French now know as Notre Dame due to

architecture is very prominent, it`s features relies on finest details,
spacious stonework.


The French can be admired for diverse kinds of things, for instance
their fashion, their cuisine, their wine, their arts and artists. However above
all they have brilliant architecture for instance the Rheims Cathedral at Place
du cardinal Luçon in France
and the Chateau de Chambord ten miles east of Blois. (Courtenay, 1997,
p. 63)
The French are also known for their excellent architects. They had one of the
most iconic architects Le Corbusier who was the mastermind behind the Villa
Savoye. Secondly they have Jean Nouvel who is more of a modern architect and is
recognized for his use of glass, some of his works are the Torre Glòries and the One Central Park which are
contrived with a lot of glass.

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Grotting’s picture (2005) portrays the Torre


Notre Dame


Notre Dame is a cathedral constructed in
France between the 12th to 13th centuries located in the
heart of Paris on the Ile De La Cite. Notre Dame is often known to be one of
the best cathedrals when it comes to French gothic architecture. The gothic era
was very significant in French architecture and in the history of Paris. (uk.essays,

Robinson’s image displays the famous Notre



Notre Dame was previously called the Saint

Etienne cathedral in the 12th
century. It was a substantial basilica constructed with five naves, there
wasn’t a lot of information on Saint Etienne however it was extracted in the
middle of the 12th century under the regime of King Louis VII. (Lofaro,
2017)  It was later replaced by what we
now know as Notre Dame due to Maurice De Sully which was the pope at time. The
first stone was set down in 1163 in the latency of Pope Alexandre III. The
monument was completed around 1350. (Softschools, 2012)



The cathedral stands at 128 meters in length
and 12 meters wide. The cathedral had two massive towers which are approximately
226 feet high and has 387 steps. Its cruciform plan, elevated nave and transept
were taken from Romanesque architecture from the 11th century.
However its pointed arch and ribbed vaulting were rigorously gothic. Notre Dame
was one of the first cathedrals to have arched exterior support known as flying
buttresses which helped with the construction of the high inclusion
to the flying buttresses there are over a dozen piers used to support the mass
of the cathedral. (Visual arts cork, 2015).The cathedral is also known for its
external statues and engravings surrounding the exterior walls. Notre Dame also
has Christian architecture amongst its external features, it has three portals
on its façade. Firstly the portal of the last judgement, which was built in the
early 12th century and was the last portal that was completed,
however the cathedral began to weather and was later restored by Viollet le Duc
in the 19th century.  The statues on the left side of the door jamb
represent St. Andrew, St. Bartholomew, St. Simon, St. John, St. James and St.
Peter. On the trumeau is the statue of ‘Beau Dieu’ also known as the statue of
Christ teaching. (Pierre, 2015).

The lower lintel portrays
the resurrection of the dead and the upper lintel portrays Archangel Michael
weighing their souls. The convicted are on the right hand side beside the
devil, on their way to hell, and the righteous are on the left hand side with
Christ on their way to heaven. (Pierre, 2015).

The sculptures on the tympanum coveys the Last
Judgment from the Gospel of Matthew and concedes Christ seating on the throne
of honor.

Pierre’s picture (2015) portrays the

There’s an angel on his
right holding a spear and the nails of the cross and the angel on left is
holding the cross, on either side Mary and John are praying for the dead.
Alongside all of this is the archivolt which portrays the heavenly court,
including prophets, angels, patriarch’s, doctors of the church, martyrs and
virgins. Underneath the tympanum is the sculpture of hell, conveying the devil
trampling on three accursed souls. (Pierre, 2015).

On the north façade is the left portal, the
portal of the virgin. This portal was constructed between the years 1210 to
1220, it conveys the death of Mary and her rising to heaven. On the door jamb
on this portal has full sized statues. The statues on the left consists of Emperor
Constantine, Saint Denis holding his head and a staff alongside two other
angels. The statues on the right consist of St. Stephen, St. Genevieve, and
John the Baptist, and Pope Sylvester. These statues were damaged in 1973 due to
the French Revolution and was restored in the 19th century by
Viollet le Duc. Pierre’s picture (2015) portrays the sculpture. The lower
lintel portrays three prophet on the left and three Old Testament kings on the
right holding scrolls prophesying Christ. The upper lintel shows Mary lying on
her death bed, surrounded by Jesus and twelve disciples. Two angels are
carrying Mary to heaven. (walwyn, 2010).

The archivolts consists of angels, patriarchs,
kings and prophets eye witnessing the coronation.

The portal of St. Anne is on the western façade, on the right hand side
and was furnished around 1220 before the other two portals. On the either side
of the throne are angels, on the left is the Bishop of Paris and his officer,
and on the right is the King of France. Above the tympanum is the entire heavenly
court including angels, Kings, prophets and old men of the annihilation. The
lower lintel portrays the marriage of Joachim and Anne accompanied by the
marriage of Mary and Joseph. The upper lintel conveys the coming of Christ to
earth, from the declaration to the realization.

gallery of kings consists of twenty eight statues which portarys each one of
the kings of judah, who were human ascendants of Mary and Jesus and descendants
of Abraham. The authentic statues were joined in the 13th century.
Notre Dame is also very famous for its magnificent rose window which gleams
like jewels over the west door and in the north and south transept, its niche,
arcade and lintels. The south rose window was added around the year 1260. The
south rose is 12.9 meters in diameter and has eighty four planes of glass. The
north rosw window was installed around 1250 and like the south is also
12.9meters in diameter. Abelard’s picture (2010) shows the plan.


Interior features

The interior consists of a nave arcade, gallery,
triforium and clerestory, ambulatories, sexpartite vault, and the crossing. In
the nave the transept scarcely surmounts the width of the façade. (Davies, 2007, p. 395). The plan of Notre
Dame, Paris is documented to have begun in 1163, only a couple of years after
Notre Dame in Loan. However there is a visible difference between both, due to
the use of Romanesque architecture and the use of gothic architecture. In the nave
the large clerestory windows and light portray he nave walls to seem remarkably
thin, which create an effect that the nave is weightless. The ceilings are
supported by ribbed vaults, with an immense amount of arches meeting at a point
across the building. The chapels in the cathedral are all unique and tell
diverse biblical stories. (Pierre, 2015)

The main materials used in the construction of Notre Dame are
limestone, glass the cathedral is composed of a large amount of glass. For
instance the use of glass for the stain rose windows. Wood was also a major
contribution to the construction of the cathedral. There was also a vast use of
paint in decorating the cathedral, however the paint did eventually start to
fade away. Mortar was also used a lot in the interior due to its flexibility. (Pierre, 2015) Lastly there was an
extensive use of iron in the construction of the cathedral. Iron was used for
strength and support due to the mass and height of the cathedral. Overall Notre
Dame Cathedral is still one of the most recognized French gothic Cathedral’s in
the world due to its outstanding detail in the portals the windows and the
statues.  Pierre’s picture (2015) portrays
the sculpture.


















Reference page

Courtney, T. (1997)
the engineering of medieval cathedrals. 2nd edn. Hampshire: Ashgate
Publishing Limited.

Davies, P. (2007)
Janson’s history of art. 7th edn. Upper Saddle River: Pearson
Education Inc.

Jordan, F. (1969)
Western architecture.1st edn. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.

Minerva. (1997)
Beaute De Paris. 1st edn. Genève: Editions Minerva SA

Softschools. (2012)
Notre Dame Facts. Available at:

(Accessed: 21
January 2018).

Lofaro, M. (2017)
Notre Dame Cathedral facts you must know. Available at:
(accessed: 21 January 2018).

Ukessays. (2015)
The Notre Dame Cathedral. Available at: UK Essays. November 2013. The Notre
Dame Cathedral Anthropology Essay. online. Available from:
(Accessed: 21 January 2018).

Pierre. (2015) West
Façade of Notre Dame Cathedral,Paris. Available at:
(accessed: 21 January 2018).

Abelard. (2010)
plan of Notre Dame. available at:

Pierere. (2015)
nave. Available at:






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