Notre Dame de Paris at the heart of French history

After the tragic event that hit Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday night, destroying its spire erected by Eugène Violet Leduc, what is its history? Its history is a true epic, pioneer of Gothic architecture of the first half of the twelfth century.

The construction of Notre-Dame, began in 1163, it is beautiful and daring. We do not doubt it because we do not see the naked eye, but the building is asymmetrical up to the base of its towers. According to historians, one reason for this asymmetry is its foundations. The site is experimental and innovative. The materials used are lead, glass and of course stone. It is almost entirely covered with colors and this not only for aesthetic reasons but to better preserve it.

the thirteenth century the Notre-Dame Cathedral dominates all of Paris. It is linked to the kings of France as the gallery of kings on its facade seems to testify to it which was restored in the nineteenth century. There are 28, will they be the kings of France? One might think so.

At the Revolution it deteriorated and remained in a pitiful state until Victor Hugo changed his destiny thanks to his novel. This makes it the most famous in France in 1831. It was in 1845 that Eugène Violet Le Duc and Jean-Baptiste Lassus undertook the entire restoration of Notre-Dame, in a medieval way. They are restoring the façade. It was Eugène Violet Leduc who erected the spire higher than that of the Middle Ages which had been dismantled in the eighteenth century. It surrounds the latter with copper statues representing the 12 apostles. He represents himself in Saint Thomas, the patron saint of architects who looks at his work. The frame of the spire is made by the Companions around the architect. It is then an idealized medieval cathedral.Eugène Violet Leduc also restores the chapels using medieval techniques. Thus we can say that the architect completed the Middle Ages.

On May 18, 1804, Napoleon I was consecrated emperor at Notre-Dame de Paris, the building became a «national temple». The following century the Republic pays homage to its heroes in this place. On August 26, 1944, General de Gaulle chose to hear the Te Deum de la Libération at the cathedral which, on that day more than ever, is at the heart of history.

On the death of General de Gaulle in 1970, Georges Pompidou decided to pay a final tribute to the first President of the Fifth Republic. Thus the building reconnects with the monarchical traditions, although the state the clergy are separated.

Henceforth Notre-Dame is a national monument with its thirteen million visitors per year.

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