Not the largest cathedral in the world, the Notre-Dame might be the most famous of all cathedrals. The gothic masterpiece is located on the Île de la Cité, a small island in the heart of the city.
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.
It was the first cathedral built on a monumental scale and became the prototype for future cathedrals in France, like the cathedrals of Amiens, Chartres or Rheims, just to name the most famous.
It took until 1345 before the cathedral was completed, partly because the design was enlarged during construction. The result is an overwhelming building, 128m long (420 ft) with two 69 meter tall towers (226 ft). The spire, which reaches 90m (295 ft), was added in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc. The Notre-Dame Cathedral has several large rose windows, the northern 13th century window is the most impressive. The massive window has a diameter of 13.1 meter.
The frontal west facade features 3 wide portals; above the portals is the Gallery of Kings – 28 statues of Judean Kings – and higher up are the famous gargoyles and grotesques. The spectacular eastern flying buttresses at the east side of the building are 15m wide.
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