Notre-Dame de Paris
of work consecrated to the Virgin Mary
by a Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter, a Christian basilica, and
a Romanesque church, the construction of Notre-Dame de Paris
began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII.
to replace the Romanesque church occupying the site - the Cathedral
of St. Etienne (founded by Childebert in 528) - was that of Maurice
de Sully, bishop of Paris (who died in 1196). The Pope Alexander
III laid the foundation stone in 1163. Some accounts claim that
there were two churches existing on the site, one to the Virgin
Mary, the other to St. Stephen. The construction of Notre Dame
was completed 200 years later in 1351.
was completed in 1182; the nave in 1208, and the west front and
towers circa 1225-1250. A series of chapels were added to the
nave during the period 1235-50 and during 1296-1330 to the apse
(Pierre de Chelles and Jean Ravy). The transept crossings were
build in 1250-67 by Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil (also
the architect of the Sainte-Chapelle).
of Louis XIV (end of the 17th century) and Louis XV saw significant
alterations including the destruction of tombs and stained glass.
At the end of the 18th century, during the Revolution, many of
the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered.
Only the great bells avoided being melted down and the Cathedral
was dedicated first to the cult of Reason, and to the cult of
the Supreme being.
the Commune of 1871, the Cathedral was nearly burned by the Communards
- and some accounts suggest that indeed a huge mound of chairs
was set on fire in its interior. Whatever happened, the Notre
Dame survived the Commune essentially unscathed.
view from the side of the Cathedral.
view of the Île de la Cité, where the Cathedral
is located, seen on the right of the picture. Behind it is the
St. Louis Island. Also located on the Île de la Cité
is the Conciergérie, an ancient prison where Marie Antoinette
was imprisoned during the Revolution.
of the left side of the Cathedral, La Rose de L'Ouest (the Rose
Window), dating from 1220.
tower of the Cathedral.
of the Cathedral and the Pietá, by N. Costou. The nave
measures 130 m in its length and 35 m in its height. From the
interior of the Cathedral, it seems that it never ends, so long
and tall it is, really beautiful.
view of the Pietá.
the many gargoyles of the Cathedral (les chimères de Notre
Dame) and the Eiffel Tower seen on the background on the right
side of the picture.