The tragic prophecy and other little-known facts about Notre-Dame de Paris – the cathedral where Napoleon himself was crowned
April 5, 2019 in the capital of France there was a fire in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. He destroyed the spire of the building and its roof. What is known for one of the main monuments of Gothic architecture, what Napoleon has to do with it and why in our review.
1. The most famous cathedral in France
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral of Notre Dame is the most visited monument in the French capital. The average number of visitors on a weekday is from 30,000 to 50,000 people.
2. Place of Roman worship
The cathedral was built on the site of an old Roman temple, and before the construction of Notre Dame several Christian religious buildings were built on this site at different times. Some of the surviving remains of the buildings of past eras can be seen by visiting the archaeological museum “Crypt of the Notre Dame”.
3. Very old cathedral
One of the symbols of the French capital, Notre Dame de Paris is a very old temple. Its construction began in 1163 and lasted for more than a century. In 2013, celebrated the 850th anniversary of the cathedral.
4. Revolutionary looting
Like many churches, the cathedral was plundered during the French Revolution. Revolutionaries plundered all the valuable and most furniture, destroyed altars and statues, and also decapitated some sculptures.
5. Temple of Reason
Satisfied with the fruit of their labors, the revolutionaries declared the mutilated cathedral the “Temple of Reason”.
Soon after, Notre Dame de Paris became the “Temple of Reason”. The so-called Cult of Reason was a new religion that was introduced during the revolution to replace Christianity and promote the values of the new republic, such as equality and freedom. Notre Dame Cathedral was one of the main places of worship of this religion until its ban several years later.
6. Coronation of Napoleon
Notre Dame de Paris was the site of Napoleon’s coronation in December 1804. It was here that he was proclaimed emperor.
7. The Book That Saved the Cathedral
One of the reasons why the famous French writer Victor Hugo wrote his masterpiece “Notre Dame de Paris” was because he wanted to save the cathedral, which at that time was in such poor condition that the authorities in Paris were going to demolish it. Thanks to this novel and the intervention of several religious groups, the cathedral was preserved and then restored.
The writer was oppressed by the state of the cathedral after the revolution, so he decided to make him the main character of his novel. The preface says: “And now nothing is left of the mysterious word carved in the wall of the gloomy tower of the cathedral, nor of the unknown fate that this word so sadly signified — nothing but a fragile memory that the author of this book devotes to them. A few centuries ago, the person who wrote this word on the wall disappeared from among the living; the word itself has disappeared from the wall of the cathedral; perhaps the cathedral itself will soon disappear from the face of the earth. This word gave birth to a real book. ”
8. The second largest body
Although the organ in this cathedral is not the largest in France, it is, to put it mildly, impressive. The tool consists of approximately 7300 pipes, some of which have been preserved since medieval times. The game on this organ could be heard every Sunday during the service.
9. Three Relics of the Passion of Christ
In the Cathedral of Notre Dame there are three relics of the Passion of Christ: the Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the Life-giving Cross and one of the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus.
10. Source of inspiration
Notre Dame de Paris inspired many artists. About him was composed of several songs, the most famous of which sang Edith Piaf; several books were written (not only Victor Hugo’s masterpiece), but also musicals were staged.