Notre Dame, Paris, March 20, 2016

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Notre Dame Cathedral, started in 1163, dedicated in 1345 to “Our Lady”, is the historic center of France since 2300 years ago, and Point Zero, the center of France from which all distances are measured.  The bell towers are 200 feet tall, the rose window frames a statue of Holy Mary.  The faith of the people of France built this Gothic cathedral, doing most of the manual labor for free, including digging a 30 foot trench for the foundation.

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The central doors to Notre Dame are adorned with a relief of the Last Judgement.

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Entering into the interior, the columns are 10 stories high, and this is one of the first buildings in the world to use flying buttresses (arched exterior supports) for support of the high walls (above and below).

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The huge organ of Notre Dame over the central doors

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The original rose-shaped window with medieval glass.

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Saint Joan of Arc (Sainte Jeanne D’Arc), whom assisted France in conflicts with England which ultimately France won and helped in the crowning of Charles VII, but was burnt at the stake for hearing heavenly voices and seeing visions from God.  She was beatified by Pope Pius X.

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We were blessed to have witnessed Palm Sunday Gregorian mass here.  Above is the ending procession.DSC09105

Some of the many gargoyles adorning the exterior of Notre Dame (they function as rainspouts).

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The Eastern side views of Notre Dame (above and below).

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Daffodils reminding us of spring in Paris!!

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Views of Notre Dame from the Seine riverside (above and 2 below).

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The Archaeological Crypts under Notre Dame.

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Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, was King of the Franks.  He united most of Western Europe during the early Middle Ages, laying foundations for modern France and Germany.   He became King of Italy in 774, then from 800, was the First Holy Roman Emperor (the first recognized emperor in Western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire 3 centuries earlier).  This statue is in the front plaza of Notre Dame.

One of the highlights of being in Paris!!

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