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A report on the notre dame cathedral

The basilica was about forty meters west of the current cathedral, and was wider and lower, and roughly half its size. In this context, Maurice de Sullywho had been elevated Bishop in 1160, had the old basilica torn down to its foundations, and began to build a larger and taller cathedral.

The design followed the traditional plan, with the ambulatory and choir, where the altar was located, to the east, and the entrance, facing the setting sun, to the west. By long tradition, the choir, where the altar was located, was constructed first, so that the church could be consecrated and used long before it was completed. The original plan was for a long nave, four levels high, with no transept.

The flying buttress was not yet in use, so the walls were thick and reinforced by solid stone abutments placed against them on the outside, and later by chapels placed between the abutments. The roof of the nave was constructed with a new technology, the rib vaultwhich had earlier been used in the Basilica of Saint Denis.

The roof of the nave was supported by crossed ribs which divided each vault into six compartments.

Notre-Dame Is in Desperate Need of Repairs

The pointed arches were stronger than the earlier Romanesque archesand carried the weight of the roof outwards and downwards to rows of pillars, and out to the abutments against the walls. Construction of the choir took from 1163 until around 1177. The High Altar was consecrated in 1182. Between 1182 and 1190 the first three traverses of the nave were built up to the level of tribunes.

Beginning in 1190, the bases of the facade were put in place, and the first traverses were completed. The use of simpler four-part rather than six-part rib vaults meant that the roofs were stronger and could be higher.

Notre-Dame de Paris, France

After Bishop Maurice de Sully's death in 1196, his successor, Eudes de Sully unrelated to the previous Bishop oversaw the completion of the transeptsa report on the notre dame cathedral continued work on the navewhich was nearing completion at the time of his own death in 1208.

By this time, the western facade was already largely built, though it was not completed until around the mid-1240s. Between 1225 and 1250 the upper gallery of the nave was constructed, along with the two towers on the west facade. Shortly afterwards from 1258 Pierre de Montreuil executed a similar scheme on the southern transept. Both these transept portals were richly embellished with sculpture; the south portal features scenes from the lives of St Stephen and of various local saints, while the north portal featured the infancy of Christ and the story of Theophilus in the tympanum, with a highly influential statue of the Virgin and Child in the trumeau.

Before the buttresses, all of the weight of the roof pressed outward and down to the walls, and the abutments supporting them. With the flying buttress, the weight was carried by the ribs of the vault entirely outside the structure to a series of counter-supports, which were topped with stone pinnacles which gave them greater weight.

The buttresses meant that the walls could be higher and thinner, and could have much larger windows. The date of the first buttresses is not known with any precision; they were installed some time in the 13th century. The first buttresses were replaced by larger and stronger ones in the 14th century; these had a reach of fifteen meters between the walls and counter-supports. Nave vaults nearing completion. Early six-part rib vaults of the nave.

The ribs transferred the thrust of the weight of the roof downward and outwards to the pillars and the supporting buttresses. The massive buttresses which counter the outward thrust from the rib vaults of the nave.

Later flying buttresses of the apse of Notre-Dame 14th century reached 15 meters from the wall to the counter-supports. Modern history[ edit ] In 1548, rioting Huguenots damaged some of the statues of Notre-Dame, considering them idolatrous. The sanctuary was re-arranged; the choir was largely rebuilt in marble, and many of the stained glass windows from the 12th and 13th century were removed and replaced with white glass windows, to bring more light into the church.

A colossal statue of St Christopher, standing against a pillar near the western entrance and dating from 1413, was destroyed in 1786. The spire, which had been damaged by the wind, was removed in the second part of the 18th century.

In 1793, during the French Revolutionthe cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reasonand then to the Cult of the Supreme Being. During this time, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered.

The twenty-eight statues of biblical kings located at the west facade, mistaken for statues of French kings, were beheaded. For a time the Goddess of Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars. All of the other large statues on the facade, with the exception of the statue of the Virgin Mary on the portal of the cloister, were destroyed.

It was formally transferred on April 18, 1802. It was the setting of Napoleon's coronation as Emperor on December 2, 1804, and of his marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria in 1810. The cathedral was functioning in the early 19th century, but was half-ruined inside and battered without. In 1844 King Louis Philippe ordered that the church be restored.

They supervised a large team of sculptors, glass makers and other craftsmen who remade, working from drawings or engravings, the original decoration, or, if they did not have a model, adding new elements they felt were in the spirit of the original a report on the notre dame cathedral. The restoration lasted twenty five years. Some of the medieval glass was damaged, and was replaced by glass with modern abstract designs. Another major cleaning and restoration program was commenced in 1991.

Towers and the Spire[ edit ] Towers on west facade. The north tower left is slightly larger. Spire of the Cathedral, originally in place 13th-18th century, recreated in the 19th century. Spire viewed from above Statue of Thomas the Apostlewith the features of restorer Viollet-le-Duc, at the base of the spire The two towers are sixty-nine meters high, and were the tallest structures in Paris until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

The towers were the last major element of the Cathedral to be constructed. The south tower was built first, between 1220 and 1240, and the north tower between 1235 and 1250.

The newer north tower is slightly larger, as can be seen when they viewed from directly in front of the church. The contrefort or buttress of the north tower is also larger. The stairway has 387 steps, and has a stop at the Gothic hall at the level of the rose window, where visitors can look over the parvis and see a collection of paintings and sculpture from earlier periods of the Cathedral's history.

The ten bells of the Cathedral are located in the south tower.

Notre-Dame de Paris

It can be used to quickly extinguish a fire. The original spire was constructed in the 13th century, probably between 1220 and 1230. It was battered, weakened and bent by the wind over five centuries, and finally was removed in 1786.

The entire spire weights 750 tons. Following Viollet-le-Duc's plans, the spire is surrounded by copper statues of the twelve Apostlesin four groups of three, one group at each point of the compass.

Each of the four groups is preceded by an animal symbolizing one of the four evangelists; a steer for Saint Luke; a Lion for Saint Mark, an Eagle for Saint John; and angel for Saint Matthew.

All of the statues are looking at Paris, except one; the statue of Saint Thomas, the patron saint of architects, is looking at the spire, and has the features of Viollet-le-Duc.

The rooster at the summit of the spire contains three relics; a tiny piece of the Crown of Thornslocated in the treasury of the Cathedral; and relics of Denis and Saint Genevievepatron saints of Paris.

They were placed there in 1935 by the Archibishop Verdier, to protect the congregation from lightning or other harm. Iconography - the "poor people's book"[ edit ] Illustration of the Last Judgementcentral portal of west facade The martyr Saint Denisholding his head, over the Portal of the Virgin The serpent tempts Adam and Eve; part of the Last Judgement on the central portal of west facade Archangel Gabriel and Satan weighing souls during the Last Judgement central portal, west facade A stryge on west facade Gargoyles were the rainspouts of the Cathedral Chimera on the facade Allegory of alchemycentral portal The Gothic cathedral was a liber pauperum, a "poor people's book", covered with sculpture vividly illustrating biblical stories, for the vast majority of parishioners who were illiterate.

To add to the effect, all of the sculpture on the facades was originally painted and gilded. The sculpture of the right portal shows the coronation of the Virgin Maryand the left portal shows the lives of saints who were important to Parisians, particularly Saint Annethe mother of the Virgin Mary. These included the gargoylethe chimeraa mythical hybrid creature which usually had the body of a lion and the head of a goat, and the Strix or stryge, a creature resembling an owl or batwhich was said to eat human flesh.

The strix appeared in classical Roman literature; it was described by the Roman poet Ovidwho was widely read in the Middle Ages, as a large-headed bird with transfixed eyes, rapacious beak, and greyish white wings. They a report on the notre dame cathedral the rain spouts of the cathedral, designed to divide the torrent of water which poured from the roof after rain, and to project it outwards as far as possible from the buttresses and the walls and windows where it might erode the mortar binding the stone.

To produce many thin streams rather than a torrent of water, a large number of gargoyles were used, so they were also designed to be a decorative element of the architecture. The rainwater ran from the roof into lead gutters, then down channels a report on the notre dame cathedral the flying buttresses, then along a channel cut in the back of the gargoyle and out of the mouth away from the cathedral.

The central portal of the west facade is decorated with carved figures holding circular plaques with symbols of transformation taken from alchemy. The central pillar of the central door of Notre-Dame features a statue of a woman on a throne holding a scepter in her left hand, and in her right hand, two books, one open symbol of public knowledgeand the other closed esoteric knowledgealong with a ladder with seven steps, symbolizing the seven steps alchemists followed in their scientific quest of trying to transform ordinary metals into gold.

They were replaced with figures in the Gothic style, designed by Eugene Viollet-le-Ducduring the 19th century restoration. Stained glass - rose windows[ edit ] The earliest rose window, on the west facade about 1225 The west Rose window about 1225 North rose window about 1250 South rose window about 1260 The stained glass windows of Notre-Dame, particularly the three rose windowsare among the most famous features of the cathedral.

  1. Having carefully studied the damage, he says the restoration work is urgent.
  2. Eventually, the government standardized the keys and allowed its tenants to climb the hidden stone staircases and access the upper levels.
  3. In this context, Maurice de Sully , who had been elevated Bishop in 1160, had the old basilica torn down to its foundations, and began to build a larger and taller cathedral.

The west rose window, over the portals, was the first and smallest of the roses in Notre-Dame. None of the original glass remains in this window; it was recreated in the 19th century. The north rose was created in about 1250, and the south rose in about 1260. The south rose in the transept is particularly notable for its size and artistry. The inner circle has twelve medallions showing the twelve apostles. During later restorations, some of these original medallions were moved to circles farther out.

The next two circles depict celebrated martyrs and virgins. The fourth circle shows twenty angels, as well as saints important to Paris, notably Saint DenisMargaret the Virgin with a dragon, and Saint Eustace. The third and fourth circles also have some depictions of Old Testament subjects. The third circle has some medallions with scenes from the New Testament Gospel of Matthew which date from the last quarter of the 12th century.

These are the oldest glass in the window. Above the rose is a window depicting Christ triumphant seated in the sky, surrounded by his Apostles. Below are sixteen windows with painted images of Prophets.

In 1543 it was damaged by the settling of the masonry walls, and not restored until 1725-1727. It was seriously damaged in the French Revolution of 1830. Rioters burned the residence of the archbishop, next to the cathedral, and many of the panes were destroyed. The window was entirely rebuilt by Viollet-le-Duc in 1861. He rotated the window by fifteen degrees to give it a clear vertical and horizontal axis, and replaced the destroyed pieces of glass with new glass in the same style.

The window today contains both medieval and 19th century glass. The new windows, made by Jacques Le Chevallierare without human figures and use abstract grisaille designs and color to try to recreate the luminosity in the Cathedral in the 13th century. The main feature still visible is the under-floor heating installed during the Roman occupation.

And although some speakers, by their own free judgment, because [they are] able to see only a few things easily, may say that some other is more beautiful, I believe however, respectfully, that, if they attend more diligently to the whole and the parts, they will quickly retract this a report on the notre dame cathedral.