Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Paris / Île-de-France, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  18 minutes

Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com - Bertrand/cc-by-2.0

Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com – Bertrand/cc-by-2.0

(latest update: 25 January 2024) Notre-Dame de Paris (French for “Our Lady of Paris”), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. The cathedral is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Banks of the Seine and is one of the most visited attractions in Europe. Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831, of Victor Hugo‘s novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who added the cathedral’s iconic spire (the rooster at the summit of the spire contained three relics: a tiny piece of the Crown of Thorns, located in the treasury of the Cathedral; and relics of Denis and Saint Genevieve, patron saints of Paris). While undergoing renovation and restoration, the cathedral caught fire on 15 April 2019 and sustained significant damage, including the destruction of the spire and two-thirds of the roof. First investigations showed that there was no structural damage and that the destruction was confined to the spire and the wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling. President Emmanuel Macron vowed that Notre-Dame would be rebuilt, which will lead to at least a decade of reconstruction work, while renovation works on old structures are generally never really completed.

As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame is the parish that contains the cathedra, or official chair, of the archbishop of Paris. The cathedral treasury is notable for its reliquary which houses some of Catholicism’s most important first-class relics including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.

In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991.

Notre-Dame de Paris © Uoaei1/cc-by-sa-4.0 Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com - Bertrand/cc-by-2.0 Interior © Ciptur/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Wowo2008/cc-by-sa-3.0 Interior © Kurt Muehmel/cc-by-2.5 Kilomètre zéro stone © Michael Reeve/cc-by-sa-3.0 November 2019 © Qwertzu111111/cc-by-sa-4.0 15 April 2019 © Marind/cc-by-sa-4.0 15 April 2019 © LeLaisserPasserA38/cc-by-sa-4.0 15 April 2019 © GodefroyParis/cc-by-sa-4.0 15 April 2019 © Wandrille de Préville/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Marind/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Baidax/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Baidax/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com - Bertrand/cc-by-2.0
Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction began, the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral’s architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.

Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed for water run-off, and chimeras. The statues were originally colored as was most of the exterior. The paint has worn off, but the grey stone was once covered with vivid colors. The cathedral was essentially complete by 1345. The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps at the top of several spiral staircases; along the climb it is possible to view its most famous bell and its gargoyles in close quarters, as well as having a spectacular view across Paris when reaching the top. The design of St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Adelaide, Australia was inspired by Notre-Dame de Paris.

France’ “kilometer zero”, the reference point for distances, e.g. for motorways and highways leading to Paris, is located on the square in front of Notre Dame de Paris.

Read more on Notre Dame de Paris, 2019 Notre-Dame de Paris fire, Restoring Notre Dame, Times of Israel, 15 April 2019: President Rivlin offers solidarity with France as Notre Dame burns, France24, 16 April 2019: Live: France mourns, contemplates extent of damage to iconic Notre-Dame, France24, 16 April 2019: France’s richest families donate over €600mn to restore Notre-Dame, so far, France24, 16 April 2019: World ‘watches and weeps’ as Notre-Dame burns, The Guardian, 16 April 2019: Notre Dame was ‘15 to 30 minutes’ away from complete destruction, FranceInfo, 16 April 2019: Notre-Dame de Paris fire in pictures, The Guardian, 16 April 2019: Notre Dame Cathedral fire – a visual guide and timeline, The Guardian, 16 April 2019: Notre Dame and the culture it inspired – from Matisse to the Muppets, The New York Times, 16 April 2019: Notre-Dame Found Structurally Sound After Fire, as Investigation Begins, BBC, 16 April 2019: Notre-Dame: Massive fire ravages Paris cathedral, CNN, 16 April 2019: Devastating Notre Dame blaze was ‘likely accidental’, Politico.eu, 16 April 2019: Notre Dame fire ‘fully extinguished’ as fundraising starts, China Daily, 16 April 2019: Xi sends condolences to French president over Notre Dame fire, Vatican News, 16 Apri l2019: Notre Dame fire: Pope joins Paris in sorrow, Vatican offers technical expertise, France24, 16 April 2019: ‘It’s a funeral’: Tears, prayers and shock as Paris mourns Notre-Dame, Times of Israel, 16 April 2019: Revered as kings, reviled as beggars: Notre Dame’s Jewish connection, France24, 17 April 2019: France launches global contest to rebuild Notre-Dame spire, The Guardian, 17 April 2019: France announces contest to redesign Notre Dame spire, The Guardian, 17 April 2019: Notre Dame has always been a work in progress – let’s embrace its restoration, The New York Times, 17 April 2019: France Focuses on Rebuilding Notre-Dame, as Donations Pour In, The Washington Post, 17 April 2019: France begins debate over how to rebuild Notre Dame, starting with a contest to design the spire, Jerusalem Post, 17 April 2019: ‘The soul of France is burning’. French Jews shocked by Notre Dame blaze, Haaretz, 17 April 2019: Notre Dame Fire May Be Divine Punishment, Says Prominent Settler Rabbi, France24, 18 April 2019: Response of Notre-Dame firefighters was ‘exemplary’ as the whole world watched, says Macron, France24, 17 April 2019: Can Notre-Dame be restored in just five years?, Times of Israel, 17 April 2019: Radical rabbi says Notre Dame fire retribution for 13th-century Talmud burning, The Guardian, 18 April 2019: Parisians and President Macron salute the city’s firefighters, France24, 29 April 2019: Experts warn Macron against rushing to rebuild Notre-Dame, France24, 15 June 2019: Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral to hold first mass since devastating fire, The New York Times, 16 July 2019: Notre-Dame Came Far Closer to Collapsing Than Anybody Knew, Time.com, 25 July 2019: Inside the Fight Over How Notre Dame Should Rise From the Ashes, France24, 14 November 2019: French general’s ‘shut your mouth’ slam at Notre-Dame architect bares tensions, BBC, 14 November 2019: Notre Dame: General says architect should ‘shut his mouth’, The Guardian, 14 November 2019: Notre Dame fire: row as general tells architect to ‘shut his mouth’, France24, 22 December 2019: No Christmas Mass at Notre-Dame for the first time in two centuries, BBC, 22 December 2019: Notre-Dame Cathedral to miss first Christmas Mass in two centuries, CNN, 22 December 2019: No Christmas service at Notre Dame for first time in 200 years, CNBC, 27 February 2020: Experts toil in dangerous conditions to restore fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral nearly a year after inferno, NPR, 9 April 2020: Nearing Anniversary Of Devastating Fire, Notre Dame To Host A Good Friday Service, BBC, 10 March 2020: Paris cathedral restoration work continues, France24, 10 April 2020: Paris’s Notre-Dame celebrates Good Friday with small ceremony, reflecting observances worldwide, DW, 26 March 2020: Rebuilding Notre Dame, France24, 15 April 2020: A year after the Notre-Dame fire, restoration is suspended amid Covid-19 lockdown, The New York Times, 15 April 2020: Marking Notre-Dame Fire in a Locked-Down Paris, Irish Times, 15 April 2020: France sees Notre-Dame fire as a parable for Covid-19 pandemic, France24, 15 April 2020: Notre-Dame Cathedral: can it be renovated on time despite of the Covid-19 pandemic?, BBC, 15 April 2020: Notre Dame fire: Fragile old lady of Paris waits for rescue, France24, 15 April 2020: ‘The Soul of France’: New book revisits the embers of Notre-Dame, one year on, France24, 23 April 2020: Renovation of France’s Notre-Dame set to resume, France24, 27 April 2020: Builders back at Paris’s Notre-Dame after Covid-19 shutdown, Reuters, 8 June 2020: Workers start to remove charred scaffolding around Notre-Dame Cathedral, France24, 8 May 2020: Delicate work of dismantling Notre-Dame’s charred scaffolding begins, France24, 9 July 2020: ‘Consensus’ that Notre-Dame spire should be rebuilt in original form, BBC, 9 July 2020: Cathedral’s spire will be restored to 19th Century design, The Guardian, 9 July 2020: Notre Dame spire must be rebuilt exactly as it was, says chief architect, The Washington Post, 9 July 2020: Notre Dame to be rebuilt as it was before the fire, French government says, The Guardian, 9 July 2020: Notre Dame spire must be rebuilt exactly as it was, says chief architect, Arab News, 10 July 2020: France’s Notre Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt without modern touches, Al Arabiya, 11 July 2020: No modern twists as France decides to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral as before, France24, 3 August 2020: Spared from fire, Notre-Dame’s organ set for lengthy restoration, France24, 7 September 2020: Notre-Dame crypt reopens with exhibition 18 months after blaze, France24, 26 November 2020: In pictures: Notre-Dame Cathedral rebuild hits milestone as melted scaffolding cleared, Arab News, 30 November 2020: Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert, The National, 1 December 2020: Notre-Dame to hold first choir concert on Christmas Eve since devastating blaze, BBC, 25 December 2020: Choir sings inside cathedral for first time since fire, The Guardian, 16 February 2021: France on hunt for centuries-old oaks to rebuild spire, France24, 11 April 2021: Restoring Notre-Dame Cathedral: Specialists tackle famous stained-glass windows, Architectural Digest, 13 April 2021: Two Years Later, Here’s the Latest With Notre-Dame’s Restoration, The Times, 14 April 2021: Notre Dame cathedral to reopen in 2024, but without a roof, France24, 15 April 2021: Two years after blaze, Notre-Dame awaits resurrection as deadline looms, The Guardian, 15 April 2021: Notre Dame repair is metaphor for France pulling together, says Macron, France24, 15 April 2021: ‘Bravo,’ Macron tells workers on Notre-Dame rooftop, two years after blaze, France24, 15 April 2021: Rising from the flames: Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, two years on, France24, 18 May 2021: Notre-Dame Cathedral’s square closed after tests again reveal presence of toxic lead, France24, 6 July 2021: Legal complaint filed over lead pollution from Notre-Dame Cathedral fire, The Guardian, 6 July 2021: Notre Dame: French authorities accused of ‘grave negligence’ over lead dust, BBC, 6 July 2021: Notre-Dame fire lead pollution endangered life, lawsuit claims, The Times, 7 July 2021: Toxic lead levels after Notre-Dame fire ‘were covered up’ in rush to rebuild the cathedral, France24, 18 September 2021: Notre-Dame Cathedral ready for restoration after post-fire safety work completed, The Hill, 18 September 2021: Structure of Notre Dame Cathedral secured, ready for restoration, The Guardian, 18 September 2021: Notre Dame restoration ready to start as safety work completed, DW, 18 September 2021: France’s Notre Dame cathedral restoration finally ready to start, The Telegraph, 26 November 2021: Exclusive: Notre-Dame interior faces woke ‘Disney’ revamp, Washington Post, 8 December 2021: Sorry, Internet: Notre Dame is not being ‘wreckovated’, France24, 10 December 2021: France approves controversial Notre-Dame redesign, The New York Times, 10 December 2021: Modernization of Notre-Dame Interior Gets Green Light, Le Monde, 24 December 2022: Notre-Dame reconstruction: Cathedral freed from ‘fog’, but not friction, The Guardian, 1 January 2022: Notre Dame: Disneyfied? Unlikely, but the devil will be in the detail, New York Post, 18 January 2022: Going medieval: The surprising secrets of Notre Dame’s epic restoration, Forbes, 18 January 2023: 15 Tons Of Stone Delivered To Rebuild Notre Dame Vaulted Ceilings, France24, 15 March 2022: Ancient tombs discovered at Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral as restoration continues, ABC News, 16 March 2022: Notre Dame cathedral reconstruction in Paris leads to discovery of ancient sarcophagus, DW, 4 April 2022: Restoration of Notre-Dame remains a challenge, The Guardian, 14 April 2022: ‘Extraordinary’: ancient tombs and statues unearthed beneath cathedral, France24, 15 April 2022: In pictures: Notre-Dame Cathedral three years after the fire, DW, 15 April 2022: Three years after fire, a race against time to restore Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, France24, 15 April 2022: Three years after fire, a race against time to restore Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, DW, 15 April 2022: Restoration of Notre Dame remains a challenge , Reuters, 15 April 2022: Catholics mark Good Friday outside Notre-Dame three years after fire, DW, 15 April 2022: In pictures: Notre-Dame Cathedral three years after the fire, NPR, 16 April 2022: Archeologists discover historical artifacts during Notre Dame Cathedral restoration, The Times, 16 April 2022: Notre Dame hosts Easter prayers three years after fire, France24, 28 July 2022: Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral on course to reopen in 2024, BBC, 28 July 2022: Notre-Dame Cathedral on track to reopen in 2024, The Guardian, 9 December 2022: Notre Dame: Uncovered tombs start to reveal their secrets, Le Monde, 16 March 2023: Notre-Dame Cathedral, the pioneer of the ‘iron ladies’, France24, 13 April 2023: Four years after fire, Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral set to rise again, France24, 14 April 2023: Macron visits Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral to mark fire anniversary, Le Monde, 15 April 2023: Notre-Dame’s restoration: ‘We are rebuilding a 21st-century cathedral’, DW, 15 April 2023: Notre Dame: State of the restoration 4 years since the fire, The Times, 24 April 2023: Notre Dame rebuilding ‘should be halted over dangerous lead levels’, Forbes, 28 April 2023: New Spire To Be Placed On Paris’ Notre Dame By End Of 2023, France24, 3 May 2023: Notre-Dame Cathedral to regain spire this year, reopen by end of 2024, NPR, 5 May 2023: An exact replica of Notre Dame cathedral’s spire will be rebuilt starting this summer, TheMayor.eu, 28 May 2023: The reconstruction of the Parisian Notre Dame Cathedral spire has begun, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2023: Notre Dame cathedral’s iconic spire fell in flames. Now it is set to rise again, NPR, 11 June 2023: To rebuild Notre Dame’s fire-ravaged roof, carpenters use centuries-old techniques, Le Monde, 19 August 2023: French General Georgelin, in charge of Notre Dame reconstruction, dies hiking in the Pyrénées, France24, 19 August 2023: French general in charge of Notre-Dame reconstruction found dead in Pyrenees, CNN, 19 August 2023: General in charge of Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral reconstruction dies, CBS News, 27 August 2023: Notre Dame reconstruction continues four years after massive fire tore through French cathedral, Le Monde, 14 September 2023: New chief in charge of Notre-Dame rebuild says spire will rise over Paris Olympics,0 DW, 14 September 2023: Notre-Dame rebuild chief says spire will be back in place before Paris Olympics, NPR, 6 November 2023: How restorers are making the Notre Dame Cathedral sound the same after restoration, France24, 27 November 2023: Outline of new Notre-Dame spire adds sparkle to Paris skyline, Reuters, 8 December 2023: From top of Paris Notre-Dame spire, Macron pledges reopening in a year, Euronews, 8 December 2023: Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral to reopen to the public in 2024 after devastating fire, France24, 8 December 2023: Macron marks one-year countdown to reopening with visit to Notre-Dame, DW, 17 December 2023: Notre Dame gets new golden rooster in pivotal moment, The Economist, 25 January 2024: Against the odds, Notre Dame cathedral will reopen this year, viewsurf.com – Webcam Notre-Dame de Paris and Wikipedia Notre Dame de Paris (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). 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