Friday, April 19, 2019

One Of The Most Beautiful Churches/Cathedrals, We Had Visited Last Year - Notre Dame De Paris (Our Lady Of Paris)


Coming back to write after a long break.  But the news about the spiral tower of Notre Dame burning, is compelling me to write...last year's Europe tour changed my views about many things.

We had the opportunity to visit many cathedrals in Rome, Venice, Paris etc. this time.

This cathedral, Notre Dame, was built around 1260 AD by Bishop Maurice de Sully.  Read more about this place here.

Very interesting information was that the great Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation took place here on 2nd Dec. 1804.  You can see a painting of the coronation here.

Now, to some photographs I had taken there, at the Notre Dame cathedral.

I took this snap as soon as we reached this place.  Huge building!
Photographed from a different angle. The two towers are sixty-nine meters high and were the tallest structures in Paris until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889.
The interior...the chapel was stunning!
Many beautiful sculptures were there on the left and right sides, depicting the stories from Christianity
The feeling inside the cathedral was overwhelming. Though we are used to praying in our Hindu temples, which are full of good architecture, mostly in stone, this place gave this feeling, well, maybe because it was an ancient building.  Peacefulness was there. The whole area was beautiful with lot of woodwork.  This is the reason I felt sad when I read about the major fire which happened just a few days back. Thank god, since it was under restoration now, many good sculptures and other artifacts were already shifted to other places.  I remember gaping at the spire but thought I won't be able to take a good picture of that, so, I don't have my photograph of the 90 meter tall spire which collapsed in the fire.  They say the renovation work is also a reason for the fire.  Might be electrical short circuit in some lift/elevator.

Anyway, read that the spire built by a 30 year old architect (The spire and the statues trace their roots to the mid-19th century work of a bold visionary who, at the age of 30, was commissioned to restore the cathedral and replace an old spire after years of neglect.) Got this information from the Washington post which also has got some videos of the fire (link). Feel very sad. 

This picture shows the real beauty, elegance of the spire before the fire: 

Picture courtesy: Shine.cn

The famous instrument, pipe organ is also saved, it seems.  I could not go up and see it closely since they played the instrument at a particular time.

The organ pipes at Notre Dame Cathedral
This link has got some good videos played with this organ.
About this organ: 

One of the earliest organs at Notre-Dame, built in 1403 by Friedrich Schambantz, was replaced between 1730 and 1738 by Francois Thierry. During the restoration of the cathedral by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, Aristide Cavaille-Coll built a new organ, using pipe work from the former instruments. The organ was dedicated in 1868.

Many artifacts were saved before the fire spread to other parts of the cathedral. Because of the ongoing renovation, the copper statues that were normally on the now collapsed spire had been removed from the building a week prior.

Well, funds are pouring from all over the world to renovate the monument to its earlier glory.  Hope for the best!

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