I posted about the history and architecture of Notre Dame. It is part of Paris‘ cultural and religious lifeblood. It’s huge, historic, and imposing. I was surprised to find pockets of warmth, small details and intimacy when we visited during a mass.
Notre Dame is a huge Gothic masterpiece. Built in the middle ages (construction started in 1163), it has seen a lot. It survived the French Revolution, allegedly housed the Crown of Thorns, saw many coronations including Napoleons and inspired Victor Hugo‘s story of a hunchbacked bell-ringer (Quasimodo), The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Construction began in 12th century. Two centuries passed before it was competed in 1345, spanning almost the entire Gothic period. At the time, it was an engineering feat; it was one of the world’s first buildings to use “flying buttress” (the support arches attached to the exterior at the garden end of the cathedral that help support the weight of the enormous roof).
The church is known for its size. It is massive and can hold 6000. It is also known for its large stained glass rose window. Like an idiot, I used to look for pink in rose windows. It was awhile before I learned that rose window is a generic term applied to the large circular windows, particularly those found in Gothic churches. They are divided into segments by stone mullions and tracery, the color pink is in no way a prerequisite. Go figure.
I was especially smitten with the hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of humorous gargoyles. The rooftop has amazing views of the city, but we were with older family who couldn’t make the trip up the stairs. Please feel free to comment and tell us what we missed.