Posted by: danielfee | October 10, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 10-10-2012

Notre-Dame Cathedral – Paris, France

Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the symbols of Paris. It is on Isle de la Cite on the banks of the Seine River. The west facade rises up like “a vast symphony of stone” as Victor Hugo described it. But this is what the other side looks like. The site of the cathedral is rich in history. It stands on the ruins of fourth-century Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter and a sixth-century basilica. By the 12th century the basilica was in ruins and the Bishop of Paris decided to replace it with a superb cathedral. The first stones were laid in 1163. Notre Dame de Paris is often considered to be one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture not only in France but in Europe as a whole. It was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. But after the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral’s architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.

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