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Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris, France

Notre-Dame de Paris is a world-famous landmark and renowned as an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. The cathedral's ornate stained-glass rose windows are perhaps its best known features, but it has been filled with wonderful statues and details. A terrible fire in April 2019 caused a lot of damage, but the building is being restored.

In October 2012 I visited Paris with my husband-to-be (we married later). It was my first time there; he had been once or twice before. Of course, Notre-Dame was on my list of places to see.

Construction originally began on the cathedral in the 12th century. It was the tallest structure in Paris until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889. It has hosted a few royal weddings and coronations, notably the coronation of Napoleon I in 1804.

Notre-Dame has been greatly altered, damaged and renovated over the years. It was looted of its treasures and its statues were defaced during the 1790s French Revolution. The south rose window - already a victim of settlements of the masonry and poor restoration - was badly damaged during the 1830 French Revolution when the neighboring archbishop's residence was burned.

Notre-Dame was in a poor state at the start of the 19th century, but was restored in the latter half of the 1800s, thanks in part to the attention the cathedral received from the publication of Victor Hugo's 1831 book: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Until a terrible fire in April 2019, the cathedral was an active place of worship as well as a draw for tourists from around the globe. It had modern elements mixed with medieval elements, although some aspects - like the original design of the south rose window - have been sadly lost to time. Some pictures from our visit are below; I especially like the statues silhouetted against the stained-glass windows.

UPDATE 15/11/2019: The Cathedral is going to be rebuilt at huge cost over several years, perhaps reopening in some capacity for visitors and worshippers in five years or so. The building has been saved and - although the roof and the spire were destroyed - the altar, rose windows, and the majority of art and sacred pieces seem to have thankfully survived with little or no damage.