Notre Dame Cathedral, then and now

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Notre-Dame Cathedral has been at the main iconic building of the city of Paris for over 850 years. Dating back to its consecration in 1163, the building itself is a stone and stained-glass representation of Biblical stories and morals. A historical landmark, a pillar of the Arts and a centre for spirituality that is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

The cathedral was begun in 1163 and largely completed by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. Soon after the publication of Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831, popular interest in the building revived. A major restoration project supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845 and continued for twenty-five years. Beginning in 1963, the facade of the cathedral was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime, returning it to its original color. Another campaign of cleaning and restoration was carried out from 1991–2000.


57009138_10156487568957635_1818787576044060672_oImage: Édouard Baldus (French, born Prussia, 1813–1889). Notre-Dame (façade), 1860s. Albumen silver print from glass negative. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Image: Edouard Baldus, "Paris, Notre-Dame" (entre 1860 et 1862)
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Image: Henri Cartier-Bresson, View Atop Notre Dame, Paris, 1948
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Image: The Gargoyle of Notre Dame overlooking Paris, 1910
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Image: Robert Doisneau, our lady, 1977

As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris (Michel Aupetit). 12 million people visit Notre-Dame yearly, it thus being the most visited monument in Paris


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57015708_10156907873651011_5190575836729704448_o© Carla DLM & Aidan Sartin Conte
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© Daniel Garay Arango
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Today, April 15th of 2019, the cathedral was on fire causing significant damage, including the collapse of the main spire and the entire roof. Due to the collapse of the roof many valuables were destroyed. We hope that this impressive landmark come back to live soon.


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© Katie Giorgadze
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Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) (Thibault Camus)
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Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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