The spook story surrounding Paris’s famous Cathedral—Notre Dame Cathedral—prompted me to take the beautiful walk across the city surpassing several winding rues and lanes. Legend goes that Notre Dame is haunted by a ghost of a locksmith who was commissioned to make locks for the cathedral. He asked the devil for help and died a few days later. I hoped to get frightened but instead I was pleasantly mesmerized.
Construction of this grand structure first began in 1163. It is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture which took nearly 200 years to complete. It is believed to have opened in 1345. Paris is often regarded as the birthplace of Gothic structure and the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress (arched exterior supports) of this Cathedral make for a fine testimony.
As soon as you step in, a calmness envelops you and you will be welcomed by a sight of tall, nicely carved archways and beautiful stained glass paintings. Incidentally, during the French revolution, the cathedral was damaged and many of its treasures and statues were stolen. Although, some were found in the 1970s, nearly 200 years later.
The Cathedral also houses a rather beatific statue of Joan of Arc. A deeply spiritual peasant girl who led the French Army to several important victories during the hundred years’ war. It also has one of the biggest Church bells–Emmanuel weighing over 30 tonnes.
Notre Dame is a haven of architecture and history and the perfect place if you want to see a slice of the city’s rich culture.