The hunchback of Notre Dame (Notre Dame) (FR. Notre Dame de Paris) — the geographical and spiritual “heart” of Paris, located in the Western part of the île de La Cité, in place of the first Christian Church in Paris — St. Stephen’s Basilica, built, in turn, the site of the Gallo-Roman temple of Jupiter.
In the Cathedral shows the duality of stylistic influences: on the one hand, there are echoes of the Romanesque style of Normandy with his powerful and dense unity, and on the other, — used innovative architectural achievements of Gothic style, which gives the building a lightness and give the impression of simplicity, vertical design.
Construction began in 1163, under Louis VII French. Historians differ in opinion about who laid the first stone in the Foundation of the Cathedral — Bishop Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III. The main altar of the Cathedral was consecrated in may 1182 year, to 1196, the nave of the building was almost completed, and work continued only on the main facade.
Powerful and majestic facade is divided vertically into three parts by pilasters, and horizontally by three tiers of galleries, the lower tier, in turn, has three deep portal. Above them goes (Kings Gallery) with twenty-eight statues representing the kings of ancient Judea.
The construction of the Western gable, with its distinctive two towers, began CA. the year 1200.
During the construction of the Cathedral in minimalhouse a lot of different architects, as evidenced by the different style and different heights and West side of the tower. The towers were completed in 1245, and the whole Church in 1345.
The Cathedral with its magnificent interior decoration for many centuries served as the venue for Royal weddings, coronations and Imperial national funeral.
As in other Gothic churches, there are no wall paintings, and the only source of color are numerous high stained glass Lancet Windows.
During the reign of Louis XIV in the late seventeenth century, the Cathedral survived major changes: tombs and stained glass Windows were destroyed.
During the French revolution in the late eighteenth century, the statues of the kings were overthrown by the insurgent people, many of the treasures of the Cathedral were destroyed or stolen, the Cathedral was under threat of demolition, and only saved his transformation into a “Temple of Reason” and later it was used as a wine warehouse.
The Cathedral was returned to the Church and re-consecrated in 1802, under Napoleon.
Restoration began in 1841 under the leadership of the architect violla-Le-Duc (1814-1879). This talented Parisian restorer was also responsible for the restoration of Amiens Cathedral, the fortress of Carcassonne in the South of France and the Gothic Church Sainte Chapelle. The restoration of the building and sculptures, the replacement of the broken statues and the building’s famous spire lasted 23 years. The violla-Le-Duc also had the idea of the gallery of chimeras on the facade of the Cathedral. Statues of chimeras mounted on the upper platform at the foot of the towers.
In these years were demolished buildings adjacent to the Cathedral, resulting in front of it formed the current area.
In the Cathedral houses one of the great Christian relics — crown of Thorns of Jesus Christ. Before 1063, the crown was situated on mount Zion in Jerusalem, from which he was taken to the Palace of the Byzantine emperors in Constantinople. In 1238 the king of France Louis IX acquired the crown of the Byzantine Emperor. 18 August 1239, the king put him in Notre-Dame de Paris. In 1243-1248 at the Royal Palace on the île de La Cité was built Sainte-Chapelle (the Holy chapel) to store the crown of Thorns that were here before the French revolution. Later the crown was transferred to the Treasury of Notre-Dame de Paris.
The height of the Cathedral — 35 m
length — 130 m, width — 48 m
the height of bell — 69 m
the weight of the bells Emmanuel in the East tower — 13 tons