Notre-Dame de Paris ( French: [nɔtʁə dam də paʁi] ( listen); meaning " Our Lady of Paris "), referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité (an island in the Seine River), in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is considered one of the finest examples of ...
- Early Gothic Style - Saint-Denis, Sens, Senlis, and Notre Dame
- High Gothic Cathedrals - Chartres, Bourges, Reims, Amiens
- Rayonnant Gothic - Sainte-Chapelle and The Rose Windows of Notre-Dame
- Flamboyant Gothic - Rouen Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes
- Religious Architecture in The French Regions
- Gothic Civil Architecture
- Transition Between Gothic and Renaissance
- Military Architecture
- Restoration and Gothic Revival
French Gothic architecture was the result of the emergence in the 12th century of powerful French state centered in the Île-de-France. During the reign of Louis VI of France (1081–1137), Paris was the principal residence of the Kings of France, Reims the place of coronation, and the Abbey of Saint-Denis became their ceremonial burial place. The Abbot of Saint-Denis, Suger, was a counselor of Louis VI and Louis VII, as well as a historian. He oversaw the reconstruction of the ambulatory of Saint-Denis, making it the first and most influential example of Gothic architecture in France. The first complete Gothic cathedral, Sens Cathedral, was finished shortly afterwards. Over the later course of the Capetian dynasty (1180 to 1328), three Kings: Philip Augustus (1180–1223), Louis IX of France (1226–1270), and Philip le Bel (1285–1314), established France as the major economic and political power on the Continent. The period also saw the founding of the University of Paris or Sorbonne. It...Ambulatory of Basilica of Saint-Denis(1135–40)Nave of Sens Cathedral(1140-1164)Nave of Senlis Cathedral(1153–91)Rose window and facade of Chartres Cathedral(1194–1220)Choir of Chartres CathedralWindows of upper chapel of Sainte-Chapelle(1238–48)Columns of exterior framework supporting the windows of Sainte-ChapelleRose window in north transept of Notre Dame CathedralExterior of south rose window of Notre Dame CathedralWest facade, Rouen Cathedral(1370s)The west front of Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes(1370s)The nave of Sainte-Chapelle de VincennesThe rose window Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes. The sinuous lines of the window frame gave the style the name "Flamboyant".Angevin Gothic vaults and columns in the Hopital-St-Jean in AngersAngevin Gothic vault of the Church of Puy-Notre DameWest facade of Dijon Cathedral in Burgundy(1280–1325)Nave of Chalon Cathedral in Burgundy(1220–1522)The façade of the Palais des Papes in Avignon(1252–1364)Gothic rib vaults of the hall of men at arms of the Conciergerie(1302)The Palais de la Cité in Paris, which included the royal residence and Sainte-Chapelle(illuminated manuscript from 1412–1416)Carillon of the Hôtel de Ville of DouaiUnfinished Beauvais Cathedrallacking a nave and spire (1225–1272)The spire of Beauvais Cathedralbefore its fall in 1573Chapel of the Virgin Mary in Saint EustacheDonjon of the Château de Vincennes, begun 1337The Chateau de Dourdon as it appeared in 1400, illustrated in Les Très Riches Heures du duc de BerryThe Château de DourdantodayRestored outer walls of the medieval Cité de Carcassonne(13th–14th century)Sainte-Clotilde, Paris, by Théodore Ballu(1841–57)Neo-Gothic fronton of Saint-Laurent, ParisSanctuary of Basilica of Saint-Laurent, Paris (1862–65)
- 1140 to 16th century
Early Gothic is the style of architecture that appeared in northern France, Normandy and then England between about 1130 and the mid-13th century. It combined and developed several key elements from earlier styles, particularly from Romanesque architecture, including the rib vault, flying buttress, and the pointed arch, and used them in innovative ways to create structures, particularly Gothic ...
- France and England
- Mid-12th to mid 13th century
- Timeline of Reims Cathedral
- Stained Glass
- Episcopal Palace and Treasury
- 800th Anniversary
- See Also
5th century – the Merovingian Cathedral
The settlement of a tribe of Gauls called the Remes, named Durocortorum, had been recorded by Julius Caesar in his accounts of the Gallic Wars. During the High Roman Empire, it became the capital of a province extending to the delta of the Rhine, and in the 3rd century A.D. was capital of the Roman province known as Second Belgium. The first Christian church there was founded by the first bishop, Saint Sixtus of Reimsbetween 250 and 300. At the beginning of the 5th century, in the Merovingian...
9th century – The Carolingian cathedral
In 816, Louis the Pious, the King of the Franks and co-Emperor, with his father Charlemagne, of the Holy Roman Empire, was crowned in Reims by Pope Stephen IV. The coronation and ensuing celebrations revealed the poor condition and inadequate size of the early cathedral. Beginning in about 818, the archbishop Ebboand the royal architect Rumaud began to build a much larger church from the ground up on the same site, using stone from the old city ramparts. The work was interrupted in 835, then...
12th century – the Early Gothic cathedral
By the 12th century, the Carolingian cathedral was considered too small for the ambitions of the Archbishop, Samson of Mauvoisin (1140-1160). He preserved the existing nave and transept but rebuilt and enlarged the two ends of the cathedral. He demolished the west front and adjoining tower in order to build two matching flanking towers, in imitation of the Royal Abbey of Saint Denis outside of Paris, whose choir dedication Samson himself had attended a few years earlier. The new church was lo...c. 250-300 - Saint Sixtus of Reimsis recorded as the first bishop of Reims314-A Cathedral of the Holy Apostles, built by Bishop Bétause, recorded at site of the Church of Saint-Symphorien420 - Bishop Nicasiusbuilds a new cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, at the present site496 - Clovisthe King of the Franks, is baptised by Bishop RemiApse (left), transept (centre), nave and west front (right)Plan of the Cathedral
The west façade, the entry to the cathedral, particularly glorifies royalty. Most of it was completed at the same time, giving it an unusual unity of style. It is harmonic or balanced, with two towers of equal height and three portals entering into the nave. The porches of the portals, with archivolts containing many sculptures, protrude from the main wall. Above and slightly behind the central portal is a large rose window at the level of the clerestory, with tall arched windows flanked by s...
The three portals contain an elaborate sculptural program that illustrates to the illiterate churchgoers the messages of the Bible. The central portal is devoted to the Virgin Mary, the patron of the cathedral. The principal scene under the gable of the top of the portal shows the symbolic marriage of Christ with his church, represented by Mary. Mary is also the figure on the statue-column in the centre of the doorway. The statuary of the south portal depicts the Last Judgement and the Apocal...
Fire destroyed the original roof and the spires in 1481: of the four towers that flanked the transepts, nothing remains above the height of the roof. The southwest tower contains the massive bourdon, a bell 2.46 meters in diameter, and weighing ten tons, given to the cathedral in 1570 by the cardinal Charles of Lorraine; it also contains the second bourdon, weighing seven tons, and 2.2 meters in diameter. This bell was made in 1849. 1. The towers of the west facade 2. Detail of the north towe...
Interior of the west wall
One distinctive feature of Reims Cathedral not found in other High Gothic cathedrals is the wall of sculpture on the inside of the west façade. Some of the statues, particularly around the doors, were badly damaged by fire after the bombardment of the church in 1914, but the wall has been substantially restored. Some of the sculpture continues the biblical stories illustrated on the west façade, such as the Apocalypse, while other themes are found only in the interior. Some scenes link Biblic...
The nave, the central body of the church running from the west end to the transept, is the section where ordinary parishioners worship. It occupies about half the length of the church, and has exceptional length and unity of style. It is somewhat narrower than the adjoining transept and apse. Its height is made possible through the use of a newer and stronger four-part rib vault, reinforced by the flying buttresses outside. The four-part vaults also made it possible to have arcades of identic...
The transept is the section of the cathedral between the nave and the choir, which extends on the north and south of the structure. The transept is both wider and higher than the nave, because it was originally intended to have four towers and a higher central tower. The four towers on the ends of the transept were begun but were not completed above the roofline. Four large piers are in place in the transept which were originally intended to support the central tower. The transept was reserve...
Interior of west façade
In the interior of the west façade, much of the original glass remains, though it has gone through several restorations. The centre of the west rose window depicts the Dormition of the Virgin. It complements the scene of the crowning of the Virgin Mary in sculpture on the exterior of the façade The circles of glass medallions in the window, from the centre outwards, represent the twelve apostles, angel musicians, and the kings and prophets of the Old Testament. The windows in the bays of the...
Up until the First World War, the upper windows of the nave preserved nearly all of their original glass. Each of the thirty-six windows depicted a bishop on the lower level, and a king of France on the upper level. The arcades depicted in glass over the heads of the kings were crowded with angels, suggesting that the kings were the earthly representatives of the celestial kingdom. Only four of these original windows survived intact in traverses eight to eleven of the Nave, in the two bays cl...
The north rose window in the transept represents the biblical Creation, and still has much of its original 13th-century glass. The central figure is God the creator, matching the sculptural theme on the exterior of the transept. The Virgin Mary in the window is depicted as the new Eve. The upper windows of the Transept are largely composed of white grisaille glass; many of which also date to the 13th century; these brought a maximum of light into the transept, the part of the cathedral used f...
The episcopal palace, known as the Palace of Tau, adjoins the cathedral on the south side of the apse. It was the residence of the archbishop, and also was the setting for the banquet given in honour of the new kings of France after their coronation. The episcopal palace has its own chapel, in the High Gothic style, directly alongside the cathedral. It has no collateral aisles and three levels, with tall lancet windows, and is more sober in its decoration than the neighbouring cathedral. It previously had its own flèche or spire, a symbol of the status of an archbishop. The adjoining residential wing was originally constructed in the Flamboyant Gothic style, but was largely reconstructed between 1686 and 1693 by the architect Robert de Cottein a more classical style, including a triangular fronton over its façade a monumental double stairway. The upper floor of this wing contains the hall used for the coronation banquets. 1. Bride meets the groom, in the "Song of Songs" Tapestry (16...
In 2011, the city of Reims celebrated the cathedral's 800th anniversary. The celebrations ran from 6 May to 23 October. Concerts, street performances, exhibitions, conferences, and a series of evening light shows highlighted the cathedral and its 800th anniversary. In addition, six new stained glass windows designed by Imi Knoebel, a German artist, were inaugurated on June 25, 2011. The six windows cover an area of 128 square meters (1,380 sq ft) and are positioned on both sides of the Chagall windowsin the apse of the cathedral.The Cathedral of Reims, by Domenico Quaglio the YoungerNorth towerInterior view, west rose
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According to French architect and author Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, himself one of the great producers of gargoyles in the 19th century, the earliest known medieval gargoyles appear on Laon Cathedral (c. 1200–1220). One of the more famous examples is the gargoyles of Notre-Dame de Paris. Although most have grotesque features, the term gargoyle ...
Notre-Dame de Paris (French: [nɔtʁə dam də paʁi]; meaning "Our Lady of Paris"), referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.