Our Lady of Paris might sound a little dirty, and something you find near Montmartre at nighttime, but it is “Notre-Dame de Paris” translated to english.
This vast and well known cathedral is considered to be one of the most preserved and finest examples og French Gothic architecture, and furthermore one of the largest and well-known churches in the world. Norte-Dame is actually the “office” of the archbishop of Paris, and the cathedrals treasury is notable for its reliquary which houses some of the most important first-class relics of the catholic world.
The buildings symbolic flying buttress was among some of the first in the world. The design to the church didn’t have the buttress at the first design, but during construction, the stress on the walls became a factor, and the external reinforcement for the buttress was added. The exterior of the cathedral has several small statues, working as columns and water spouts.
The entire construction started back in 1163 and was complete by 1345, but we choose to visit it one of the days prior to easter, where some kind of easter-festivas was talking place in the square in front of The Norte Dame. Therefore we was not able to go inside, nor to get some stunning shots of the Cathredral. But we tried our best as you can see here.
During the french revolution, the Notre-Dame suffered desecration when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed, but an extensive restoration began in 1845, and yet a further project of maintenance began in 1991, trying to get the church back in shape. The last restoration was planned to last 10 years, but was still ongoing on 2010 – not the best project planning in the industry.
The cathedral has 20 bells, with the biggest one weighing just over 13 tons. In 2012 a 2 million euro project considering the bells was started. The four old bells in the north tower was to be melted down and replaced, but legal challenges has put this to a hold, and as we know this isn’t settled yet, so the new bells are still waiting to be mounted, as soon as the destiny of the old ones are set.
The Notre-Dame is worth the visit, but hopefully you will have a better chance to take a glance and enjoy this fabulous cathedral a little more than we had. A little tip is that you can find some pretty good pancakes or crepes in the surrounding streets, for a little refueling while on a typical parisian walk-a-ton.