Photographer's Note

Second post from Paris presenting the back part of the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame!The weather was typical rainy and cold with the clouds and the magic hour light creating a superb scene,just what i neened at that time!Hand held shot ofcourse,imagine carrying the tripod under heavy rain and inside the church..!My next uploads will come from the interior of the Cathedral.
In 1160, because the church in Paris had become the "parish church of the kings of Europe", Bishop Maurice de Sully deemed the current Parisian cathedral unworthy of its lofty role, and had it demolished shortly after he assumed the title of Bishop of Paris. According to legend, de Sully had a vision of a glorious new cathedral for Paris, and sketched it in the dirt outside of the original church. To begin the construction, the bishop had several houses demolished and had a new road built in order to transport materials for the new church.

Night sight of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral on the Île de la Cité island in Paris, France.Construction began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, and opinion differs as to whether Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone of the cathedral. However, both were at the ceremony in question. Bishop de Sully went on to devote most of his life and wealth to the cathedral's construction.

Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began circa 1200, before the nave had been completed, contrary to normal construction practice. Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers. Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers. The towers were completed around 1245, and the cathedral was completed around 1345.In 1548, rioting Huguenots damaged features of the cathedral, considering them idolatrous. During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV, the cathedral underwent major alterations as part of an ongoing attempt to modernize cathedrals throughout Europe. Tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed. The north and south rose windows were spared this fate, however.

In 1793, during the French Revolution, the cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reason, and then to the Cult of the Supreme Being. During this time, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. The statues of biblical kings of Judea (erroneously thought to be kings of France) were beheaded. Many of the heads were found during a 1977 excavation nearby and are on display at the Musée de Cluny. For a time, Lady Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars. The cathedral's great bells managed to avoid being melted down. The cathedral also came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food.
A restoration program was initiated in 1845, overseen by architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The restoration lasted 25 years and included the construction of a flèche (a type of spire) as well as the addition of the chimeras on the Galerie des Chimères. Viollet le Duc always signed his work with a bat, the wing structure of which most resembles the gothic vault (see Roquetaillade castle).

In 1871, a civil uprising leading to the establishment of the short-lived Paris Commune nearly set fire to the cathedral, and some records suggest that a mound of chairs within the cathedral was set alight.

In 1939, It was feared that German bombers could destroy the windows; as a result, on September 11, 1939, they were removed. They were restored at the end of the war.

In 1991, a major program of maintenance and restoration was initiated, which was intended to last 10 years but was still in progress as of 2005, the cleaning and restoration of old sculptures being an exceedingly delicate matter

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Additional Photos by Panagiotis Dragomanidis (drago) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 149 N: 801] (4832)
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