“When a man understands the art of seeing, he can trace the spirit of an age and the features of a king even in the knocker on a door.” — Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Known in literature as the backdrop for Victor Hugo’s French Gothic masterpiece The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris is a marvel to behold.
Located in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, Notre-Dame is the seat of the Archdiocese of Paris. It is considered as one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. However, it suffered damage during the French Revolution where much of the statues and religious imagery were destroyed. Fortunately, extensive restoration efforts have been done since 1845.
The construction of the cathedral began in 1163 through the initiative of Bishop Maurice de Sully, who was then the Bishop of Paris. Due to some changes in design and size, the construction of the cathedral was completed in 1345.
It was where Henry VI was crowned as King of France in 1431, and where Mary, Queen of Scots married Dauphin Francis (later Francis II of France).
In The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the eponymous hunchback, Quasimodo, is the bell-ringer of Notre-Dame. Now, in real life, the bells are rung using electric motors – which doesn’t sound as romantic as it is.
As one of the most recognizable cathedrals in the world, it attracts millions of visitors a year and a trip up its towers offers a breathtaking view of the city — an alternative to the views offered by the equally famous Eiffel Tower.
All the World’s a Stage is a new Locations series that aims to feature the real life counterpart or inspiration of the locations found in literature and film.