Study Abroad Paris Style # 2: Notre-Dame Cathedral

Finals are over, winter break has started, and I can finally get back to blogging about my Paris adventure from last spring. Topic today, Notre-Dame Cathedral. 


I was so amazed by the power and beauty of this building  went to see it twice!  Plus I had to write a paper on it for my study abroad class.  No art history trip to Paris could be complete without a visit to admire the gothic architecture  of Notre-Dame.  The cathedral is 850 years old and still today stands as symbol of civic pride in Paris. It was built between 1163 and 1245 and became the leading gothic style of its time influencing  the style of religious architecture across Europe.


The Western Facade with its two bell towers, beautiful round Rose Window, and Kings Gallery  ( figures stretched in a row across the building front). They are believed to be the biblical kings of Israel and Judea.


During the French Revolution 1789 – 1799, the heads of  the statues in the Kings Gallery were cut off because they were mistaken for French kings. The original heads  are now available to view in the  Musee de Cluny.  Parts of the Cluny building date back to Roman times making it a interesting place to visit. It is a short walk away from Notre-Dame Cathedral for anyone who wishes to view the heads.


Here is the inside of Norte-Dame Cathedral with its 6-part cross-rib vault ceilings, beautiful stain glass windows, nave, and altar. You can not see them from the inside, but the famous flying buttress sit just outside that back wall of windows giving support to the stone walls allowing for the beautiful  glass windows to be built.

notre_dame_5Unfortunately my Window’s Phone camera did not do so well with the stain glass windows in Paris.  But here is my best shot of the beautiful Rose Windows in the Cathedral. My photo does not show it, but the windows have images from the Bible in colored glass.  Images were important  way to tell the story at a time when most people did not know how to read.


Word carvings were another way that the story of the Bible was told 850 years ago.


This is actually a photo of the windows at Sainte Chapelle. If you like the beauty of stain glass windows I highly recommend visiting the beautiful Sainte Chapelle to see its breath taking 13-cenutry  windows in its upper chapel. We had back-to-back tours of Notre-Dame and Sainte Chapelle on the study abroad trip to see the progression of  architecture during the gothic period.  Entrance does require a ticket, but it is just an easy 2 block walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral.

It was one amazing day of historical beauty, and this was just day 1 of  the 17 day study abroad trip.

One thought on “Study Abroad Paris Style # 2: Notre-Dame Cathedral

  1. Pingback: Hopping Around the World 2015 | Hopping Around the World

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