Notre-Dame de Paris curious facts

17 April 2019
Although a quick look at the cathedral gives an impression it has twin towers, if you look more attentively, you’ll see the south tower is somewhat smaller.

Built from 12th to 14th century, this iconic cathedral has accumulated hundreds of years of French history. The beautiful French Gothic construction has been a reflection of the city’s high importance in the spiritual life of entire Europe.

Sadly, this Monday, April 15, 2019, Notre-Dame was attacked with fire that destroyed its legendary 90 meters tall spire and a big part of the roof. The reasons leading to the disaster were not specified, but were considered to have to do with the renovation works.

After the inspection on April 16 it was declared that the cathedral’s structures were safe, but the ceiling had received three serious wounds. Hundreds of millions of euro were already pledged for the landmark’s restoration, and the President promised to rebuild it more splendid than before.

While one of the top Parisian sights is closed, let’s recall some of its unobvious facts.

 

#1. Its towers aren’t identic

Although a quick look at the cathedral gives an impression it has twin towers, if you look more attentively, you’ll see the south tower is somewhat smaller. The construction process took many years, and the structure sooner represents different architectural directions rather than a result of one man’s ambition.

 

#2. The stone creatures aren’t medieval

Notre-Dame symbol are its gothic-styled figures – we mean those of decorative purpose, not serving as rain spouts. Not all of us know they are modern, appearing on the façade only in the 19th century, when a major restoration took place. Their design belongs to the famous French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

 

#3. All French roads run here

Not easily noticed because of tourists’ crowds, there is a round brass mark with a bronze octagram built in the paving stones, just a few steps from the cathedral’s entrance. With the words “Point zéro des routes de France” on it, this is the exact center of Paris, and the spot where all French roads are measured from.

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