The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
The most famous Church in the world – the Cathedral of Notre Dame (Notre Dame de Paris) is one of the iconic examples of architecture in France from the early middle ages. One of the first ever built Gothic cathedrals, it is located in the East of the Ile de La Cité in Paris. For the construction of the main Church of the country it took nearly two hundred years, almost the same amount of time, how long was the whole era of Gothic architecture. Many believe that this is the most striking example extant of a building in the Gothic style out of all cathedrals in the world, its beauty eclipsed even the Palace of Versailles. and the popular Mont Saint-Michel.
The decision to build Notre Dame was made by Bishop Maurice de Sully in 1160. The construction of the main Church of Paris, became the Central Church for all kings of Europe, lasted until 1272. According to the legend, Alexander III took part in the construction of the great temple and laid the first cornerstone of the Foundation.
In medieval architectural history, the Paris Cathedral was one of the first buildings that used flying supports – these supports were arches, which allowed maintaining large sections and cut out the huge Windows at the top of the walls. Although initially they were not included in the plan of the building that later became essential in the construction of the Western façade, and at the same are the most important part of the Cathedral.
Like most ancient buildings of that time, Notre Dame has experienced the consequences of vandalism. In the 1500’s, when the Huguenots (reformed branch of the Church) gained influence, they destroyed many of the stained glass Windows of the Cathedral depicting religious scenes, which the Huguenots were considered idolatrous. In the 1600’s, the modernist movement has also made many changes in the construction. And during the 1700s, many treasures were destroyed or plundered during the French revolution.
In the last century, began active attempts at restoration and maintenance of the building of Notre Dame. The last program on the restoration began in 1991 and was completed in 2005. Today it is a functioning Church where services are regularly open to visitors.