It will be a dream of most people to take a long break from their busy lifestyle and go for an exotic vacation. If you are also going through the same phase, you are likely to be confused when it comes to choosing your holiday destination. Note that one of the best options anyone can consider to spend some quality time is the city of Paris. The French capital has got everything that a tourist would yearn for irrespective of their age, gender, area of interest, and budget. The city has it all and you would never regret planning a Paris city tour. In fact, most frequent travelers claim that the charisma of the City of Lights will surely make you plan more trips to this magical land.
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of attractions in Paris and it will be hard for you to explore it all on your vacation. However, one of the most important attractions that you must never miss out on your Paris city tour is the spectacular monuments here. On a related note, the beauty of every stunning construction in the city is sure to give you a momentary paralysis. Unfortunately, most tourists will not be able to venture every national monument in the city on their short trip. If you are also facing a dilemma when it comes to shortlisting a few options, one of the must-see French monuments that exhibit the epitome of artistic talent is the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Notre Dame Cathedral
This amazing architectural wonder that screams pure artistic talent from every angle was constructed between the 12th and 14th centuries. Every stone of this aesthetic structure will walk you through the rich history of the nation. One of the main highlights of this wondrous cathedral is its gothic appeal. Additionally, the cathedral shows off the significant role of the French capital during the 12th century as an economic and spiritual center, its connection with the monarchy, the scars from the French Revolution, etc.
Once, the monument even reached the verge of demolition due to its connection with the monarchs. Recently, a fire broke out at the cathedral and enveloped much of its stunning roof and the giant spire. Even though the reason behind the fire breakout is yet unknown, it is speculated to be because of the ongoing renovation works.
Currently, thousands to visitors come to enjoy the beauty of this astounding structure, especially the flying buttresses and rose windows. So, you can always expect a tourist pandemonium at this place. Hence, it is recommended to book your ticket beforehand. Plus, try to come here during noon hours to beat the crowd and to skip standing in long and tiring queues. Furthermore, below are some of the lesser known facts about the spectacular Notre Dame Cathedral. Referring to these points will surely add to your overall experience.
There is a Pagan City below the Giant Notre Dame Cathedral
It is reported that the popular Notre Dame Cathedral stands on an ancient Gallo-Roman city called Lutetia. Apparently, the cathedral is built right over the remnants of this ancient temple. Note that an altar dedicated to God Jupiter and many other deities were discovered at this spot during an excavation in 1710. However, it is still unclear whether these are the remnants of a temple or if these pieces were recycled here from some other locations. Again in the 19th century, archeologists found some more ancient architectural ruins at this spot. All these pieces of evidence are still preserved in the archeological crypt located beneath the square right in front of the cathedral.
You Can See Some Recycled Structures at the Facade of the Notre Dame
At the western entrance of the cathedral, you can see three striking portals. Each portal is beautified with the sculptures of saints and sacred scenes. However, you can clearly spot a portal that stands out or does not fit to the whole scene. On a related note, the portal Sainte- Anne features some distinct figures, particularly the central virgin and the child.
These figures are way stiffer and artificial in their poses and features when compared to the rest. This is because this decorative semi-circular area or tympanum was recycled from the remnants of an ancient Romanesque church. In the 19th century, a close examination of the structure revealed that this portal was not actually made for this area. Rather, it was later enhanced or adapted to fit this captivating gothic structure.
There is a picturesque forest in the roof of the cathedral
You can see some of the oldest surviving wood timber Parisian frames all over the cathedral. Several studies in the field claim that the builders cut down 52 acres of trees during the 12th century to create these wooden frames and other structures. You will be amazed to know that each beam at this incredible monument is constructed using an individual tree. As a result, the historic woodwork at this French architecture was nick-named as the Forest. So, never expect to find a real forest in the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral.