|View of Notre-Dame de Paris by Gilbert Bochenek (2011)|
Notre Dame is an imposing 420 ft. long, 157 ft. wide, and 115 ft. high, excluding the two massive towers at the main entrance on the western side. These are among its most recognizable features and were the last major part of the cathedral that was constructed. The south tower was built between 1220 and 1240 and houses the 13-ton Emmanuel bell. The north tower was built between 1235 and 1250 and at 226 ft. is slightly taller than the south tower as you can see in the image above. They remained the tallest structures in Paris until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889.
|The Last Judgment, Central Portal|
Carlos Delgado; CC-BY-SA
Mary. The central portal features a vertical triptych of the Last Judgment, displaying the resurrection of the dead, the judgment, Christ, and the apostles, with Christ reigning in the highest panel. The portal of Saint-Anne on the right side includes the oldest, most beautiful, and last surviving sculpture from the 12th century, showing the Virgin Mary sitting on a throne holding the Christ child. A gallery of 28 statues of the kings of Israel occupies the space above the portals. The west side also features a stunning rose window measuring 32.8 ft. in diameter, with images of Adam and Eve on the outer rim. The Grande Galerie that connects the two towers is adorned with images of demons and birds that can only be seen from above.
|Chimera, Jawed Karim (2014)|
derivative work Lämpel
My post next month will take a closer look at the exquisite rose windows and other treasures of the cathedral. This month, since Refiner’s Fire officially publishes June 1, I’m giving away a copy—or for those who haven’t read all of the previous books of my American Patriot Series, your choice of any of the volumes! To enter the drawing, please leave a comment on this post answering the question below. And be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Because of the holiday, I’m extending the drawing through Tuesday. I’ll announce the winner in the comments here Wednesday morning, so be sure to check back!
QUESTION: What do you think of the ideas being proposed for the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral? Should this historic building be restored to its former glory, or do you favor adding dramatic modern features as some experts advocate? Let’s hear your opinions and your reasons why!
~~~J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers and a lifelong student of history. She is also an author, editor, and publisher. Her American Patriot Series is the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. Book 6, Refiner’s Fire, releases in April 2019. Northkill, Book 1 of the Northkill Amish Series coauthored with Bob Hostetler, won Foreword Magazine’s 2014 Indie Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, received the 2017 Interviews and Reviews Silver Award for Historical Fiction and was named one of Shelf Unbound’s 2018 Notable Indie Books. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year and a finalist in the Carol Award.