12th and 14th centuries, the Notre Dame Cathedral in France is the official seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Its architecture is one of the first types of the use of flying buttresses, and the cathedral also features numerous statues and stained glass windows. Major components which make Notre Dame unique include one of the world’s largest organs and its immense church bells. Throughout its history, the cathedral has experienced vandalism and near destruction, but concerted efforts to preserve its rich history continue.

A Brief History Of Notre Dame Cathedral Paris


The Bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully, ordered the construction of Notre Dame in 1160. He deemed the church that already stood in the location unworthy of the prestige of his position. Actual construction started a couple of years later when the foundation stone was laid in 1163. The choir, the first part of the building to become completed, was consecrated in 1177. The High Altar was finished a couple of years later, in 1182. Maurice de Sully died in 1196 while the cathedral used to be built. Construction continued for a long time, with many bishops and architects making their mark on the seemingly never-ending building process. The proven fact that so many people were built with a part in building Notre Dame is exactly what accounts for its and varied design. It had not been until 1345 that the cathedral was consecrated as complete.

Unique Component of the Cathedral

There are a number of stuff that make the Notre Dame de Paris unique. One of those things is the proven fact that this building was the first in which the flying buttress, that is an arched exterior support, was incorporated.

Originally the design wasn’t meant to feature the flying buttresses alongside the choir and the nave. This element was incorporated when high walls started to experience fractures because they became thinner while rising up. It was because the walls would move outwards because they would rise higher. In an effort to stabilize the structure of the cathedral the architects introduced flying buttresses that provided adequate support.

This historical landmark suffered great blows during the peak of the French Revolution in the 1790s. During this time period a great number of the religious artwork contained inside the church building was damaged and destroyed. The cathedral was restored within massive restoration project in the 1800s.

Organ and Bells

Like a centerpiece of the cathedral, many organs were installed over the years after Notre Dame’s construction. The first fully integrated organ, however, wasn’t completed until the 1700s. Francois-Henri Clicquot built a body organ with pipes that extended through the walls. It had been rebuilt in the 1800s by Aristide Cavaille-Coll, who laid 6,900 new pipes to suit with the 900 from the previous design. In 1992, the organ was updated again; this time around it was computerized through usage of three local area networks. The bells of Notre Dame will also be some of the most well-known in Europe. Of the five large bells, the one in the South Tower is the most prominent. Referred to as the bourdon bell Emmanuel, it weighs over 13 tons. The North Tower contains the remaining four. Traditionally, the bells were rung manually, but electric motors were installed in the early Twentieth century.

Damage and Restoration

Notre Dame went through a quantity of periods of destruction and restoration. Nevertheless, much of the facade and interior remain in keeping with the original designs. During the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed a lot of the contents of the cathedral. Many features on the exterior were removed simply because they were considered idolatrous, while tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed in the name of modernization. During the French Revolution, the cathedral was converted to a storage warehouse for food, and the heads of numerous statues were removed. The first attempt for restoration was conducted between 1845 and 1870. A lot of the damage from the previous century was repaired, and new additions were constructed. Another restoration program began in 1991 and continues by 2010. This effort concentrates on cleaning and preserving sculpture and facades instead of adding any additional features.

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