Today we went to the Île de la Cité one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine in Paris. Our visit took us to the Notre Dame meaning "Our Lady of Paris". The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the most visited monument in France. It was built in the Middle Ages, at the far end of the Île de la Cité. Work started in the 13th century and finished in the 15th century. Badly damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.
In 2013, Notre-Dame is celebrated its 850th anniversary. For this occasion, many events were organized and the cathedral renewed its bells with the arrival of eight new bells as well as a new great bell. Road distances from Paris in France are calculated from point 0 on the cathedral forecourt.
The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. Built by the masons of the Knights Templar to honor Mary Magdalene. Standing on a site that was sacred to the Celts and their Goddess Culture, and where the Romans worshipped Jupiter and Mars, the cathedral is in the center of the land that eventually became the capital of France. Hallmarks of Goddess worhship are that it was built on a island, was near a conjunction of rivers, it's named after the Roman Catholic Mother of God, it incorporates well-known Goddess symbols such as Rose Windows and bells, etc.
On the old Knights Templar pilgrimage route Notre Dame was the Mars Oracle, associated with the colour blue, the 5th Chakra(communication), and the Degree of the Pelican. In Grail symbolism the Pelican is the bird that wounds its own breast to feed its young.
Notre Dame is one of the supreme alchemical temples in all of Europe,the blue in the rose window, made by the Knights Templar and their masons in a secret process, and cannot be duplicated today even by the most advanced scientific methods.
The west rose window at Notre Dame is 10 meters in diameter and exceptionally beautiful. Dating from about 1220, it retains most of its original glass and tracery. The main theme of the west rose is human life, featuring symbolic scenes such as the Zodiacs and Labors of the Months. On the exterior, it is fronted by a statue of the Virgin and Child accompanied by angels.
A statue of Joan of Arc is in the southern part of the transept it was in the cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris that the rehabilitation process took place 1412 – 1431.
This is the "Rose" Window of Notre Dame, if you count the small circles around the center-most circle in the "rosette," there are eight. Eight, the number of the Goddess from ancient times, as in the eight-pointed rosette symbol of Inanna, back in the days of ancient Sumer.
The cathedral treasury is notable for its reliquary which houses some of Catholicism's most important first-class relics including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.
It was within the Museum Treasury that I was so taken by this statue of Mary standing on a crescent moon with a snake twisted around it with the infant child. A very symbolic statue that stood only about 30cm tall. There was a serenity, about it that truly touched me.
There were many other statues, wall art, ceiling paintings of Mary in this little area of the church.
Another item that called to me tucked away in the dim corner was this Lamp of our lady saint Bernadette of Lourdes.
The Chapelle du Saint Sacrement.
The South rose window.
The chapel to our Lady Guadalupe with the most detailed and delicate Mosaic, the colours so delicate in this dimly lit church.
The High Altar
Just as we were finishing our self guided tour around the Cathedral the deep tones of the pipe organ began to play, it was quite a beautiful gift for me, as my grandfather played the pipe organ and it is rear to have the pleasure of listening to them in today’s world. So we made our way to the seats to sit and listen and next a choir came out to sing. Such a gift to be given just whilst we were in the Cathedral. The choir was from America and we listened for about 15 minutes before going to have lunch.
The architect of the cathedral had the 12 apostels placed on the roof of the cathedral looking out at the people and added one extra a representation of himself looking back at the cathedral admiring his work.
After lunch we went to see the splendor of Saint Chapelle a jewel of Gothic art. It was built in the 12th century, upon the order of King Saint-Louis, to house Christ’s Crown of Thorns, now held at Notre-Dame. The upper chapel of the monument is covered in 600 m² of stained-glass windows, (1,113 stained glass windows), of which two thirds are authentic. It’s one of the most complete and remarkable sets of stained glass of this era.
Among the oldest surviving buildings of the former royal palace Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie, a former prison, now a museum, where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before being executed on the guillotine. The justice of the state has been dispensed at this site since medieval times. From the sixteenth century to the French Revolution this was the seat of the Parlement de Paris.
Next door the Conciegerie a former prison of Marie Antoinette.
The Expiatory Chapel of Marie Antoinette
We then walked back to go to the Crypt beneath the Notre Dame cathedral square, the most important archaeological crypt in Europe, offering a unique look at the urban and architectural evolution of the Île de la Cité. The foundations and vestiges of buildings which were constructed between the Gallo-Roman era and the 18th century.