Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame Cathedral was built between 1163 and 1345 on a site occupied first by a Roman temple and then by 2 earlier Christian churches.  The cathedral is designed in the style of French Gothic architecture.  Most notable on the outside of the cathedral are its flying buttresses and frightening gargoyles which look down on you.  Inside are the beautiful stained glass rose windows and a 7800 pipe organ.

View from the front of the cathedral.  Visible in the center between the towers and about half-way up is one of the rose windows.

One of the rose windows from the inside!

Audrey and I in back of the cathedral.  You can see the flying buttresses from here.  We are standing on a bridge over the Seine River.  Notre Dame is actually on an island in the middle of the river.

Another view of Notre Dame near sunset.  You can see more of the Ile de la Cite on which the cathedral sits.

Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle was consecrated in 1248 and sits tucked away within the walls of the Palais de Justice (Law Courts).  The walls of the upper chapel are curtains of richly colored and finely detailed stained glass which bathe the chapel in an extraordinary light.  The upper chapel was built for worship by the king and his court.

The windows are mesmerizing with their color.  The windows depict Biblical scenes, from Genesis to the Apocalypse.

Another beautiful part of the chapel, other than the windows, including a rose window shown here, is the ceiling which is covered with gold fleur-de-lis (one of the French symbols which depicts an iris flower).

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