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Notre Dame Cathedral Kim Chauvin French I March 15 1999 Notre Dame french expression for Our Lady the Virgin Mary is the most famous catholic cathedral and a very well-known landmark in Paris It is otherwise known as the Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris by the French It stands on the Ile de la cite a larger of two islands in the Seine River It is considered a masterpiece of gothic architecture in France Maurice de Sully was the bishop of Paris at the time and started the cathedrals construction in 1163 The construcion and design were done by the best artists around and was completed around 1345 Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil oversaw and directed the construction It was not finished until the beginning of the 13th century During the Revolution the 1700s it was heavily destroyed by mobs however it was restored beginning in 1841 by Viollet le Duc He added chimeras and gargoyles to the tower walls The chimeras were being built as decoration and the gargoyles as rain gutters The facade of the cathedral is composed of several levels crowning three great portals the Portal of the Last Judgement the Portal to the Virgin and the Portal to Saint Anne Above this is the Gallery of Kings which consists of 28 statues of kings of Judah and Israel Every year about 500000 visitors make the climb of the 380-stepped stairway that leads to the peak of the cathedral Their reward for making the long climb is a great view of Paris and a look at Emmanuel the 13 ton bell The bell was operated by pedals that required the energy of 8 men but today Emmanuel is rung electronically The Rose Window is one of the only original stained-glass windows left in the cathedral Most of the windows were removed and rebuilt after World War 2 These are a wonderful and beautiful part
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