1. An Old Cathedral in Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris is an extremely old Cathedral located in Paris, France. Constructed over 800 years ago by the Bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully, the cathedral was constructed in the gothic style. Maurice de Sully was encouraged by his classmate, King Louis VII to take up the project. The entire population of the city including prominent residents and the Church took part in the Cathedral’s construction in different ways.
2. Notre-Dame’s Construction took 100 years
The construction of Notre-Dame de Paris started in 1163 and lasted 100 years with its completion happening in 1272. Over this period, numerous craftsmen including sculptors, tailors, joiners, carpenters, glassblowers and masons worked with seasoned architects relentlessly to make contribution equally to God and Mary.
3. A dedication to Mary, Mother of God
At the onset, Maurice de Sully wanted the cathedral dedicated entirely to Mary, Mother of God. The Cathedral was dedicated to her when it was named Our Lady of Paris. The cathedral has nothing less than 37 representations of Mary, the Virgin in the form of paintings, sculptures, stained glass and much more.
4. A Symbol of Paris and France
Since its construction, the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral has featured as a major symbol of France and Paris. Major political and religious events have been staged in this cathedral causing Michelet, a historian to note that Notre-Dame is in its right, a history book.
5. Hosting Historical Events
Numerous historical events have taken place at Notre-Dame. For instance, it was in Notre Dame that King Philip, the Fare launched the 1st Estates General of the French Kingdom in 1302 and Marguerite de Valois married King Henry IV in 1572 in this cathedral. Notre Dame was also the place where Napoleon I, the French Emperor was crowned by Pope Pius VII. The cathedral was visited twice by Pope John Paul II, in 1997 and in 1980 during the World Youth Day.
6. Located on a Small Island
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is built on a small island known as the Ile de la Cite that sits in the middle of a river called Seine. The construction of this historical monument commenced in 1163 during the rulership of King Louis VII.
7. Saved by Napoleon
At some point, the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral was at the blink of closure and despair as it neared demolition. The cathedral was saved by Emperor Napoleon I later. The Emperor had been crowned in the Notre Dame Cathedral in 1804. Upon restoration of the Cathedral’s beauty, there were rumors during World War II that German soldiers wanted to destroy its newly fitted stained glass. The stained glass was pulled down and put back after the war ended.
8. The Rose Window
The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral was fitted with the Rose window, the largest glass window that existed in the world produced during the 13th Century. This is the window that caused all the stained glass windows to be pulled down during World War II when rumor went round that German soldiers were planning to destroy the Notre Dame Cathedral.
9. Joan of Arc’s Beatification
Joan of Arc was a peasant girl who claimed to have visions from God. She had a rich character and spiritual richness but no material goods. Her courage and vision aided France in the fight against English troops. She was captured and declared an innocent martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified by Pope Pius X at the Notre Dame cathedral.
10. A Historical Bell
The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral hosts Sunday masses for Roman Catholic Church. Its distinct and notable historical piece that is famous to date is its bell that was redesigned for automatic ringing. Visitors to the bell tower go up a 140-step stairway to see the bell of catch as spectacular view of Paris.