Cathedrale de Notre Dame

October 9, 2008 by  

Cathedrale de Notre Dame was constructed between 1163 and 1345. It is known for its flying buttresses and the beautiful stained glass windows. A 23-year restoration began in 1845 by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc who, among his many credits, also restored the ancient city of Carcassonne.

They stained glass windows are best viewed from inside the cathedral where you can enter for free. If you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time of day, you can hear the choir performing.

If your schedule does not allow you to visit at those times, it is still worth going inside regardless of your faith. It is a very hushed atmosphere and no one speaks above a whisper and there’s a recording of Gregorian chanting humming in the background.

The Gregorian chant was composed in Rome to enable people to remember prayers, as it was simpler for people if they could learn the words with music. The Catholic Church sent emissaries to cathedrals all over Europe to teach choirs the chant and people would sing them repetitively to learn them.

As you walk through Notre Dame today the chant is still the sound you’ll hear in the background and it remains soothing and hypnotic — but not enough so to convince me to sit face-to-face with a priest in confession.


One Response to “Cathedrale de Notre Dame”

  1. Going Medieval in Carcassonne : Ruby Suitcase on November 7th, 2008 11:01 pm

    […] old city fell into ruin after the Roussillon region became part of France in 1659. In 1844 Viollet-le-Duc came to the rescue. The restorations of the city and its medieval look went on for about 50 years, […]

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