While the 12th Century iconic Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames on Monday evening, April 15, and left people devasted in Paris and netizens across the world, let us travel back in time, turn the pages of history to know more about the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral.
The beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral is located on a small island called the Ile de la Cite in the middle of the River Seine. It was completed in the course of almost 200 years. Considered as one of the most notable monuments in Paris, the construction of the Church was started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345.
Notre Dame Cathedral also had tragic historical moments even before the parts of the Church was engulfed in flames in Paris, April 15, 2019. It was during the time of the crowning of Henry VI in the cathedral in the year 1431 and it was believed that at some point around that time, it was in ruins and on the verge of being demolished but was later saved by Napoleon who was crowned Emperor in 1804 inside the Cathedral.
Again during World War II, it was said that German soldiers destroyed the newly installed stain glass. It was only after the war, the glasses were installed.
While discussing the glorious past and tragic incidents, the history of the Cathedral is incomplete with the story of Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who was believed to have visions from God. She was rich spiritually but has no possession of material goods. It was through her vision and courage and clever military tactics, France won many battles against England. A great supporter of the monarchy, Joan Of Arc was indirectly responsible for the crowing of Charles VII.
However, she was captured by the Burundians’, accused of heresy and tragically, she was burned at the stake. But, on July 7, 1456, Joan of Arc was declared innocent and a martyr. Later in 1909, Pope Pius X beatified her in this famous Church.
Notre Dame Cathedral Church, also known as “our lady” is still in use today by the Roman Catholic Church for Sunday mass and it is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris.
Apart from this, what makes the Church iconic is the bell tower which is redesigned to ring automatically. A visitor has to climb 140 steps staircase if he/she wants to see the beautiful city of Paris.
In the Church, there is also a 17th-century organ, the parts of which are still functional. The drawings, engravings bear proof to the developments of the Church and hidden mysteries of the existence of the city of Paris.