Virtual Visit: Notre-Dame de Paris, Part 2: Building History
Updated: Sep 22
In today's visit, we're doing a "deep dive" into the long history of Notre-Dame de Paris. We'll be looking not only at the origins of the church and the almost 200-year history of the cathedral's original building campaigns, but also the modifications, destructions, and restorations that have changed the appearance of the church several times in the more than 850 years since the first stone of the cathedral was laid in 1163.
As I note near the end of today's post, there is one thing that I would like all visitors to this site to take away from this suite of virtual visits: Notre-Dame de Paris is not a twelfth-century cathedral frozen in time. It is a living, breathing building that has been impacted by modifications or destructions of some kind in almost every century since its construction began. Conceiving of the cathedral as a continually evolving structure is important for thinking about the future of the church and its restoration following last year's fire. This is a topic we'll return to in the final visit of this Gothic architecture suite on Wednesday.
One note before we begin, as usual: the primary venue for this content is the stories feature on my Instagram page. All of the virtual visits will be saved in my story highlights. The purpose of the blog posts is to allow a greater audience (especially those without social media accounts) to benefit from the same content.
Now, let's look at the long (long!) history of Notre-Dame de Paris.
See you right back here on Wednesday, when we'll do some reflecting on the future of the cathedral within the framework of its storied past.