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The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral built in the Western part of the island the Sieve, on a place where in the I century ad was a Roman altar dedicated to Jupiter. Among the Gothic churches of France the Cathedral of Notre Dame stands out austere grandeur of its appearance. Depending on the time of day and weather its silhouette is painted in various tones of grey from steel to smoke. And in the evening, in the rays of the setting sun towers of the Cathedral look pink-ash…

In beauty, proportions, the degree of realization of the idea of Gothic art, the Cathedral of Notre Dame is an absolutely unique phenomenon. Today, looking at its holistic and harmonious ensemble, it is impossible to believe that the temple was built almost two hundred years, he repeatedly reworked and capital was restored.

The construction of the Cathedral began in 1163 in Paris Bishop Maurice de Sully. The first stone in its Foundation was laid by Pope Alexander III. In the construction process, which ended only in the mid XIV century, the original plan of the Cathedral has undergone several changes, taking the Mature Gothic art.

History has preserved the names of several architects completes the construction of the temple. In 1257-1270, worked here Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montral.In 1280-1330, construction was led by Pierre de Chelles and Jean Ravi. Funds for the construction of the main Paris of the temple generously donated by the king, bishops, and ordinary citizens. The main altar was consecrated in may 1182 year, and in January 1185 arrived in Paris the Patriarch of Jerusalem, officiated in the Cathedral a solemn mass. By 1196 the Church was almost completed, work continued only on the main facade. In the second quarter of the XIII century was built the tower.

Notre Dame Cathedral is a five-naval Basilica. Its length is 130 m, the height of the towers of 69 meters, the Cathedral can simultaneously accommodate nine thousand people.

The main Western facade of the temple with emphatic clarity is divided into three tiers: the lower part consisting of three portals, the middle part of the Gallery of Kings with a rose window and upper part of the tower. The facades of the Cathedral are richly decorated with sculpture a lavishly decorated portals. The most interesting is the left portal, dedicated to the virgin Mary. It is decorated with amazing expressiveness and power of execution of the sculpture “the Glory of the blessed virgin”. This is one of the best examples of early French Gothic. The right portal is dedicated to Saint Anne, and on it are carved scenes from her life. The middle portal makes a more severe impression. In its center is a three-tier composition “the last judgment”, above which rises the figure of the terrible Judges of the world – Christ, surrounded by apostles, six on each side. The sculpture of all three portals are among the finest works of medieval art. They are United by one common purpose: to portray the entire history of Christianity from the fall to the last judgment. Much of the sculptures of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, including all twenty-eight statues of the gallery of Kings, is a XIX century copies: the originals are broken in the years of the French revolution.

From the stone decoration of facades of Notre-Dame-de-Paris extremely interesting famous statues of chimeras. They are installed on the top platform of the Cathedral at the foot of the towers. Chimeras, destroyed by time, were restored in 1850-1860-ies sculptor viola Le Duc. These terrible, fantastic creatures of the medieval authors have given inner psychology, they live – and it produces on the audience is extremely strong and, perhaps, scary.

In the interior of the Cathedral is dominated by grey stone stacked walls and vaults of the temple. This immediately raises the feeling of mrachnovato, coldness. Before the Cathedral was even darker, and I had to punch new Windows in the side walls, since the Central nave was covered very poorly. Its high vaulted ceiling rises into the almost infinite height. The height of the Central nave of the Cathedral of Notre Dame is 35 m, and in combination with a relatively small width and greater ease of construction of the arch that creates a special feeling of immensity and grandeur.

As in other Gothic churches, Notre-Dame de Paris there is no wall paintings, and the only source of color in the monotonous gray interior are numerous stained glass Windows, inserted in the covers of high pointed Windows. The sunlight, penetrating through them fills the Church with a whole rainbow of shades. In some parts of the temple is dominated by a pure violet or blue, others orange or warmer Reds. This game color not only softens the monotony of construction, but also makes the interior of the Cathedral is a magical luxury and mystery.

The image on the stained glass Windows made in accordance with the medieval canons. On the Windows of the choir are scenes from the earthly life of the Savior, the stained-glass Windows on the side walls – fragments from the lives of saints. The stained glass of the high Windows of the nave depict the patriarchs, biblical kings, and apostles. In the Windows of the lateral chapels are the scenes of the earth life of the virgin Mary. The stained glass Windows and huge, with a diameter of 13 m, rose-window include about eighty scenes from the old Testament.

Unfortunately, among the stained-glass Windows of Notre Dame are very few genuine. Almost all of them are later works, replacing broken and injured for a long history. Intact to have survived only the rose window of the. But not only stained glass, but the Cathedral could not be reached to our days: from the revolutionary mob and its leaders the Church of our lady has caused particular anger, as well as in Paris bacchanal raged with special force, and Notre Dame suffered much more than other cathedrals of France. Badly damaged during the revolution an ancient building from the late eighteenth century, went into decline, and in those years, when Victor Hugo wrote his famous novel “the hunchback of Notre Dame”, the Church was threatened with utter destruction. In the years 1841-1864 this was a major restoration of the Cathedral. In the same years were broken buildings adjacent to the Cathedral, and in front of it formed the existing area.

In the Cathedral of Notre Dame houses one of the great relics of Christianity – the crown of Thorns of Jesus Christ.