Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris (Cathédrale Notre-Dame) is one of the oldest French cathedrals Gothic, was begun in 1136 and completed in 1345. Dedicated to Mary, Mother of Jesus (hence the name Notre Dame, Notre Dame), is situated in the small Isla de la Cité in Paris, France, which is surrounded by the waters of the River Seine.

The plant is marked by Roman cross training in Western-oriented, accentuated longitudinal axis, and is not noticeable from the outside. The cross is "embedded" in the building, surrounded by a double ambulatory, circulating in the choir at the head (east) and extends parallel to the ship, leading thus to four aisles.

The facade has three horizontal levels and is divided into three vertical zones by linking slightly prominent buttresses on the two lower floors verticality and reinforce the peaks of the two towers.

The towers are 69 meters high.
The south tower contains the famous Emmanuel bell. You can visit, through the gallery of chimeras.

The cathedral appears closely linked to the idea of gothic splendor, a clear effect of the needs and aspirations of the society of the time, a new approach to building the cathedral as contact and spiritual ascent.Gothic architecture is a powerful tool in a society that sees, in the beginning of the eleventh century, transformed urban life at a fast pace. The city resurfaces with extreme importance in the political field, in the economic field (mirror of the growing trade relations), ascending also, meanwhile, the wealthy bourgeoisie and urban clerical influence. The result of this is a replacement also needs religious building outside the cities, in rural communities monarchical, the new symbol of prosperity citadina, the Gothic cathedral. And as a response to the search for a new growing dignity within France, there is the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.

Stresses particularly its magnificent Cavaille-Coll organ, being the place of organist of Notre-Dame one of the highest honors that can aspire to an organist. This square was occupied by the great French organist and composer Louis Vierne between 1900 and 1937, a period that is remembered as the greatest splendor of the Cathedral as a center of art and music.

The cathedral was in the late seventeenth century, during the reign of Louis XIV, the scene of substantial alterations mainly in the east, which were destroyed tombs and stained glass to replace elements to suit the artistic style of the period, the Baroque.In 1793, during the French Revolution and under the cult of reason, most elements of the cathedral were destroyed and many of their stolen treasures, running out of space itself for serving food store.

With the flourish of the Romantic era, the cathedral is seen with different eyes and philosophy turns to the past, exalting and mystifying in a poetic and ethereal aura of the past history and its artistic expression. Under this new light of thought begins a program of restoration of the cathedral in 1844, led by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus, which lasted for twenty years.

There is still a duality in this cathedral of stylistic influences: first, reminiscent of Norman Romanesque, with its strong and compact unit, on the other hand, the use of innovative and architectural developments of Gothic, which give the building a lightness and apparent ease in vertical construction and support the weight of the structure (being the structural support skeleton visible only from the outside).

More information: www.wikipedia.org

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