The world watched in horror as Notre Dame, Our Lady Cathedral in Paris, France, burned for hours on Monday, April 15th, 2019. I was in Paris having just returned to my hotel after being near Notre Dame when the fire broke out.
The video you see above was taken on April 11th, 2019 when I visited Notre Dame with my A Taste of Paris, 2019 group. I feel very thankful that I took this tiny snippet, I don’t usually take video or pictures here as I have visited so many times but, on this day, I had been searching for several new artifacts.
Notre Dame is ALWAYS on the list of sites to visit with my groups, it has to be one of the most memorable and emotional places we go.
When you think about the fact that this structure is almost 900 years old, the very first stone was laid in 1163, it gives you chills. As you enter the structure and see all of the painstaking details, you began to understand just what it must have been like in mid evil times to carry and hoist each and every stone to construct this Gothic marvel. Notre Dame was completed in 1345 taking 182 years to build. Now that is awesome.
A few facts about Notre Dame you might not know:
- When Notre Dame was built it could hold 10,000 people for worship, standing of course, there were no pews.
- Notre Dame was built on the exact site of the pagan temple of Jupiter built by the Romans in the 6th century.
- In 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned the first emperor of France here.
- Victor Hugo’s, Hunchback of Notre Dame was completed, in 1831. At that time, the cathedral was in a terrible state of disrepair. As the novel gained in popularity, people began to visit Notre Dame and the French government decided to restore this massive beauty.
- The crown of thorns worn by Jesus, a nail from his cross and a piece of the cross are housed in the crypt at Notre Dame, in the deepest part of the structure. These artifacts are brought out for viewing only 1 time a year, on Good Friday. Luckily, these artifacts were saved from the fire.
- Notre Dame is one of the largest religious structure in the world.
- Every year more that 13 million people visit Notre Dame
The above image is the center front facade of Notre Dame. You dont have a complete picture here but what you are looking at is Jesus in the center with his 12 apostles, Peter being just to His left. Above Jesus you will see the last judgement taking place. I love sharing this scene with my travelers in great detail and cannot tell you how grateful I am that it is still standing.
The French have vowed to rebuild Notre Dame and hope to have it completed within 5 years. I look forward to watching the progress that I am sure will amaze.
I would love to hear from you guys about you first visit to Notre Dame or any detail you would like to share!