NOTRE DAME By: Ronald Claiborne
Notre dame is the cradle of Paris and was always the religious center of the city. The Celts had their sacred ground here, the Romans built a temple to worship Jupiter. A Christian basilica was built in the 6th century and the last religious structure before the Notre-Dame construction
Bishop Maurice de Sully started the construction in 1163. The Cathedral was to be built in the new gothic style and had to reflect Paris's status as the capital of the Kingdom France.
Gothic Architecture • The Gothic style brought innovative new construction techniques that allowed churches and other buildings to reach great heights. One important innovation was the use of pointed arches. The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. After the construction began and the thinner walls 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.
During the French Revolution, many of the cathedral's sculptures, gargoyles and interior was removed or demolished. Even the gallery of Kings was severely damaged: the revolutionaries though the statues represented French Kings.
Cool Facts • The Cathedral of Notre Dame was begun in 1163; construction continued for another 200 years • In 1804 Napoleon invited Pope Pius VII to come to Paris to crown him emperor in Notre Dame. At the last minute, however, Napoleon seized the crown from the pope's hands and crowned himself. The largest bell in Notre Dame's bell tower is named "Emmanuel." It was cast in 1631, and weighs over 28,000 pounds. The Notre dame has more visitors than the Eiffel Tower . The Notre Dame has 14 million visitors. every year.