Sunday, October 17, 2010

Notre Dame de Paris - Exterirors

Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France
Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France 

Notre Dame de Paris, French for Our Lady of Paris, is one of the "must see" cathedrals of Paris and, conveniently for us, was located a few hundred meters from our apartment in Le Marais. It is the cathedral of the catholic archdiocese of Paris and is located on the eastern part of Ile de la Cite on  the Seine.

More info and images after the jump.

Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France
Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France

The Notre Dame is famous for its French Gothic architecture and was one of the first buildings to feature flying buttresses, although interestingly, the original design for the building didn't include these. However, once construction began and the walls started growing higher, stress fractures appeared and as a result, the walls pushed outwards. The flying buttresses were then introduced to provide additional support.

Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France
Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France

The Cathedral was commissioned by Bishop Maurice de Sully and construction began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII. It took nearly 200 years to build and was completed in 1345. Over the construction period, work was overseen by numerous architects and this is evidenced by differing styles which can be seen at various heights.

Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France
Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France

During the reigns of King Louis XIV and Louis XV at the end of the 17th century, major alterations were made to the cathedral in an attempt to modernise it. Stained glass windows and tombs were destroyed but fortunately, the magnificent north and south facing Rose windows remained intact.  The cathedral was once scheduled for demolition but was saved because of the popularity of Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre-Dame and a revival of interest in the Gothic period.

Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France
Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France

The exterior stone walls of the cathedral were not always the creamy white they are now. Over time, dirt and grime had built up on the stone walls and they were black until very recently. A new technique for cleaning stone, employing lasers, was used to clean the entire cathedral except for the spire. It was decided to leave the spire as it is in order to show visitors what the cathedral looked like before it was cleaned.

Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France
Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France

As with most photographs on this trip, these were captured with the Canon 7D and 24-105mm combo. I also used a tripod for all the night shots.

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