The beauty of the French Capital is something that no one can resist. Without any doubts, exploring Paris city will give a visual treat to the eyes of every architecture junkie and art lover out there. One of the popular examples of architectural wonders in Paris is the Eiffel Tower. In fact, you can hardly find a tourist who wraps up their Paris city tour without enjoying the splendor of this metallic beauty. Another captivating option in the city that will be a great choice for all the tourists out there irrespective of their areas of interest is the Notre Dame Cathedral.
This ancient Cathedral was constructed during the 12th and 14th centuries. It will walk you through the rich French history. Plus, the inimitable construction highlights the prominence of the city as the spiritual and economic center during the 12th century. It also highlights the impact of the French Revolution and its connection with the monarchy. Do you know that this connection almost resulted in the demolition of this impeccable beauty? Apart from this, a fire broke out at the gothic Cathedral recently and engulfed most of its roof and the iconic spire, which got collapsed. The actual reason behind the fire break out is not yet discovered. It is assumed to be because of the on-going renovation works at the Cathedral.
Anyhow, Notre Dame Cathedral is currently one of the hottest tourist destinations in the capital city of France where more than thousands of tourists tend to visit every day. Needless to mention, every nook and cranny of this amazing Cathedral constitutes a picture perfect frame and hence, will give you some travel photography goals. So, if you are also a huge admirer of ancient architectures and styles, venturing this ravishing beauty on your city tours will be just perfect. Additionally, knowing some interesting facts about this gothic cathedral will add to your overall experience for sure. Some of those interesting facts about Notre Dame Cathedral are given below.
A City Lies below the Gothic Cathedral
Notre Dame de Paris now stands on the Ile-de-la-Cite. Note that this was a former Gallo-Roman city named Lutetia. It is said that the Notre Dame Cathedral was built over the remnants of an ancient temple. In fact, the pieces of a sculpted altar, which is dedicated to several deities including Jupiter, was discovered at this place during an excavation in the 17th century. However, this does not necessarily point to the existence of an ancient temple since the chances for the pieces to get recycled here from another location cannot be ruled out. During another excavation that took place in the 19th century, many other remnants that dated back to ancient eras have been discovered. All these ancient remnants are now kept at the archeological crypt that is located beneath the square right in front of the Cathedral.
You Can See Some Recycled Architecture on the Facade of Notre Dame
At the western entrance to the Notre Dame Cathedral, you can see three portals. Each of these is laden with sacred scenes and sculpted saints. However, you can instantly figure out that the sculpture of Portal Sainte Anne stands out from the rest of the crowd. This portal features an ancient style when compared to other sculptures. The highlight of this sculpture is the central Virgin Mary and the child that boast less natural features and a stiffer pose when compared to others. It is to be noted that this statue was actually recycled from an ancient Romanesque church and was later fitted to this gothic structure. Hence, it shows off a notable difference.
The Popular Flying Buttresses of Notre Dame Became Gothic Trendsetters
Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the ancient gothic structures that were constructed featuring exterior flying buttresses. Many factors contributed to the construction of these buttresses such as to add support to the thin walls of the church, to provide necessary lighting inside the extraordinarily taller church, etc. However, these exposed flying buttresses became an icon of sacred construction after Notre Dame. However, it is still not clear whether or not the Notre Dame Cathedral is the first gothic church to feature exposed flying buttresses. So, never forget to click some stunning photographs keeping these flying buttresses in the frame.
The Twin Towers
Another major highlight in the construction of Notre Dame Cathedral is its towers. Unlike most people thinks, these towers are not alike. In fact, the northern tower is a bit bigger than the southern one. This is because both these towers are constructed at a different time under different monarchs. However, they culminate beautifully to a charismatic structure at the end. Besides, not all the sculptures and statues in the cathedral are medieval. Rather, there are some modern additions as well. At least, some people would have noticed that certain statues in the cathedral were not seen here until the 19th century. One of the most notable options is the chimera or the carved monsters that do not act as waterspouts. These structures are situated at the top of the cathedral.