Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
When was the Notre Dame cathedral built?
The Notre Dame Cathedral was built during two centuries, between 1163 and 1345. It is one of the oldest buildings having Gothic architecture in France. Notre Dame is still a functioning Catholic church and is visited by millions of visitors every year.
The architecture of Notre Dame
This ancient church is almost 400 feet long and 140 feet wide. The famous twin towers in the front have almost 387 steps to the top! Most of the building has been built of stone but Notre Dame is sometimes known as ‘The Forest’ because almost 1300 trees were also used in its construction. The roof is made from 1000 lead tiles. In French, the Notre Dame Cathedral is called Notre-Dame de Paris which means ‘Our lady of Paris’. The interiors of the Cathedral are breathtaking. The stained glass windows are beautiful and almost all of them date back to the 13th century. The two rose windows are among the biggest in Europe. The bronze plate in the portico before the cathedral is the origin of all road distances in France calculated from Paris. The South Tower of Notre Dame has the largest bell known as the Emmanuel Bell and it weighs 13 tons. Notre Dame also has one of the most revered of religious artefacts- the crown of thorns. Many statues can be seen on the outside walls of Notre Dame.
Why is the Cathedral of Notre Dame so famous?
The Notre Dame Cathedral is so famous that it beats the number of visitors visiting the Eiffel tower in Paris. One of the most well read books in the world- Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame was set mostly in the Cathedral. It was written to increase the appreciation for the building.