Thursday, April 16, 2015

N = Notre Dame Cathedral, French Faves - A to Z Challenge 2015

Our Lady of Paris
aka Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, by DG Hudson

N = Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame de Paris, one of the finest examples of Gothic cathedrals from the medieval period, is one of the largest and most well known of churches. Flying buttresses were integrated into the design to counter the stress fractures that developed from the weight. It was complete by 1345, replacing the Saint Etienne Basilica, which had replaced a Roman temple to Jupiter on the same site.

There is a narrow climb of 387 steps on spiral staircases, to reach the top. As you ascend, the famous bell and gargoyles can be seen, and once you reach the top, Paris lies at your feet.

During the French Revolution in the 1790s, Notre Dame was desecrated, as were many other buildings. Much of the religious imagery was destroyed. Restoration began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991. Today, it is a beautiful sight, with something different in its architecture on each side. The square in front of the church is welcoming and populated with a mix of people and pigeons. It also includes the entrance to the Crypt Archeologique and the Centre of Paris stone marker (see last image).

Pigeons on the wing. . .

Notre Dame with Pigeons in Flight, by DG Hudson

Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the gargoyles and chimeras, designed for water run-off. 

A Side View of Notre Dame, Paris, by DG Hudson

The cathedral treasury of Notre Dame is notable for housing some of Catholicism's most important relics. (See wiki link below for more detail.) That and the fact of previous churches on this same site must make this sacred / hallowed ground.

Centre of Paris Marker, Notre Dame Square, by DG Hudson


Do you like visiting churches or cathedrals built in olden times? What do you think of the intricate decorations and the gargoyles and chimera? Have you seen a church or cathedral that made an impression upon you?

Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, and if you are part of the A to Z Challenge. I'll be sure to check your blog, and reciprocate. If you're not in the challenge, thanks for stopping by to visit! I try to reply to all comments.


The A to Z Blog Challenge is brainchild of Lee, at Tossing It Out.  Please visit the A to Z blog site to find out more information and the participant list.  There are also Twitter and Facebook presences if you want to check those!



Notre Dame Images, previous A to Z post 2012:

Notre Dame de Paris (re-relics and other details) 

Gargoyles and Chimera at Notre Dame

Definition of Gargoyles and Chimera: animal and human figures, half-man and half-beast, grotesque, horrific, fantastic creatures with eagles’ beaks and wings, lions’ talons, serpents’ tails