Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

The history of the Cathedral

The term “Gothic” (from the name of the Germanic tribe is ready) emerged in the Renaissance. Gothic called any art which did not conform to classical antiquity forms. In art history it is customary to distinguish early, Mature (high) and late(“flamboyant”) Gothic.

Among the cathedrals of early Gothic architecture the most majestic and, of course, the famous Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral). The construction of the Cathedral on île de La Cité was begun in the XII century on the initiative of the Paris Bishop Maurice de Sully. and lasted nearly 170 years. The first stone was laid by the king Louis VII in 1163 G.

During this period the Romanesque style gradually gave way to Gothic. It is the synthesis of two architectural styles, the Notre-Dame de Paris owes its unique appearance. This is not a squat Romanesque Church, but not yet soaring Gothic Church.

But still new style prevails: in the contours of the Cathedral reign of vertical and pointed forms. Thanks to tapering upwards wall niches and narrow Windows with tracery columns, Cathedral “flows”. A flat surface is minimized, as if the building consists of a game of volumes, the contrasts of light and shade. Especially plastic nature of the architecture of Notre Dame expressive in Eastern the facade of the building.

The main facade of Notre Dame is “not Gothic”: the project peaked spires on the tops of the two towers were not constructed so as not to disturb the achieved harmony.

In the lower part of the facade – three powerful portal on the left portal of the virgin Mary, in the center portal of the last judgment, on the right the portal of St. Anne (mother virgin Mary). Over the portals stretches arcade game with 28 statues of Judean kings.

In the center of the facade is a Grand window, a rose, filled with stone tracery weaving and stained glass Windows.

Unusual sound gives 6-ton bell hanging in the right tower of the Cathedral. They say that its clean and expressive sound he is obliged to gold and silver. When presented in 1400 as a gift to the Cathedral bell was cast in bronze, Parisians were thrown into a molten mass of your precious jewelry.

In this bell, according to legend, beat Quasimodo. However, it is according to legend – rock it alone not under force to any athlete.

Actually, Notre Dame’s amazing voice. Worth a visit the evening service to hear the singing and the organ of the Cathedral is the largest in France. In addition, inside the temple is striking in scale space, directed upwards…

The Cathedral was rebuilt several times: in the thirteenth century by architects Jean de Sellem and Pierre de Monro, in the early fourteenth century — Pierre de Sellem. As a result, the architecture of the temple incorporates features of both styles. The towers of the facade and the pillars of the Central part of massive. Dominated by the horizontal division of a building that is characteristic of Romanesque architecture. On the other hand, cross vault, resting on the arch ribs, the use of polaron-flying buttresses, Lancet shaped Windows and arches, lots of light — features that are characteristic of the Gothic. The Cathedral was one of the largest buildings of its time: its length is 129 m, the height of the tower is 69 m.

In those days, the Cathedral did not look like today: close to him brought home with workshops of artisans and shops, and the main facade of the Cathedral was not monochrome, but much more elegant: all the statues of the facade and portals blazed with bright colors on a gold background.

From the stone decoration of facades of Notre-Dame de Paris, interesting famous statues of chimeras mounted on the upper platform of the Cathedral at the foot of the towers. Chimeras, destroyed by time, were restored in 1850-1860-ies sculptor viola Le Duc. These terrible, fantastic creatures of the medieval authors have given internal psychology is produces on the audience a strong, scary impression.

As in other Gothic churches, Notre-Dame de Paris there is no wall paintings, and the only source of color in the monotonous gray interior are numerous stained glass Windows, inserted in the covers of high pointed Windows. The sunlight, penetrating through them fills the Church with a whole rainbow of shades. This play of light softens the monotony of the buildings and gives the interior of the Cathedral is a magical luxury and mystery.

The image on the stained glass Windows made in accordance with the medieval canons. On the Windows of the choir depict scenes from Christ’s life on earth, on the side walls of stained glass fragments from the lives of saints. The stained glass of the high Windows of the nave depict the patriarchs, biblical kings, and apostles. In the Windows of the lateral chapels are placed scenes from the earthly life of the virgin Mary. The stained glass Windows and huge, with a diameter of 13 meters, the rose-window of about eighty scenes from the old Testament.

Unfortunately, among the stained-glass Windows of Notre Dame are very few genuine. Almost all of them are later works, replacing broken and injured in the long history of stained-glass Windows. Intact to have survived only the rose window of the.

But not only stained glass, but the Cathedral could not be reached to our days: the Masonic leaders of the French revolution and led the crowd the Shrine of our lady has caused particular anger, as well as in Paris bacchanal raged with special force, and Notre Dame suffered much more than other cathedrals of France. Badly damaged during the revolution, ancient building from the end of XVIII century the building fell into disrepair and in the years when Victor Hugo wrote his famous novel “the hunchback of Notre Dame”, the Church was threatened with utter destruction. In the years 1841-1864 this was a major restoration of the Cathedral. In the same years were broken buildings adjacent to the Cathedral, and in front of it formed the existing area.

For many centuries the Notre Dame Cathedral was an important, if not the major, center of city life. It became the seat of the Paris Parliament, played out the mystery, trade deals were concluded; the poor and homeless find in the Cathedral a shelter, and the rich men, when going on a long journey, handed over here to storage your values. The Cathedral was intended for the rites of baptism, marriage and burial, celebrated military victories and was sung the solemn anthem of “Tedium”. Note that in the Notre Dame Cathedral were just two of the coronation of English king Henry IV and Emperor Napoleon (by tradition, almost all French kings blagoslovlenie power in Rheims Cathedral).

Notre Dame Cathedral is the center of the city in the truest sense of the word. Road signs the distance to any point in France it is calculated from Notre-Dame.

Inside the Cathedral

The interior of the Cathedral amazes with the scale of the spaces. There are no massive towers, no bare walls – the interior seems to be woven from luchevidnaya ribs, upward. In the interior again sounds the leitmotif of the Gothic architecture: the Cathedral is the heavenly Jerusalem on earth and at the same time, the model of divine creation.

In the chapels located on the right side of the Cathedral, you will see paintings and sculptures by different artists that, according to centuries-old tradition, are presented as a gift to the Cathedral every year on the first day of may.

The transept of the Cathedral is decorated with two giant roses-stained glass. A small bronze plate set into the floor of the transept, reports that in 1886, the famous writer Paul Claudel adopted Catholicism. In the same part of the Cathedral are statues of the virgin Mary (“our lady of Paris”) and Saint Dionysius. In the depths of the Cathedral – sculptures of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, and with the outer part choirs – reliefs on themes of the New Testament.

The organ of Notre Dame Cathedral is the largest in France.

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