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A bygone era: Notre-Dame's Gothic architecture suffers in fire

Updated : April 16, 2019 04:48 PM IST

Considered to be one of the greatest examples of French Gothic architecture, Notre-Dame Cathedral (meaning Our Lady of Paris) is one of Paris's most famous landmarks.

Located on the Ile de la Cite, an island in the river Seine, the cathedral was commissioned by Maurice de Sully shortly after becoming Bishop of Paris in 1160, and built over two centuries, from 1163 to 1345.

The cathedral is renowned for the naturalism of its gothic sculpture as well as its sublime stained glass art, typifying the improvements made over the previous era of Romanesque Architecture.

Significant damage was caused to the cathedral during the radical phase of the French Revolution (the 1790s), which was followed in the mid-1840s by an extensive program of renovation.

In 1991, Notre-Dame Cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites. The Notre-Dame Cathedral is 865 years old as of date.

Image Source: AP/Reuters/Pixabay/Unsplash

The north rose window of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, an example of Rayonnant architecture, and the row of figures in stained glass below.
The north rose window of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, an example of Rayonnant architecture, and the row of figures in stained glass below.
Towers on the west facade (1220-1250). The north tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral (left) is slightly larger." data-original="https://images.cnbctv18.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/cathedral-3599931_1280.jpg" > <span class=Towers on the west facade (1220-1250). The north tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral (left) is slightly larger." title="Towers on the west facade (1220-1250). The north tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral (left) is slightly larger.">
Towers on the west facade (1220-1250). The north tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral (left) is slightly larger.
Saints in Portal, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
Saints in Portal, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
View of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris from the river Seine.
View of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris from the river Seine.
The martyr Saint-Denis, holding his head, over the Portal of the Virgin.
The martyr Saint-Denis, holding his head, over the Portal of the Virgin.
The spire of the cathedral—originally in place between the 13th and 18th centuries, and recreated in the 19th century—was destroyed in a fire in 2019. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)" data-original="https://images.cnbctv18.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/AP19105772625534.jpg" > FILE - This 1987 file photo shows the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. <span class=The spire of the cathedral—originally in place between the 13th and 18th centuries, and recreated in the 19th century—was destroyed in a fire in 2019. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)" title="FILE - This 1987 file photo shows the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The spire of the cathedral—originally in place between the 13th and 18th centuries, and recreated in the 19th century—was destroyed in a fire in 2019. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)">
FILE - This 1987 file photo shows the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The spire of the cathedral—originally in place between the 13th and 18th centuries, and recreated in the 19th century—was destroyed in a fire in 2019. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)
This April 18, 1967, file photo, shows the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Art experts around the world reacted with horror to news of the fire that ravaged cathedral on Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/File)
This April 18, 1967, file photo, shows the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Art experts around the world reacted with horror to news of the fire that ravaged cathedral on Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/File)
This 1911, file photo shows the Notre Dame Cathedral, on the island called Ile de la Cite in Paris. One shell-shocked art expert is calling the beloved Gothic masterpiece ‘one of the great monuments to the best of civilization.’ (AP Photo/File)
This 1911, file photo shows the Notre Dame Cathedral, on the island called Ile de la Cite in Paris. One shell-shocked art expert is calling the beloved Gothic masterpiece ‘one of the great monuments to the best of civilization.’ (AP Photo/File)
A stryge on the west facade of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Gargoyles and stryges are commonly found on the Cathedral as part of the Gothic architecture.
A stryge on the west facade of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Gargoyles and stryges are commonly found on the Cathedral as part of the Gothic architecture.
The earliest rose window, on the west facade (about 1225).
The earliest rose window, on the west facade (about 1225).
North rose window inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral (about 1250).
North rose window inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral (about 1250).
The famous organ of Notre-Dame de Paris.
The famous organ of Notre-Dame de Paris.
A wide angle view of Notre-Dame's western facade across the river Seine.
A wide angle view of Notre-Dame's western facade across the river Seine.
A crown of thorns which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239. (Remy de la Mauviniere/AP Images)
A crown of thorns which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239. (Remy de la Mauviniere/AP Images)
Flying buttresses of the apse of Notre-Dame (14th century) reached 15 meters from the wall to the counter-supports.
Flying buttresses of the apse of Notre-Dame (14th century) reached 15 meters from the wall to the counter-supports.
The elaborate hallways of Notre-Dame lighted with chandeliers.
The elaborate hallways of Notre-Dame lighted with chandeliers.
Notre-Dame at night, from a corner of the street. The 800-year old Gothic-styled Cathedral is now surrounded by shops outside.
Notre-Dame at night, from a corner of the street. The 800-year old Gothic-styled Cathedral is now surrounded by shops outside.
A glass painting depicting the life of Jesus Christ inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
A glass painting depicting the life of Jesus Christ inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
Statues inside Notre-Dame Cathedral depicts Mother Mary holding Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.
Statues inside Notre-Dame Cathedral depicts Mother Mary holding Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.
A facade over a door outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
A facade over a door outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
The bell-tower of Notre-Dame church in Villedieu-les-Poeles in Normandy October 17, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
The bell-tower of Notre-Dame church in Villedieu-les-Poeles in Normandy October 17, 2012. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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