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Notre Dame in Paris

The Notre Dame (Our Lady) cathedral in Paris is an old mediaeval church, one of the visual symbols of the city. The construction of Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 and took almost 200 years, as it has been completed in 1345.
Throughout the centuries, the cathedral has not changed much. Most serious was the devastation of 1793, when during the French Revolution the cathedral was turned into a "Temple of Reason". But already in 1804, Napoleon crowned himself and Josephine in the presence of the pope Pius VII in the Notre Dame cathedral.
As a serious renovation was needed, the Notre Dame cathedral has been rebuilt starting 1845, under the guidance of the architect Jean-Baptiste Lassus and after his death (1857), by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc who added the spire, the sacristy and several sculptures (as famous chimeras) to the temple. Among the sculptures on the Notre Dame Viollet-le-Duc placed a statue of himself, looking up at the cathedral and the sky above. This renovation has been completed in 1863.
Almost burnt down during the Commune of Paris (1871), with the main windows removed into safety during the World War II, the cathedral miraculously survived unchanged to our times.
Photographer's Notre Dame
For a photographer Notre Dame is an interesting subject. As the church was built on the island and there is a lot of light around, reflected by the waters of the river or coming from the open sky around. Notre Dame is a rich and complex structure, full of its own, very particular mythology. It brings the associations with works of art from the past as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" by Victor Hugo, old movies, paintings and photographs.
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