Notre Dame de Paris, also known as Notre Dame Cathedral or simply Notre Dame, is a historic Roman Catholic Marian cathedral in Paris, France. Widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known church in the world ever built.
Notre Dame de Paris is often reputed to be one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture in both France and in Europe as a whole, and the naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. The first period of construction was from 1163 into 1240′s, and was finally completed by 1345.
The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc removed remaining decoration, returning the cathedral to an ‘original’ gothic state.
She has witnessed centuries of events in French History flow past her including the in French Revolution along, with the waters of the River Seine. Its famous gargoyles, supposed there to guard against evil spirits, have suffered from years of history.
The great Paris Cathedral has seen crusaders and kings praying within her walls before going off to battle.
It was here in 1431 King Henry VI of England was crowned King of France, and Napoleon was crowned emperor to the backdrop of an 8,000 pipe Grand Organ.
The inspiration for Sacre Coeur’s design, rose from the decades following the French Revolution between Catholics and Royalists on one side, and democrats, secularists, socialists and radicals on the other side. This fine building is dedicated to those who lost their lives in battle.
Paul Abadie was commissioned to design the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, and the foundation stone was laid on 16thJune 1875 at the summit of Montmarte.
The Basilica of Sacre Coeur is built of travertine stone quarried at the Chateau-Landon (Seine-et-Marne), France. The stone is known to constantly exude calcite, which ensures that the Basilica of Sacre Coeur remains white at all times, no amount of weathering or pollution would change its colour.
The grounds include a garden set aside for meditation, with a fountain. The top of the dome affords a spectacular view of the city of Paris.
The pipe organ built by Aristide Cavaille-Coll was composed of 109 ranks, 78 speaking stops spread across four 61 note manuals and a 32 note pedal board was installed in 1905.
Sadly Paul Adadie never lived long enough to see the completion of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, for he died in 1884. Honore Daumet (1884-1886), Jean-Charles Laisne (1886-1891), Henri-Pierre-Marie Rauline (1891-1904), Lucien Magne (1904-1916) and Jean-Louis Hulot (1916-1924), continued his work through the years to its completion. Basilica of Sacre Coeur was formerly dedicated in 1919, after World War I.
Construction costs came in at seven million French Francs, and paid for entirely by private funding.
Even to this day the Basilica of Sacre Coeur observes a state of silence, as much as possible, so as not to disturb people who attend this place in pilgrimage.
(The word Basilica refers to said building being a Catholic Pilgrimage site).
The Eiffel Tower is probably Europe’s best known landmark and one of Paris’s most famous landmarks. This world famous structure can be seen from all parts of the city, as the tower rises some 300 meters (984 ft), into the skyline.
The Eiffel Tower was built for the World Exhibition in 1889, held in celebration of the French Revolution of 1789. Originally built to last the duration of the World Exhibition, has remained part of its skyline ever since.Who could imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower, in fact it has become the symbol of the City of Light.
The man behind the Eiffel Tower was Gustave Eiffel, also known for the construction of the Statue of Liberty’siron framework.
The structure took more than two years to complete. Each one of the about 12,000 iron pieces were designed separately to give them exactly the shape needed. All pieces were prefabricated and fit together using some seven million nails.
The Arc de Triomphe in Parisis considered one of the most monumental arches, ever built. Construction took place between 1806 and 1836.
The Arc de Triomphestands at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the “Place de l’Étoile”, with its nineteenth century decorative styled sculpture.
This arch was built in honour of those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars.
Engraved list the names of the generals and wars. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. It was on 11thNovember 1923 the memorial flame was installed and since that moment, the flame has never been extinguished, making this a highly revered and patriotic site.
The Arc de Triomphestands 49.5 m (162 ft) tall, 45 m (150 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The smaller vault is 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide.
The Champs-Elysees runs 1.91km from the Palace de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor to the Place Charles de Gaulle formerly the (Place de I’Etoile) in the west, the location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Elysees ends at the Arc de Triomphe, built to honour those who died fighting for their beloved homeland of France.
The Champs-Elysees was originally nothing more than fields and market gardens, but all that changed in 1616 when Marie de Medici extended it with an avenue of trees. Then King Louis XIV had it transformed by landscape architect Andre Le Notre and completed by 1670, when it was known as the “Grand Cours”. It did not take on the name of Champs-Elysees until 1709.
By the late 18thcentury, the Champs-Elysees had become a fashionable avenue, and in 1860 merchants formed an association to promote the avenue. It has become one of the most famous streets for upscale shopping, with Cartier, Nike, Benetton and major stores selling top quality merchandise.
What started out as fields and market gardens has changed in all so many ways, to become one of the best known shopping avenues worldwide.
Images: Wikipedia – AG Photos – Self