Notre Dame de Paris, Ile de la Cite (1163-1345)
The building that has taken my interest is Notre Dame de Paris, which literally means “Our Lady of Paris” in French. When one thinks of Gothic architecture, majority will think of Notre Dame as it is one the most significant French catholic cathedral that is distinctively Gothic. Because Notre Dame has seen many reconstruction in its days, its early construction in the period 1160s is characterized as Early Gothic and adopt similar pointed arch that transcends from late Romanesque. Notre Dame’s early gothic style then slowly evolved in 13th century when High Gothic began to achieve further light, tall and yet majestic. Clerestory windows had changed from one window holed in a wall, into two windows united by elaborate window tracery and colourful rose window. 1
The architect Bishop Maurice de Sully sees to the construction in 1163 until his passing in 1196. It took 5 other successors, Bishop Eudes-de-Sully and others to complete Notre Dame in its glorious state. Because of this, it has slight stylistic variations and it is not perfectly symmetrical. Between 1210 and 1220, four architects oversaw the construction level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers. The towers were completed in 1245 but overall construction only finished around 1345.2
Notre Dame was under many alterations at the end of 17th century as many tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed. By the end of 18th century, many of cathedral’s treasure were either stolen or destroyed from the war. However, the cathedral’s great bells were still preserved and was used as a warehouse to store food. Victor’s Hugo novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in 1831 has drawn a huge attention to the dilapidated state of the cathedral and probably has instigated the restoration project in 1845.
Notre Dame too was first of its kind to utilize the flying buttress in which to support the thin exterior walls. It is built around...
References: 2. http://www.bonjourlafrance.com/france-tourist-attractions/notre-dame-de-paris.htm
A World of Architecture History, Marian Moffet Micheal Fazio Lawrence Wodehouse, 2003
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