Reflections of Notre Dame Paris
Learning of the burning of Notre Dame Paris today has made me so sad. I remember visiting Paris for the first time at 9 years old and walking into this iconic cathedral. I was in awe of the enormity and beauty of this impressive building and never forgot the feeling I had when gazing into the brilliant stained glass. I have an old scrapbook with about 50 pictures of just stained glass!
Listening to the bells of Notre Dame is truly a treat. You can watch and listen in this video:
I wanted to reflect on the long life of this Parisian icon that has been a symbol of faith, history, and survival in the center of Paris for so many years!
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in this building over the last 800 years. Its walls have witnessed so much history! It has survived plagues, crusades, revolutions, invasions, World Wars,
It is always heartbreaking to see the destruction of a landmark so old beautiful. It’s something that you think will always be there. It seems so immovable and so eternal. But it’s also a good reminder that bad things can happen, but that we can always overcome. Notre Dame will be repaired and rebuilt in time, just as it always has been.
Here’s a brief history of Notre Dame
When was the Paris Notre Dame Cathedral built?
The beautiful Notre Dame de Paris, which literally translated means Our Lady of Paris, was built in the middle of the River Seine on the small island of Île de la Cité. Construction of the cathedral began in 1163 and was finally completed in 1345.
It took almost 200 years to build and is one of the most impressive examples of Medieval Gothic architecture in the world. Notre Dame is literally the center of the city of Paris, and also culturally at the heart of Paris!
Famous historical events in Notre Dame
- 1431: Henry VI was crowned King
- 1558: Mary, Queen of Scots marries Francis the II.
- 1804: Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor
- 1909: Joan of Arc was beatified
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This is not the first time in history that Notre Dame has been damaged. It burned in the 1300s. It was neglected and severely damaged during the French Revolution in the 1790s. It was actually thanks to Napoleon that the cathedral was not completely destroyed during the revolution, as many Catholic artifacts and French art were being destroyed.
Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, written in 1831, brought to light the building’s decapitated condition, which helped ignite interest in the building, bringing about reconstruction in the mid-1800s.
Notre Dame and WWII
Notre Dame de Paris survived WWII and the occupation of the Nazi party. During WWII, the beautiful Rose Window, which was the largest stained glass window in the world, was removed in anticipation of German occupation and Nazi vandalism. It was reinstalled after the war.
What’s in store for Notre Dame?
As you can see, this beautiful cathedral has had a long history of destruction and restoration. It means enough to the people of France that it will not be neglected.
President Macron has declared that the Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt! Notre Dame has burned before in the 1300s and was rebuilt. St. Paul’s Cathedral in London has burned down four times! We are witnessing history right now and will be able to tell our children that we remember the day that Notre Dame burned and that we witnessed it being rebuilt!