On the morning of Sept. 17, 2016 we visited historic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. The cathedral is as amazing as I’d expected. I’m so in awe of the Gothic architecture. Such an amazing achievement for the Middle Ages. Modern buildings are less durable.
As usual, we took the Metro and walked across the Seine. This was our initial view of the cathedral. As you can see it was a gloomy morning, with rain to come later in the day. We started out by queuing up our Rick Steves podcast/tour of the historic district, but gave it up after a while. There were too many long explanations that kept us rooted to the spot while all the other tourists moved around us.
We did listen to what he said about the facade and doorways of Notre Dame. The intricate detail is pretty amazing.
The statues in the picture are of the Biblical kings. During the French Revolution people thought the statues represented the French kings and so they decapitated the statues. A priest collected the heads and hid them away. After the Revolution ended, the kings had their heads restored.
It seemed crowded, and we later learned that many attractions were free that weekend, and people came from all around to visit Paris. We still flashed our Museum Passes when we entered. We didn’t linger, but I did try to get a photo of the famed Rose Window. However, the light wasn’t conducive to picking up the beautiful colors. It looked much better in person.
When we came back out, we walked around the side of the building. Here’s a slide show of what we saw.
Our tour of the historic area of Paris will continue next week.
Happy armchair traveling,
Great, imposing, showing humans how small they were/are. And to think that such huge buildings were erected without modern means.
The fact that people decapitated the statues reminds me of what other ignorant humans are doing in the Arab world. Smashing and destroying unique treasures of ancient times only because it doesn’t obey their transient, illusory power/rule.
Oh, I love the ending of the post. How fit!
Good point, Carmen. It’s from the same vengeful attitude. Destruction at any cost. I’ve been studying the French Revolution lately, and there was massive desecration of churches. I can’t blame the people for being angry at the Catholic Church, since the clergy were enablers of the Ancien Regime, but that doesn’t excuse vandalism.
And yes, it’s amazing that such huge structures were built in what was essentially a pre-industrial society.