Notre Dame Cathedral: "Our Lady of Paris"
Airfare Daily Deals eCigarettes Eyeglasses Hotels Jewelry Online Backup Online Dating Online Printing Online Tickets Skin Care Textbook Rentals Vitamins Web Hosting Weddings
Find thousands of shopping-related forums
SEARCH

Notre Dame Cathedral: "Our Lady of Paris"

The Notre Dame cathedral is the most popular monument in Paris and in all of France, overreaching even the Eiffel Tower with 10s of million visitors each year. But the famous cathedral is also an active Catholic church, a place of pilgrimage, and the central point for Catholicism in France - religious events and festivals still take place here.

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL: “OUR LADY OF PARIS”

Notre Dame Cathedral - Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, "Our Lady of Paris" is a beautiful cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris. Its construction begun in about 1163 and mostly completed about 1250; Notre Dame is an important instance of French Gothic architecture, sculpture and stained glass.

Image Source

The Notre Dame cathedral is the most popular monument in Paris and in all of France, overreaching even the Eiffel Tower with 10s of million visitors each year. But the famous cathedral is also an active Catholic church, a place of pilgrimage, and the central point for Catholicism in France - religious events and festivals still take place here.

Image Source 

The Notre Dame de Paris stands on the location of Paris' first Christian church, Saint Etienne basilica, which was built on the site of a Roman temple to Jupiter.

Notre-Dame's first version was a "magnificent church" built by Childebert I, the king of the Franks at the time, in about 528, and was already the cathedral of the city of Paris in the 10th century. However, in 1160, having become the "parish church of the kings of Europe," Bishop Maurice de Sully viewed as the building unworthy of its proud role, and had it demolished.

Image Source

Building on the current cathedral began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, and opinion differs as to whether Bishop Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone of the cathedral.

Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began in around 1200 before the nave had been completed. Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers.

Image Source

Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers. The towers were finished around 1245 and the cathedral was finally completed around 1345.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

In 1793, the cathedral came down victim to the French Revolution. Many sculptures and treasures were destroyed and plundered; the cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reason and then to the Cult of the Supreme Being. Lady Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars. The cathedral also came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food.

Image Source

Napoleon Bonaparte, who had declared the Empire on May 28, 1804, was crowned Emperor at Notre-Dame on December 2, 1804.

A restoration program was pioneered in 1845, overseen by architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. The restoration lasted about 23 years, and included the construction of a spire.

Image Source

In 1871, a civil uprising leading to the establishment of the short-lived Paris Commune nearly set fire to the cathedral, and some records show that a mount of chairs within the cathedral were set alight. In 1905, the law of separation of Church and State was passed; as all cathedrals, Notre-Dame remains a state property, but its use is granted to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Te Deum (A song of the church) Mass took place in the cathedral to celebrate the liberation of Paris in August 26, 1944. The Requiem Mass of General Charles de Gaulle took place in the cathedral on November 12, 1970.

Image Source

In 1991, a major restoration program was undertaken. It was expected to last about 10 years but continued well and good into the 21st century - the cleaning and restoration of the old sculptures was an extremely delicate job. But now the scaffolding is down and the result is spectacular: the stone architecture and sculptures gleam in their original honey-toned color instead of industrial black.

Image Source

 

Reference:

Cathedral for Art and History - official website

http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/-English

http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Notre_Dame_Cathedral.html

http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/paris-notre-dame-cathedral

Image Source - Notre Dame Photo Gallery

Image Source – Google Image

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
experts
in Religion & Spirituality on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Religion & Spirituality?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (11)

Excellent presentation on an impressive Gothic Cathedral. Thanks for the well written article.

This is very well put together.

All these travel sites are making me itchy for a holiday. tonight I shall win the lottery.

Just one thing is missing Ron from the beautiful article...mention of the most famous novel of Victor Hugo - "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"(1831), where the cathedral became even more famous world-wide to more contemporary audiences...great article.

Thanks everyone and thanks for the insight Beverly, appreciated.

Brilliant researched article with some wonderful pictures. Paris has it all doesn't it? History, architecture, great food....

This is an outstanding piece of work.

I could hardly contain my excitement while I was reading your great article.I have been hoping you'd do a write up on this and my wish came true. When I was in Paris, I was just overcome with the beauty of this place. voted up

Thanks everyone.

Great article !

Thanks Kiran.

ARTICLE DETAILS
RELATED ARTICLES
ARTICLE KEYWORDS