Notre Dame de Paris is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. It is the cathedral of Paris and the seat of the Archbishop of that city. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French.
Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, giving them a more secular look that was lacking from earlier Romanesque architecture.
Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress .
The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued as such.
The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. During the 19th century, an extensive restoration project was completed, returning the cathedral to its previous state.
Timeline of construction.
* 1160 Maurice de Sully (named Bishop of Paris), orders the original cathedral to be demolished.
* 1163 Cornerstone laid for Notre Dame de Paris—construction begins.
* 1182 Apse and choir completed.
* 1196 Bishop Maurice de Sully dies.
* c.1200 Work begins on western façade.
* 1208 Bishop Eudes de Sully dies. Nave vaults nearing completion.
* 1225 Western façade completed.
* 1250 Western towers and north rose window completed.
* c.1245–1260s Transepts remodelled in the Rayonnant style by Jean de Chelles then Pierre de Montreuil
* 1250–1345 Remaining elements completed
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