Saturday, July 18, 2009

Notre-Dame de Paris

While in Paris, I was able to spend time admiring the legendary and iconic Cathedral of Notre-Dame in detail. Being fascinated with places of worship in all cultures, I was particularly seeing the design and artworks as a complete delivery-system. The message: Awe, beauty and terror. The history of this inspiring structure is vast and reflects a thousand years of political upheaval, architectural fashion, neglect, desecration, and renewal. It stands today, almost totally restored and magnificent, as the greatest example of French Gothic architecture. A visit to Notre-Dame is essential.

To view these images enlarged, simply click on them. The details are stunning.

[The famed South "Rose Window"]

[The Statue to honor Joan de Arc.]

The interior is one of the simplest, yet perfect in all of the world. Moments of intimacy are accentuated by the vast darkness and stark weight of the environment.

The exterior, showing Saint Dennis, who was decapitated by the Romans. According to legend, he simply got up, grabbed his head and strolled over to the site where the cathedral now stands.

[Notre-Dame viewed from the rear, by boat on the Seine.]