Home > 2011 Posts > Our Lady After Dark

Our Lady After Dark

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

One evening at dusk, as you walk across the Pont de l’Archevéché from Isle de la Cité toward the Left Bank, turn back and pause a moment. Appreciate The Lady in her Gothic grandure.

From this angle, she looks amazing for her age. Here, modern distractions can’t stand between the two of you, and your eye isn’t pulled away from her grace and beauty by plastic and chrome and neon.

(Click here for a larger image)

Sadly, seen from the front, Notre Dame, the second most famous cathedral in Christendom, looks very much like just another big city church, aproned in asphalt, vehicles and cachophony. But, from this angle, standing mid-stream over the Seine, she is majestic beyond anything St. Peter’s in Rome can achieve.

The first of her stones was placed in 1163. For 170 years craftsmen, workers and volunteers labored to finish this masterpiece of the Gothic Era, a soaring architectural song to God. When you look at her from your vantage point above the water, you’ll see many of the lovely, 50’ flying buttresses that spread around her walls and her 295’ spire singing along in perfect visual harmony.

By 1793, the self-devouring insanity of the French Revolution had looted and vandalized most everything lovely in Paris, Notre Dame included. And then, the children of revolution ironically renamed her a Temple of Reason, as if reason and vicious mobs were one in the same—a pathetic but recurring claim by mob-ophiles in modern European and American history.

But, by 1804, a little Corsican made her a church once more as he revealed the fervent propaganda of liberté, égalité, fraternité for what it was by crowning himself Emperor of the French Imperium here. Back then, words and deeds by those who claimed to ‘speak for the people’ were just as far apart as they are today. It must be a part of human nature that so many fail to notice.

But, thankfully, this architectural pinnacle of human achievement came through it all for us to appreciate. I urge you, visit Paris once, or once more. Appreciate Notre Dame and the treasure trove of Western Civilization that is the City of Light.

While you can. I read a tidbit from Reuters a few days ago reporting that, as of September 2011, there are more mosques in France than churches.

It won’t be long now.

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  1. October 29, 2011 at 7:12 am

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