Notre-Dame de Paris

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Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the lle de la Cite in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral

The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral

As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame is the parish that contains the cathedra, or official chair, of the archbishop of Paris, currently Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois. The cathedral treasury is notable for its reliquary which houses some of Catholicism's most important first-class relics including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral

In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction began, the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral
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