Notre Dame pages include:
page 1: general exterior views
page 2: west front, central portal and tympanum, base sculptures of virtues and vices
page 3: west front, side portals and tympana, two examples of later jamb sculptures
page 4: transepts, transept portals and tympana
page 5: views of the interior

Exterior Views, Notre Dame (the Cathedral of Paris)--page 1 (of 5 pages)


Front facade (west facade)

Located in the center of "old" Paris on the Île-de-la-Cité, Notre Dame is flanked by two branches of the Seine River. Like many Gothic cathedrals, it is named for the Virgin Mary, although it was built on a site where two churches had once been, one to the Virgin and one to Saint Stephen. The door of the south transept is called the Saint Stephen portal and in its tympanum records events in that saint's life.

The original construction of the Notre Dame is the embodiment of the vision of Bishop Maurice-de-Sully, known for his sermons as a subdeacon and eventually the elected bishop in 1160. As bishop, he was able to accumulate the resources for the construction of this huge new cathedral.

View from the southeast and south

This large church is about 140 yards long (127 meters). The towers rise to a height of about 226 feet.

Views of the apse and flying buttresses


Views from the south and southeast

See this page for additional images of the South transept.

The nave buttresses

The flying buttresses of the nave date from the 13th century while those of the chancel date from the 14th century.

The spire and water spouts

At the crossing (or intersection of the transept and nave) a spire of 315 feet rises. It was reconstructed by Viollet-le-Duc and is built of wood encased in lead. The water spouts, carved in grotesque animal forms, project from the gutters to convey water from the roof and away from the side of a building.

Continue to page 2.

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© 2008 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.