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Notre Dame Cathedral Information
Notre Dame de Paris is situated in the exact spot of Paris' first Christian church, Saint Etienne basilica that was as well built on the spot of a Roman temple to Jupiter.
The first version was built by Childebert I who was the king of the Franks, at 528 in order to become a "magnificent church", by the 10th century it was already the cathedral of Paris. However, Bishop Maurice de Sully demolished that building, in 1160.
The current cathedral was built during the reign of Louis VII in 1163. Numerous architects worked on the site, applying a mixture of styles. The west front with its characteristic two towers began to be built around 1200.
It was between 1210 and 1220, when the construction of the level with the rose window, and the great halls beneath the towers begun. The towers were completed around 1245, and the cathedral was completed around 1345.
At the end of the 17th century, the cathedral underwent some major alterations and new extensions were built. Unfortunately, at this time tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed. At the times of the French Revolution, at the end of the 18th century, the history repeated itself and many of the cathedral's treasures were destroyed or stolen while the cathedral was used as a warehouse.
Many French Catholic religious events of national significance took place in Notre-Dame along with, many important historical events over the years.
A vital program of maintenance and restoration begun in 1991 intending to last for about 10 years, but continued into the 21st century, since the restoration of old the sculptures proved to be an extremely delicate matter.
Some of the most important features found in Notre Dame Cathedral:
- The west front of the cathedral has two 69-meter (228-feet) tall towers.
- The three portals of the west
- The South Tower houses the cathedral's famous bell, "Emmanuel."
- The Grand Gallery connecting the two towers, where the legendary gargoyles (chimères) are.
- The West Rose Window
- The King's Gallery
Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Victor Hugo's greatest historical romance: The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the English title of Notre Dame de Paris (1831]), had as a setting the Notre Dame cathedral.
The plot works its way around a beauty-and-the-beast theme, in which the selfless love of the misshapen bell ringer Quasimodo is juxtaposed to the lust of the cathedral's archdeacon, Claude Frollo, for the beautiful gypsy dancer Esmeralda. The style is realistic, describing medieval Paris and its underworld, but also melodramatic, including ironic twists. The novel is anticlerical and anti-aristocratic, having a pure romanticism style.