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 Ile de la Cite in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. 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.
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, currently Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois. 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 theTrue 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 Eugene Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845.
A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991. 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 gray 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. NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL HISTORY Notre-dame that means “our lady” is dedicated to Mary, mother of god and is one of the most visited and notable monuments in Europe. There are 37 representations of Mary in the cathedral. The cathedral is about 850 years old and is located on the small island in the middle of Paris surrounded by the Seine called Ile de la Cite.
The construction started with the first stone being laid 1163 by Maurice de sully and king Louis VII encouraged the big project, it was completed 1345, with other words the construction of the cathedral took about 200 years to finish. Notre-dame has had a long and certainty interesting history, at one point 1431 the English king Henry VI was crowned inside the cathedral. Notre-dame has witnessed some great events in French history 80 kings, two emperors, 5 republics and two world wars. Before crusaders went on “holy-wars” the used to pray at the site of the cathedral for Mary to protect them during the war.
Some parts of the Church was destroyed during the 17th century and some parts were found in 1970 in the “latin quarters” almost 200 years later, intact. 1786 geographers decided that all distances in France should be measured from Notre-dame. During the revolution the church was used as an storage for food and stable for horses. During the 17th century the Cathedral was in so bad shape it was nearly demolished, but Napoleon decided to reconstruct and rebuild the Cathedral and was later crowned emperor of France 1804 by pope Pius VII inside the newly rebuilt cathedral with its 8000 pipes of the Cathedrals grand organ.
1831 we met for the first time Quasimodo the fictional person Victor Hugo created and wrote about in his book “the hunchback of Notre-dame”. Which is about the ugly Quasimodo with a hunchback and his impossible love to the beautiful girl Esmeralda. That later became a Disney movie. During 1871 the cathedral almost burnt down by the communards but survived almost unscathed. During the Second World War all of the glass windows were taken out of the cathedral due to the rumors that German soldiers would destroy the newly renovated new glass windows. The reconstruction of Notre-dame took 23 years to finish. One of the windows called the “Rose window” had a special archeological value because it was the biggest window produced in the 13th century. When the Second World War ended General de Gaulle rushed to the cathedral to pray in thanksgiving. 1991 a ten-year program of maintenance and restoration was initiated. DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGES DURING THE 200 YEARS Maurice de Sully was bishop of Paris from 1160 to 1196. He provided to rebuild a cathedral church dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Notre-Dame) and making it a bishop’s church, a canon church and a baptistery.
Notre-Dame’s first stone was laid in 1163 in the asset of Pope Alexander III. The new building was included the new art movement as the gothic style. The first unknown builder began with a double side aisle plan without a salient transept ,a four story construction with tribunes, large, 32. 5 metre sexpartite arches, predominantly horizontal lines, original archwork in the curved part of the deambulatory, alternating strong and weak pillars between the first and second aisles. In 12th– early 13th Century ; The construction was managed by four major builders: 1163-1182 : construction of the choir and its double deambulatory.
The choir’s high altar was given on 19 May 1182 by Henri de Chateau-Marcay, the Papal legat, assisted by the bishop Maurice de Sully. 1182-1190 : construction of the last three bays in the nave, the side aisles and the tribunes. 1190-1225 : edification of the facade courses and the first two bays in the nave, connection of the two bays to the upper facade and the Gallery of Kings. 1225-1250 : upper gallery and two towers on the facade, modification and expansion of the upper windows and fitting out the nave side chapels between the flying buttresses abutments.
In the late 13th – early 14th Century ;The builders were Jean de Chelles, Pierre de Montreuil, Pierre de Chelles, Jean Ravy, Jean le Bouteiller. Transept arms were extended as North counter-brace (Cloister Portal and North Rose Window) and South counter-brace (Saint-Etienne Portal and South Rose Window). Construction of the choir chapels and the apse between the buttresses. Installation of the large flying buttresses in the choir and the 15-metre apse. Erection of the tribune and a historiated stone screen around the choirand the sanctuary.
Changes in the 17th and 18th Centuries; The sanctuary and the choir were renovated by Robert de Cotte . South Rose Window was restorated. The 12th and 13th century stained glass windows with white windows was replacement in the mid-18th century by the Le Vieil brothers. The new sacristy and Central Portal were created by Soufflot. All the major portal statues was destroyed and 28 statues was destroyed from the Gallery of Kings during the Revolution. In the early 19th century; The government of King Louis-Philippe I decided to the restoration of the Paris cathedral and the construction of a sacristy in 1844.
The restoration project was given to Eugene Viollet-le-Duc and Jean-Baptiste Lassus. In 1857, after the death of Lassus, Viollet-le-Duc was the only sole builder. in this period,the Spire was rebuilt. The sculptures were restored by fifteen sculptors. The new sacristy was built. New windows were installed by master glassworkers ( Alfred Gerente, Louis Steinheil, Antoine Husson, Marechal de Metz, Didron the Elder). The central portal was renovated to the pre-Soufflot state. Part of the Treasury and the furniture were reconstituted. Also wall paintings in the side chapels were changed. The great organ was repaired.
Modern Period; There was an intense debate over whether to replace the nave’s 19th century grisaille windows with coloured windows in 1965. In the end, master glassworker Jacques Le Chevallier was selected to make these windows, non-figurative grisailles with splashes of colour. The great organ, which in the 20th century became the world’s most famous, underwent major restoration work done by a group of French organ builders in 1990 to 1992. There is a major cleaning work on the west facade since 2000. The last changes, made in 2004, led by cardinal-archbishop Jean-Marie Lustiger, the passage between the two transepts was consolidated.
STRUCTURE Notre-Dame de Paris’s structure is one of the oldest in Paris, along with Saint-Pierre de Montmartre Like most of French cathedrals, Notre-Dame de Paris is based on the form of a Latin cross. The nave has ten spans, the choir five spans. The axis is slightly deviated to the left (North) with respect to the axis of the nave. The apse is semi-circular in five sections. The nave is flanked by double aisles which are extended by a double ambulatory, all with side chapels (except the first three bays) and radiating (29 in total, with a total of 37 bays quadrangular). The structure of cathedral is obviously Gothic.
It is based on flying buttresses and buttresses. These buttresses were introduced in 1175, to take the vaults of the aisles. 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. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, 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.
The elevation of the cathedral is the same as the first Gothic churches in France. It is based on a three-level floor. First level: Large pointed arches on columns Second level: Tribune communicating with the nave by three arches. Third level: high windows and a circular top Technically, the establishment of warheads required steep roofs, those of Notre-Dame de Paris is 55 °. In addition, the scarcity of large timber, due to land clearing and urban development at that time, made ?? it necessary to use smaller wood and therefore lighter section that allowed the rise of timber and the accentuation of their slope.
In the choir, there is a first frame with timber felled to 1160-1170 (it is estimated that some could have 300-400 years, which brings us to the eighth or ninth centuries! ). The first frame is gone, but the woods were reused in the second frame established in 1220. They are still there today. This wooden structure is based on a roof frame consisting of lead 1326 tables 5 mm thick weighing 210 000 kilograms. The eleventh and twelfth centuries, the roofs of churches flat tiles were covered because of abundant clay deposits. Paris, being away from such deposits, they preferred lead. ANALYSIS FACADE
Elements Gothics The ogival or pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttresses, with these three elements revolutionized medieval Gothic architects construction. The ogival or pointed arch The use of the pointed arch plays a dual role: 1 – built, reducing the lateral thrust allowing the development of lighter and daring constructions, 2 – plastic, because it gives the buildings an aspect of verticality projection upwards.. typical of the Gothic style. Ogival vault The vault by a series of arcs that intersect with structural function is formed Brackets The Struts The pillars Capital
H-facade Facade: The western or main facade has a perfect body balance horizontal and vertical lines. It is organized into three superimposed floors with two square towers at the ends. The horizontality is marked with three superposed: In the upper body an arcade is located, as a clerestory. The central level is occupied by windows and central rosette. The lower level is occupied by the three covers. The verticality is marked by two towers at the ends and finished in terrace. Delimiting the three bodies buttresses supporting the towers are located. First level (3 covers) Door of Santa Ana (South)
A tympanum with a semicircular lintel with a slight pointing is observed. It is chaired by a Madonna with a child in her lap. At the top there are sculptures of angels and vegetable decoration. On either side are two separate censing angels. At the ends of the tympanum we find the figure of a bishop and a scribe and the opposite side a kneeling king. Door Judgement (central) At the top of a Christ with cruciferous nimbus Man appears showing the wounds of the hands. On both sides, two angels carrying the instruments of the Passion, while St. John and the Virgin intercede for mankind.
In the central part is shown, from left to right, the blessed, looking to Christ, the Archangel Michael is weighing souls, with two demons who try to tip the scales in your favor. The convicts, bound by chains, are pushed by two other devils. The lower part shows the Resurrection of the dead to be judged by Christ. Dead out of the graves clothes for identification of their status or occupation, while angels at the ends touch the trumpets heralding the trial will begin. Door of the Virgin (north) At the top of the scene of the Coronation of the Virgin, who is seated next to the Almighty is sculpted.
They are accompanied by angels, two kneeling at the ends, pose motivated by its location, and a third crowning the Virgin. In the center is the scene of the Dormition of the Virgin or death. Mary is lying on his bed, surrounded by the apostles and two angels who start lifting the Assumption. In the lower register, in place of the lintel, is representing the Patriarchs, flanking a canopy under which lies the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Tablets of the Law by which Yahweh established by the Old Law Moses, of great symbolic value. Second level Gallery of kings
About 20 feet above the ground, a gallery with 28 statues rises above the portals. Each statue, 3. 5 meters high, represents the 28 kings of Judea who preceded the coming of Christ. Of the original medieval statues only fragments remain, as during the Revolution were destroyed by believing that represented French kings. Central portal on the large circular rosette, nearly 10 feet in diameter, one of the highlights of the stained glass facade stands. Above the rosette, a row of columns and then the two bell towers complete face west. The rosette is the symbol of Virgin Maria. On either side there are mullioned windows.
Third level The third body is composed of two towers that house the bells. The total height of the towers is 69 meters. At the base of the towers “Gallery of” chimeras “is observed. The origin of the gargoyles back to the Middle Ages and is related to the rise of the bestiaries and the torments of hell Gargoyles meet three basic functions: Drain rooftops. Were used for the drain of the cathedral, giving off water through the holes in the mouth of the sculpture Decorate these drains looking therefore an aesthetic purpose. Scare away witches, demons and other evil spirits. Measures:
In addition to the plant in the form of a cross, the cathedral has a facade of 40 meters wide, a length of 130 meters and a maximum height of 69 meters. Contains 5 ships, 37 chapels, three rosettes with 13. 5 meter diameter each and a total of 113 windows. Made of white granite. DETAILS Organ Though several organs were installed in the cathedral over time, the earliest ones were inadequate for the building. The first noteworthy organ was finished in the 18th century by the noted builder Francois-Henri Clicquot. Some of Clicquot’s original pipework in the pedal division continues to sound from the organ today.
The organ was almost completely rebuilt and expanded in the 19th century by Aristide Cavaille-Coll. The position of titular organist (“head” or “chief” organist) at Notre-Dame is considered one of the most prestigious organist posts in France, along with the post of titular organist of Saint Sulpice in Paris, Cavaille-Coll’s largest instrument. The organ has 7,374 pipes, with ca 900 classified as historical. It has 110 real stops, five 56-key manuals and a 32-key pedalboard. In December 1992, a two-year restoration of the organ was completed that fully computerized the organ under three LANs (Local Area Networks).
The restoration also included a number of additions, notably two further horizontal reed stops en chamade in the Cavaille-Coll style. The Notre-Dame organ is therefore unique in France in having five fully independent reed stops en chamade. Bells The cathedral has 10 bells. The largest, Emmanuel, original to 1681, is located in the south tower and weighs just over 13 tons, and is tolled to mark the hours of the day and for various occasions and services, ringing in a resounding E?. This bell is always rung first, at least 5 seconds before the rest.
Until recently, there were four additional 19th-century bells on wheels in the north tower, which were swing chimed. These bells were meant to replace nine which were removed from the cathedral during the Revolution and were rung for various services and festivals. The bells were once rung by hand before electric motors allowed them to be rung without manual labor. When it was discovered that the size of the bells could cause the entire building to vibrate, threatening its structural integrity, they were taken out of use. The bells also had external hammers for tune playing from a small clavier.
On the night of 24 August 1944, as the Ile de la Cite was taken by an advance column of French and Allied armoured troops and elements of the Resistance, it was the tolling of the Emmanuel that announced to the city that its liberation was under way. In early 2012, as part of a €2 million project, the four old bells in the north tower were deemed unsatisfactory and removed. The plan originally was to melt them down and recast new bells from the material. However, a legal challenge resulted in the bells being saved in extremis at the foundry. As of early 2013, they are still merely set aside until their fate is decided.
A set of 8 new bells was cast by the same foundry in Normandy that had cast the four in 1856. At the same time, a much larger bell called Marie was cast in the Netherlands—it now hangs with Emmanuel in the south tower. The 9 new bells, which were delivered to the cathedral at the same time (31 January 2013), are designed to replicate the quality and tone of the cathedral’s original bells. Gargoyles : Notre Dame’s Gargoyles have been built around 1240. Their main purpose is to regulate and evacuate the rain water far from the walls, to avoid that they get dirty.
They have got the shape of fantastic and monstrous creatures. At the beginning of Notre Dame’s building, there were less gargoyles and their shape was rougher. They also have an esoteric role which can be interpreted in different ways. This role is to keep evil creatures away from the cathedral, and also to remind that the good is inside the building. Another role could be the the purification image they offer by getting rid of soiled water. There are also a lot of Chimeras at the top of the cathedral, which are statues of fantastic creatures.
They only have a decorative purpose and were built much later than gargoyles by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. Inside the cathedral, the nave is surrounded by 14 side chapels built between the flying buttresses of the nave. Theses chapels are highly decorated by the “Mays des Orfevres”. These 76 paintings were offered by the goldsmith friary in the 17th century. The transept which is a transversal nave of the principal one give to the structure the shape of a cross. It also permit to reinforce the structure of the cathedral. In Notre Dame, the transept (14meters) is larger than the nave (12 meters).