Having so much time due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and looking through the folders with pictures from past holidays, I discovered pictures that made me feel so nostalgic. We will go to a trip down memory lane in 2014, in Paris, and I will share pictures with an attraction which now is out of reach: The Notre Dame Cathedral.
Notre-Dame de Paris is consecrated to the Virgin Mary and is situated in Ile de la Cite, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris and was considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. The cathedral was the site of Napoleon's coronation. Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame promoted the cathedral as a symbol of Paris and the French nation. Unique relics, including the Crown of Thorns, a silver and a nail from the true cross were preserved at Notre-Dame. This building of unique heritage caught on the 15th April 2019 and burned for around 15 hours, sustaining serious damage.
The cathedral was covered with sculpture illustrating biblical stories and the tympanum over the central portal on the west facade illustrates the Las Judgement, with sinners being led off to hell, and good people taken to heaven. The gargoyles were added in about 1240 were designed to divide the torrent of water which poured from the roof after rain.
The stained glass windows of Notre-Dame were among the most famous features of the cathedral. The circles are depicting Saint Denis, Old Testament subjects, Jesus' descent into Hell, the Resurrection of Christ, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Mary Magdalene and John the Apostle.
By now you probably noticed the date on the pictures, the 3rd of November 2014, which is the day when my wife answered "I do!" when I asked her to merry me, under the Eiffel Tower lights.
If you also noticed the poor quality of the pictures, they were done on a Nikon digital camera, not on the smartphone, and that just made me feel so old.
Following the 2019 fire, The French Parliament passed a law requiring that the restored roof must appeared the same as before the fire. Stabilising the structure against possible collapse is expected to continue until the end of 2020, with reconstruction beginning in 2021. The estimated time when the reconstruction can be completed was Spring 2024, just in time for the opening of the 2024 Olympics.
The repair and reconstruction will not bring back the real Notre Dame but with the help of today's technology and architeture, the Cathedral will open again for tourists.
You can still visit the place but you can hardly see anything due to the scaffolding and restoration works. The Ils de la Cite is reachable by public transport. The nearby stops are Cite and Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame. The best view of Notre Dame from the rear, highlighting the flying buttresses, holding the walls, is from Pont de la Tournelle.