by Alikay Wood
One of the most famous monuments in the world, the Notre Dame Cathedral is a stunning piece of living history. Here is a collection of photos of the cathedral from Guideposts staff members.
The exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most recognizable buildings on the planet. Four churches existed on the land before construction on the cathedral began in 1160.
The first construction phase took nearly 100 years. Since then, the cathedral has undergone numerous renovations and expansions. In the 1790s, the structure was severely damaged during the French Revolution.
The cathedral was built on the Île de la Cité, an island on the Seine River that marks the center of Paris. It is still a working church and the seat of the Archbishop of Paris.
Victor Hugo's famous novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame revived interest in the cathedral and led to a major renovation project in the mid-1800s. It was during this renovation that the cathedral's spire was created.
Notre Dame is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The interior of the cathedral is filled with sculptures of biblical figures. Many people could not read the Bible during the time the church was built, and the sculptures helped them learn Scripture.
One of the most iconic images of Notre Dame are the rose windows. The beautiful stained glass pieces display vivid colors designed to evoke the atmosphere of the cathedral.
After centuries of exposure, the exterior of the cathedral had faded and discolored. In the 20th century, much of the exterior of the building began to be carefully replaced or cleaned and Notre Dame was returned to its famous cream color.
In April 2019, the cathedral caught on fire. The spire and a portion of the roof collapsed. Nearly 400 firefighters fought the blaze, and most of the famous art was removed before parts of the building were destroyed. “We will rebuild. All together,” Emmanuel Macron, President of France, said. “It’s part of the fate, the destiny of France, and our common project over the coming years. And I am committed to it.”
Click on a picture to enjoy more inspiring photos and stories.
Explore the collection of slideshows and discover inspirational quotes, beautiful photos, and powerful stories of hope.