THERE ARE MANY SITES TO VISIT IN PARIS, but the small island called Île de la Cité is home to a gallant and imposing 800 years old cathedral with impressive French Gothic architecture. It took just under 200 years to complete such a marvel. Her full name is Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, and she is a must-visit.
Appropriate to one refined visitor is to learn about her vast and fascinating history before he wonders elsewhere in Paris. Visiting sites of this splendor and impressiveness is what fills a visitor's eyes, revitalizes his knowledge, and lifts up his soul.
These are some facts of bygone days worth learning when visiting The City of Love.
» At the end of 1790s, the cathedral's overall state vastly suffered. It was as a result of the French Revolution. It was in 1802 when she was in schedule for demolition, but Napoleon thought it would be dishonorable to destroy such a beauty and her historic value. His strong opposition saved the gallant, majestic, and imposing Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris from demolition.
» Another influencing factor was Victor Hugo's 'Hunchback of Notre Dame.' It is the story of Quasimodo ~the hunchback bell-ringer whose job was to ring the bell~ who fell in love with a gipsy princess profoundly touched the heart of French people.
» It was in those days when the bell's tone was noticed to be distinctively pure. That reason was attributed to gold and silver jewelry thrown by Parisian women in molten bronze when the bell was recast during the 17th. century.
» At the beginning of WWII, it was suspected that German bombs could shutter her stained glass windows. They were removed together with the 'Rose Window' which was the largest stained glass window in the world when it was built in medieval years of the 13th. century. All windows were saved, and at the end of the war, they were restored.
There are other present-day facts worth learning about.
» Climbing her Bell Tower spiral staircase, we are presented with such massive 13 tons bell. As we continue up, we perceive the famous Notre Dame Gargoyles on the outside of the building. Once at the top, we experience what leaves anyone breathless and stunned. It is a bird-eye expansive and spectacular view of the City of Love.
» A street away from the cathedral is musée de notre dame where one of her huge organs is displayed along with music from days of Louis Vierne, a famous Notre Dame organist. It is worth experiencing all of it.
» In front of the cathedral, there is a plaque put in place by André Michelin founder of well- known Michelin Tire Company which also owns BFGoodrich and Red & Green Travel Guides. In the XXI century, that plaque is still used to measure all distances in France.
» There is no fee to visit Notre Dame de Paris. There is a charge, however, for a guided tour to venture up the Bell Tower organized by the cathedral's staff. They accommodate visitors with limited mobility and their tours are in different languages including English. Since tours may be canceled and schedule changed, it is advisable to call Information Desk to validate: +33(0) 142 345 610
So, what do you do in Paris? Visit sites of majestic grandeur. This cathedral is one of them. She is gallant, imposing, awesome, and a fine example of French Gothic architecture with vast and fascinating history. She is a must-visit site; but be warned, she is more suitable to cultured visitors and more appropriate to refined folks.
About Author Mr. George Josserme
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