Sunday, July 18, 2010

Paris, France - Notre Dame de Paris

The Gothic loftiness of Notre-Dame dominates the Seine and the Ile-de-la-Cité as well as the history of Paris.

Notre-Dame de Paris is a church, a place of Roman Catholic worship, where Christians come together to pray. It opens its doors to people to participate in services or to freely visit the cathedral all year long.

Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.

For a look at the upper parts of the church, the river, and much of Paris, climb the 387 steps to the top of one of the towers.

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