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Notre Dame Cathedral (Our Lady)

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL PARIS
Masterpiece of French Gothic Architecture, the cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, conceptualised by Maurice de Sully, was built between the 12th and 14th centuries (1163-1345). Notre Dame, is situated on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France. A must-see for any traveler vacationing in the city of Paris. French road distances are established from the "0 km" point located on the square in front of the cathedral entrance. It is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Notre Dame was restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. Notre Dame translates as "Our Lady". The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is a novel first published on January 14, 1831 by French author Victor Hugo. It is set 1482 in Paris, in and around the Cathedral.

Things Not to miss on Your Tour of Notre Dame

At the front of the cathedral, in the square separating Notre Dame from Haussmann's police Headquarters, is the entrance to the crypt archeologique museum, where can be viewed the remains of the church which predated the cathedral, as well as streets and houses of the Cite dating as far back as the Roman era. Also visit the public garden at the east end for a view of the flying buttresses supporting the choir, and then along the riverside under the south transept, where in springtime you may enjoy the cherry blossoms. If you are physically fit, don't miss climbing the stairs up to the Bell Tower. To make the climb you will need tickets or a Paris Pass. At the top you can view all of Paris perched alongside hideous gargoyles, and can crawl into the amazing Bell Tower. The views alone are amazing, something you will never forget!

History :

In 1160, having become the "parish church of the kings of Europe", Bishop Maurice de Sully deemed the current Parisian cathedral unworthy of its lofty role, and had it demolished shortly after he assumed the title of Bishop of Paris. According to legend, de Sully had a vision of a glorious new cathedral for Paris, and sketched it in the dirt outside of the original church. To begin the construction, the bishop had several houses demolished and had a new road built in order to transport materials for the new church.

Construction began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, and opinion differs as to whether Bishop Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone of the cathedral. However, both were at the ceremony in question. Bishop de Sully went on to devote most of his life and wealth to the cathedral's construction.

Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began circa 1200, before the nave had been completed. Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers. Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers. The towers were completed around 1245, and the cathedral was completed around 1345. During the construction in 1297, King Louis IX was canonized as St. Louis.

Time line of construction:
* 1160 Maurice de Sully (named Bishop of Paris), orders the original cathedral to be demolished.
* 1163 Cornerstone laid for Notre Dame de Paris — construction begins
* 1182 Apse and choir completed.
* 1196 Nave completed. Bishop de Sully dies.
* 1200 Work begins on western facade.
* 1225 Western facade completed.
* 1250 Western towers and north rose window completed
* 1250 – 1345 Remaining elements completed

Alterations, vandalism, and restorations
In 1548, rioting Huguenots damaged features of the cathedral following the Council of Trent. During the reign of Louis XIV and Louis XV, at the end of the 17th century, the cathedral underwent major alterations as part of an ongoing attempt to modernize cathedrals throughout Europe. Tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed.

In 1793 during the French Revolution, the cathedral was turned into a "Temple to Reason" and many of its treasures were destroyed or stolen. Several sculptures were smashed and destroyed, and for a time Lady Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars. The cathedral's great bells managed to avoid being melted down, but the cathedral was used as a warehouse for the storage of food.

In 1802, when Napoleon ruled France that he reintroduced Catholicism with a solemn ceremony in the newly rechristened cathedral. Napoleon proceeded to crown himself Emperor on 2 December 1804 at Notre Dame de Paris. Claims that he seized the crown out of the hands of Pope Pius VII during the ceremony in order to avoid subjecting himself to the authority of the pontiff are apocryphal; in fact, the coronation procedure had been agreed upon in advance. After the Imperial regalia had been blessed by the Pope, Napoleon crowned himself before crowning his wife Josephine as Empress.

A restoration program was initiated in 1845, overseen by architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. The restoration lasted 25 years and included the construction of a flèche (a type of spire) as well as the addition of the chimeras on the Galerie des Chimères. Viollet le Duc always signed his work with a bat, the wing structure of which most resembles the Gothic vault (see Roquetaillade castle).

In 1871, a civil uprising leading to the establishment of the short-lived Paris Commune nearly set fire to the cathedral. In 1939, It was feared that German bombers could destroy the windows and scatter glass fragments all around making the area unsafe. As a result, on September 11, 1939, they were removed. They were restored at the end of the war. In 1991, a major program of maintenance and restoration was initiated, including the cleaning and restoration of old sculptures, an exceedingly delicate matter.

Practical information
CATHEDRAL NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS
6, place du Parvis Notre-Dame 75004
PARIS

Going there
Bus : 21, 24, 27, 38, 47, 85, 96
Metro line 4 : Cité, St-Michel
RER B or C : St-Michel

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01 Paris: Louvre Museum - Notre dame Cathedral - Banks of the River Seine - Chatelet Tower - Place Vendome - Le Palais Royal - Le Louvre - L'orangerie - Pont Neuf - Pont de La Concorde - Le quartier Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois - Pont-Neuf aux Tuileries

02 Paris: Paris Stock Exchange - Textile district - L'Opera Garnier - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - Bourse - La Tour Jean-sans-Peur

03 Paris: Picasso museum - Centre Georges Pompidou - Republique - Conservatoire des Arts et Metier

04 Paris: Old Marais district - Modern Art museum - City Hall - Ile de La Cite; - La place des Vosges - L'Hotel de Ville - Notre Dame de Paris - La Conciergerie - La crypte archeologique - La Maison de Victor Hugo - La Sainte Chapelle - Pont de Sully

05 Paris: Pantheon - Botanical Gardens - Saint-Germain-des-Pres - Notre dame de Paris - Eglise de Saint Germain - Saint Michel - La mosquee de Paris - L'ile de la Cite; - L'Ile Saint-Louis - Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve - La crypte archeologique - La Sainte Chapelle - La Conciergerie - Les Arenes Lutece - Jardin des Plantes - Pont Neuf - Pont d'Austerlitz - Pont de Sully

06 Paris: Saint Germain des Pres - Latin Quarter - Luxembourg Gardens - La Tour Montparnasse - Musee d'Orsay - Palais / Jardin du Luxembourg - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Observatoir de Paris

07 Paris: Eiffel Tower - Marais - Orsay Museum - Invalides (Napoleon's resting place) - Champs de Mars - L'UNESCO - Ecole Militaire - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides - Pont de L'Alma

08 Paris: Champs Elysees - Arc of Triumph - Elysees Palace - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - L'Opera Garnier - Le quartier de la defense - L'eglise Russe - L'orangerie - Place de La Madeleine - Boulevard Haussmann - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides

09 Paris: Opera House - Saint Lazare Train Station La butte Montmartre - Moulin Rouge - Galeries Lafayette - Musee de la Vie Romantique - Le quartier de la Nouvelle Athenes - Gare Saint Lazare

10 Paris: Est Train Station - Nord Train Station - Saint Martin canal - Place de la Republique

11 Paris: Republique Plaza - Leather district - La place des Vosges - Bastille - Cimetiere Pere Lachaise - Boulevard Belleville

12 Paris: New Opera House - Nation Plaza - Vincennes Park - Gare de Lyon - Le Viaduc des Arts - Le Parc de Bercy - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Pont d'Austerlitz

13 Paris: French National Library - Chinatown - Croulebarbe aux Gobelins - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Orly - Le quartier de la Butte-aux-Cailles - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Parc de Montsouris - Observatoire de Paris

14 Paris: Montparnasse Train Station - Observatory - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Parc de Montsouris

15 Paris: Vaugirard Street - Beaugrenelle Antiques Area - La Tour Montparnasse - Paris Expo / Porte de Versailles - Ecole Militaire - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetierre de Grenelle - Cimetiere du Montparnasse

16 Paris: Trocadero Plaza - Boulogne Park - Parc des Princes - Stade Roland Garros - Champs de Mars - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot - Promenade Hector Guimard et l'Art Nouveau - Le quartier de la defense - Auteuil - Musee d'art Moderne - Palais Chaillot - Bois de Boulogne - Pont de L'Alma - Pont de Grenelle - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetiere de Grenelle

17 Paris: Wagram - Ternes - Jacquemin Museum - Le quartier de la Defense - Sacre-Coeur - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot

18 Paris: Montmartre Hill (home of Amelie Poulain) - Church of the Sacred Heart - Moulin Rouge - Stade de France - La Basilique Saint-Denis - Gare du Nord - Roissy Charle de Gaulle

19 Paris: Villette Techno Park - Buttes Chaumont Park - Geode - Zenith - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville

20 Paris: Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Jim Morrison's resting place) - Place de La Nation - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville

92 Paris: Parc des Expositions - Parc de Sceaux - Issy-les-Moulineaux - Roland Garros - La Defense

93 Paris: Eurodisney Park