Notre Dame

5 Oct

Like I said last time, my class is pretty centrally located. It’s only a fifteen minute walk to the heart of Paris, and some pretty key tourist attractions. Exhibit A: Notre Dame. The cathedral is 850 years old this fall. That’s pretty damn old.

 Not seen: Hunchback of, or moving gargoyles.

It was pretty gorgeous most of this week. I killed a spare hour wandering around inside, taking pretty terrible photos and doing to tourist thing. Did you know that all but one of the famed bells of Notre Dame were melted down for the metal during the French Revolution? They left the big one alone and replaced the others with bells made of inferior tin, which is why they sound so bad these days.

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc is probably one of my favorite saints, and not just because of that Milla Jovovich movie. I mean, she was this poor peasant girl, so certain that God was talking to her, that she fought and led battles at a time when women weren’t allowed to do much of anything. She also stuck to her beliefs, eventually burning at stake for them. I’m not sure how to classify my feelings on the whole matter.  She’s a patron saint of France, hence the statue here and in many other churches.

I was mostly struck by how well the folds of fabric are carved into the marble; according to that docent at the Cloisters in NYC, that’s the mark of a really good sculptor.

I’m a pretty shitty photographer, so this is the best shot of the stained glass I got. (You don’t even want to know how bad the ones of the Rose Windows are.) This is a decent representation of what they have, though: lots of intricate little religious scenes and patterns.

There’s some shots somewhere of my favorite frieze carving on the outside, but I have no idea what my computer did with them. What the hell, Bo. I guess that means I have to go back sometime soon. Oh, what a shame. Really.

This is only a small taste of the cathedral; I haven’t even been up in the belfry or treasury yet. So there will probably be a few more posts on this place in the future!


One Response to “Notre Dame”

  1. jodi palmer October 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    You are so lucky. What a beautiful city to be in. Treasure your days there. Jodi

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