Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris is one of the symbols of Paris and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture on a global scale. He is shrouded in centuries-old secrets and legends, survived the devastation and was revived again. Despite the fact that here is the Paris Archdiocese, the religious object itself belongs to state ownership. The Catholic Church is given the right of gratuitous and indefinite use.
The cathedral towers over one of the Seine Islands – Cite, located in the heart of the French capital. Around the religious buildings unfolding major events in many works of art. The most famous is the historical novel of Victor Hugo “Notre Dame de Paris”, published in 1831 and became a world bestseller. Films were made based on his motives, operas were created, ballet and musical were staged. In addition, Notre Dame de Paris is devoted to documentaries, it is to some extent mentioned in feature films and cartoons, songs, catch phrase and even computer games.
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Presumably, a pagan temple was originally located on the site of Notre-Dame de Paris. In the IV century, it was replaced by the early Christian church, built in the image and likeness of the ancient basilicas of Rome and Ravenna. In the VII century a new, more expanded religious structure appeared – the temple of St. Stephen. It was periodically subjected to destruction, but continued to recover until the adoption of the Paris Bishopric of Maurice de Sully in 1160 did not initiate the construction of the grandiose Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris in terms of scale and beauty.
The construction of Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163. The first stone in the foundation of the temple was laid by Pope Alexander III, who was at that time in Paris. The works were carried out in several stages, in total – 182 years. They were completed in 1345, after finishing the entire cathedral.
Chronology of the main events:
1177 – the walls of the choir were erected (the eastern part of the temple between the nave and the apse);
1182 – the consecration of the altar by Cardinal Henri de Marcy, who held the rank of bishop;
1196 – the construction of the central nave was completed;
1200 – the design of the western (main) facade began;
1240 and 1250 – the cathedral towers are completed in turn – first south, and then north;
middle of the XIII – the beginning of the XIV centuries. – the transepts were enlarged, the chapels were equipped, the facades were finished.
During the construction of the cult building, many architects were replaced, which was reflected in the details, the difference in levels and the mixing of styles. The most important craftsmen who left their mark on the creation of the image of Notre-Dame de Paris are the French architects Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil. They led the work in the period 1250–67.
Up to the XVIII century, significant modifications and reconstructions of the building were not carried out.
Great damage to the Cathedral of Notre Dame was caused during the Great French Revolution. And all because of the fact that the Parisians refused to pay bribes for the needs of the implementation of the ideas of the liberation movement in other countries. In 1793, at the personal order of Robespierre, the facade sculptures of the Jewish kings were beheaded, taking them as figures of French monarchs. In addition, unique stained glass windows were damaged and a spire installed in the middle of the 13th century was torn down. The latter was only restored during restoration work in the 1840s.
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On the threshold of the XIX century, Notre Dame de Paris was in a deplorable state. He was returned to the church in 1802, and in 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned and crowned there. However, no one was engaged in the restoration of the cathedral, on the contrary, talks about its demolition began. The situation was saved thanks to V. Hugo, who wrote the novel “Notre Dame de Paris”. The work was released in 1831, and after 10 years began the grand restoration of the temple, which lasted 23 years. At this time, not only the destroyed elements were restored, but also new ones appeared. The most remarkable was the gallery of chimeras, located on the top of the facade. This unusual idea belonged to the French architect Viollet-le-Duc.
During their centuries-old history, the walls of Notre-Dame de Paris saw coronations and denials, weddings and baptisms, memorial services and rehabilitation courts, the transfer of the crown of thorns of Christ to the bosom of the church and humiliating repentance. Moreover, the participants were always the powerful.