Results 1-10of 60 Reviews
Birchircara, Malta Majjistral, Malta
April 26, 2012
From journal Get a breath of air in Paris
CA1 1LA, England, United Kingdom
January 5, 2011
From journal The most beautiful city in the world
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
October 26, 2010
From journal A touch of Paris
May 4, 2008
From journal Paris, S'il Vous Plait
July 20, 2007
From journal Vive La Paris
by Joy S
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
September 30, 2006
From journal 4 Nights in Paris
September 5, 2005
The church’s portal would originally have had colourful statues to encourage the masses to learn about bible stories from these amazingly detailed sculptures. Today, they are a fascinating insight into medieval life, and I’ll guarantee that you’ll want to spend time examining them. The oldest statues, carved around 1170, can be found in the right hand side doorway (centre top) and depict Mary and baby Jesus surrounded by a couple of angels and the kneeling form of Louis VII.
The cathedral is just huge and is amazingly well lit by natural light cascading through its windows. I was told that it can host a congregation of around 9,000 people and that’s really hard to comprehend. Indeed, in it’s early life the masses would have piled in and stood or sat on the floor. So originally it’s likely to have taken far more people for a service - that really emphasises the power of the priesthood in medieval days!
The Rose windows are spectacular and subtly bathe the Cathedral in a multitude of colours. The rest of the glass is not original glass as it was all replaced in the 1700’s with a simple fleur-de-lys, again in the 1800s. Its present glass was manufactured "the medieval way", and so Notre Dame is beginning to return to its earliest form.
The nave is surrounded by small chapels built between the buttresses as a responses to the high demand of the rich guilds in the 13th and 14th Centuries who were more than happy to contribute to the fabric of the building if they received due recognition. Chapels are always fascinating places rich in tapestry, sculpture and religious icon – these are no exception to that rule.
Some of the best views of the Cathedral’s exterior can be seen by taking a Bateau Mouche (the Parisien water taxi). From the Seine, you virtually encircle the great building and are ideally placed for some unique views and some great silhouettes of the terrific towers. I’d certainly recommend that you take in a tour of the area at night and enjoy the street life and cafés that create that typically Parisien feel to the bustling area that is known as the Cité.
From journal Picturesque Paris
by Smitha Guru
November 3, 2004
From journal Paris Sojourn
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
November 16, 2004
From the main entrance, turn right toward the double-sided aisle and gaze upon Le Brun’s "May" paintings, which hang in the side chapels; these religious paintings were presented by Paris guilds, one a year to the cathedral, on each May Day in the 17th and 18th centuries.
►Continue toward the transept and arrive at the South Rose Window, which retains much of its original 13th-century stained glass. It depicts Christ in the centre, surrounded by virgins, saints, and the 12 apostles.
►Head to the middle and discover, against the southeast pillar of the transept, a 14th-century statue of the Virgin and Child. Originally from the chapel of St. Aignan, it is why this cathedral is called Our Lady of Paris.
►Toward the back is a high stone screen, which encloses the chancel and provides canons at prayer with peace and solitude from noisy congregations.
►Next, take a left to the heart of the cathedral, where behind the altar is Nicolas Coustou’s Pietà, also named the Virgin of Compassion, standing on a gilded base sculptured by François Girardon. On the other end is the humbled figure of Louis XIII, on bended knees, bare-headed, presenting his crown to the almighty. Louis XIII, who after many years of marriage was childless, pledged to erect a high altar and redecorate the east chancel to honour the Virgin if an heir was born to him. The future Louis XIV was born in 1638, and it was he who carried out his father’s vows 60 years after his birth. He ordered architect Robert de Cotte to renovate the choir, and Antoine Vassé created a high altar. Six angels of gilded bronze by the pillasters carry the instruments of the Passion.
►The carved woodwork choir stalls detail bas-reliefs on the back of the high stalls, with scenes from the life of the Virgin.
►On the north side of the transept is the 21-meter high, 13th-century stained-glass window depicting the Virgin, encircled by figures from the Old Testament. End your tour by going up the flight of steps of the north tower that leads to sights of the famous gargoyles and magnificent views of Paris.
Open daily between 8am and 7pm. Admission charge applies for going up the towers.
From journal Paris, for All Seasons, All the Year Through
November 15, 2004
Victor Hugo’s novel Notre Dame de Paris, published in 1831, drew the public’s attention to the building’s need of restoration. Restoration work, directed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and Jean-Baptiste Lassus, was completed in 1864. It covered both the external structure and interior decorations. On the exterior, the carvings on the western façade and the southern transept were restored, as were the spire, the gables, and the pinnacles. On the interior, restoration work mainly affected the elevation bays and the structure of the windows.
The west front has three main doors with superb statuary, an openwork gallery, and a central rose window which depicts the Virgin in a medallion of rich reds and blues. The Portal of the Virgin, to the left, depicts the Virgin surrounded by saints and kings and is a fine composition of 13th-century statues. The Kings’ Gallery, to the right, features 28 kings of Judah gazing down on the crowds; it is a horizontal version of the tree of Jesse, which portrayed 28 statues of Christ’s ancestors up until 1793. They were restored in the 19th century. The south tower houses the cathedral’s famous Emmanuel bell, and the legendary Galerie des Chimières (gargoyles) hide behind a large upper gallery between the towers. The latter displays a number of monstrous creatures which reveal Viollet-le-Duc’s inventive imagination. It was rumoured that one of the gargoyles resembled his wife! You can get up close and personal with them by taking 387 steps up the north tower (left of entrance) for a small fee, which goes to the cathedral’s conservation fund.
The spire, designed by Viollet-le-Duc, soars to a height of 90 metres. And Jean Ravy’s spectacular flying buttresses, at the east end of the cathedral, have a span of 15 metres. The south façade’s Rose Window, with its central depiction of Christ, is an impressive 13 metres high. The transept was built at the start of Philippe-Auguste’s reign in the 13th century. The Treasury houses the cathedral’s religious treasures, including ancient manuscripts and reliquaries.