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You are standing at the Notre Dame de Paris, the famous French cathedral. Notre Dame de Paris is widely
considered one of the very finest examples in world of French Gothic architecture, and
by looking at the cathedral; I think you can understand why. The name Notre Dame is something
not specific to this grand cathedral. The phrase means "our lady" with a direct reference
to the Virgin Mary, and is widely used all over France as a name for churches and cathedrals.
Even though the full name of these masterpieces is Notre Dame de Paris, many people just refer
to it as the Notre Dame. The planning of a new, grand cathedral in
Paris began in 1160. It was the newly appointed bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully, who ordered
the construction of a new cathedral. In order to make place for it, the bishop had the old
church demolished together with several other houses. A new road was also constructed in
order to bring material to the construction site. Construction of the cathedral itself
began in 1163, when either Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone. Who
actually laid the first piece of this masterpiece is still under debate, but it is documented
that both the bishop and the pope was attending the ceremony in question.
The cathedral consists of two parts; the western side is the main entrance with the two bell
towers while the eastern side is the main hall and choir. During the construction, focus
was on building the eastern part first. That way the cathedral could still be utilized
by putting up a temporary western wall while the rest of the western parts were being built.
Construction of the choir took place between 1163 and 1177and the new high altar was finished
1182. Maurice de Sully never got to see the cathedral complete, as he died in 1196. His
successor, Eudes de Sully, continued the work and began construction of the western entrance
before his own death in 1208. The western entrance stood completed in when the South tower was
finished in 1250, but the building itself was not entirely completed until 1345 as details
were added and changed for the last 100 years. Thus, in total this masterpiece took almost
180 years to complete. In 1793, the cathedral was damaged during
the French Revolution. Many sculptures and treasures were plundered or destroyed. One
example of this is The Gallery of Kings. This is a row of twenty-eight statues representing
twenty-eight generations of kings of Judah, which can be seen just above the main gates.
However, after the kings' installation in the 13th century, they quickly became familiar
representations of the kings of France and from 1284 onwards, they were presented in
this way. During the troubled time of the Revolution, these statues were attacked and
beheaded as they were seen as symbols of the royal tyranny. These were later restored when
the church underwent restoration work during the 19th century. The restorations lasted
23 years, and it was during this period that the spire which you can see today was erected.
Today, the cathedral houses a total of five bells in its bell towers; one grand bell and
five smaller. By smaller I mean that they weigh between two and three tons, so they
are only small when compared to the big bell. The big bell is known as "Emmanuel" and weighs
13 tons. It is located in the south tower and it is rung for major holidays such as Christmas,
Easter, all Saints' days and other important events. The smaller bells ring every hour
to indicate the time. Notre Dame de Paris truly has an amazing outside,
decorated with hundreds of gargoyles and statues, each telling their own story. Especially interesting
to many is the gates, which stories I will give you now.
The main gate you can see in the middle portrays the meeting with the Lord and the last judgment.
You will also see an angel and a devil with a scale in between. This symbolizes all the
good deeds and the bad deeds people have done through their lives and the tilt of the scale
decides where the people end up; in either heaven or hell. If you look closely, you will
see how the people on the left side of the scale happily looks up towards the sky, where
as the right ones are sad looking as they have to follow the devil. The right gate,
known as The Portal of St. Anne, displays the story of the marriage of Joachim and Anne
and the marriage of Mary and Joseph as well as scenes from Christ's arrival on earth.
The left gate is known as The Portal of the Virgin. Above the door, you will see the three
prophets on the left and three Old Testament kings on the right, holding phylacteries showing
that God's promise has been fulfilled; Jesus has come to save humanity. Above that you
can see Mary on her death bed, surrounded by Jesus and the twelve Apostles. You can
also see two angels, lifting up her shroud and taking her to Heaven. On the top you can
see Mary in Heaven, crowned the Queen of Heaven by an angel while being blessed by Jesus.
If you choose to go up in the towers, which I can highly recommend as the view is great,
you will get a closer look at the gargoyles and chimeras. While the statues have a decorative
purpose, they also have a practical purpose as some of them are used as drainpipes. Many
of the grotesque figures have a passageway inside that carries rainwater from the roof
and out through the gargoyle's mouth. The gargoyles were also believed to protect the
cathedral against evil spirits. The classical chimeras you can see surrounding the two towers
were however not in the original cathedral, but they were added later during the 19th
century restoration. While the outside of the Notre Dame is amazing,
the inside is just as beautiful. Inside you will find spiritual statues, magnificent paintings
and breathtaking stained glass windows. Many of the old church windows also tell a story,
with each part of the window telling a part of the story, almost like a modern cartoon.
Most breathtaking are the three rose windows, which all date back to 13th century. Although
they have received some restoration work during the years, the windows you can see today are
very much true to what the windows looked like in the 13th century. Quite amazing.
Even though the cathedral is the obvious point of focus, there are some surrounding places
and monuments that are worth noting. If you look at the cathedrals front, you will see
a large statue to your right. The inscription reads "Charlemagne et ses levdes", meaning
Carlemagne and his noble servants. Carlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, was the great
Frankish king during the 8th century who helped define the Western Europe we know today through
his conquering. The statue is not as old as the Notre Dame itself, as the statue was created
in 1886 by Louis and Charles Rochet. Another interesting little detail can be found
in the pavement, in front of the cathedral. If you look around you should see a circular
marking, saying "Point Zéro - des routes des France" meaning "Point Zero -- the roads
of France". This is the location where all distances are traditionally measured. Many
countries have there so called "Kilometer Zero"-points, and France's point happens to
be right here. The marking is also considered to be the official centre of the city of Paris.
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法國巴黎聖母院 (◄ Notre Dame de Paris, Paris [HD] ►)

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阿多賓 發佈於 2014 年 1 月 25 日    Bel 翻譯    Kristi Yang 審核
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