No other construction is so strongly related to the historical past of Paris as the cathedral of Notre-Dame. It stands majestically in the heart of the city. When the primary stone was laid in 1163, it marked the beginning of one hundred seventy years of toil by armies of medieval architects and craftsmen. Since then, a succesion of coronations and royal marriages has taken place inside the cathedral. Constructed on the site of a Roman temple, the cathedral is an architecture masterpiece of Gothic style. When it was finished, in about 1330, it was 430 ft (130m) long and featured flying buttresses, a big transept, a deep choir, and towers, that are 228-ft (69-m) tall .
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME: QUASIMODO
The novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831) was written by the Romantic French novelist Victor Hugo. The hunchback of the title is the bell-ringer Quasimodo, ward of the cathedral, and the novel tells the story of his doomed love for a dancer, Esmeralda. Hugo used his novel to rail towards its neglect, declaring that medieval cathedrals have been “books in stone” and must be treasured. The novel aroused widespread curiosity in the restoration of the cathedral.
Notre-Dame’s inside grandeur is strikingly obvious in its high-vaulted central nave. This is bisected by an enormous transept, at both ends of which is a medieval rose window, 43ft (13m) in diameter. Works by well-known sculptors adorn the cathedral. For instance Jean Ravy’ s choir display screen carvings, Nicolas Coustou’s Pietà, and Antoine Coysevox’s statue of Louis XIV.
The Gothic style emerged in France with the Basilica of St-Denis (1137-1281), north of Paris, the place many of the French monarchs are buried. The pointed arch, the ribbed vault, tracery, and the rose window have been all used to big impact there and had been essential features of the Gothic style. The need to construct taller, more magnificent buildings grew. One other important characteristic emerged with using flying buttresses, which supplied support for tall walls and helped redistribute their weight. With its soaring inside and stained-glass filtered gentle from the massive rose windows, Notre-Dame Cathedral is without doubt one of the bestknown and most spectacular examples of the Gothic style. In many Europe countries, architects took to the style with enthusiasm.