Notre Dame de Paris

Today, one of the world’s great religious, cultural and historic landmarks was consumed by flames. Today, we have seen a new chapter of history.

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages as well as one of the most beloved structures in the world. 

Notre-Dame de Paris meaning “Our Lady of Paris” also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.   

Building work began on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris  way back in the 12th century,  it was not until some 300 years later construction finally came to an end.  It is now  one of the most prominent cathedrals in France and one of the oldest ones too.

The length of time it took to build is evident through the various styles of architecture that run through the building. Although it is predominantly French Gothic ,there are areas that demonstrate  the Renaissance and the Naturalism era of construction. These varying styles add to the outstanding  yet quirky beauty of the building .

In architecture, a tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, door or window, which is bounded by a lintel and arch. In ancient Greek, Roman and Christian, tympana usually contain religious imagery, when on religious buildings. 

Over its vast history the Cathedral has suffered considerable damage, not least during the French Revolution in 1786. Fortunately it was sympathetically restored and continued to attract attention from around the world. The Cathedral has played host to many religious ceremonies and historical events and despite their own religious beliefs people of all different faiths and nationalities still marvel at it’s unique grandeur.

The Rose Windows are a trio of immense round stained-glass windows over the cathedral’s three main portals that date back to the 13th century.

A major fire erupted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, April 15, 2017. The cathedral, which was undergoing renovations, suffered extensive damage.

The fire began at about 6:30 p.m., and the Paris fire chief, Jean-Claude Gallet, told television interviewers that it had begun in the attic. The cathedral’s rector, Msgr. Patrick Chauvet, said it appeared to have started in an interior network of wooden beams, many dating back to the Middle Ages and nicknamed “the forest.”

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Neil Henderson

The front pages of French newspapers all lead on the story of the blaze on Tuesday. Their headlines range from “Le coeur en cendres” (The heart in ashes, La Croix), to “Notre Drame” (Our drama, Liberation), to Notre Dame des Larmes (Our Lady of Tears, Le Parisien).

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