Since I was a little girl, one of the things that has always fascinated me when I visit a new city is its churches. I’ve always felt very intrigued by them, specially by the great Gothic cathedrals, their incredible architecture and their infinite tiny details: the sculptures, the impressive and colorful stained glass windows, the incredibly high columns trying to reach the sky, the ethereal flying buttresses… There is so much to admire in these ancient buildings! They are so high, so light and so full of small details… It’s impressive to think that they’ve witnessed so many centuries of history in Europe and they are still standing tall and proud, their majestic towers and spires dominating the skyline of their cities… I don’t know why, but since I got my first DSLR I don’t photograph many churches, probably because without a tripod, it’s hard to take photos of these beautiful buildings in their very low light conditions. I should try it more often!
Before visiting Paris, I knew that I wanted to visit Notre-Dame cathedral and climb its towers, as it is one of the finest Gothic buildings in France. We knew that Notre-Dame is the French monument with more visitors, so we tried to avoid the crowds. In our first day in Paris, we were really lucky, there wasn’t almost any queue to enter the cathedral and we could admire its beautiful interior with not so many people around. To climb the towers you have to book in advance, so we left that for our second day in the city. The plan worked out perfectly. The second day, queues to enter the building were huge! But as we had our tickets in advance, we didn’t have to wait long before we could climb the towers.
Notre-Dame is stunning. Although its interior and part of its decoration has suffered damage during the French Revolution, its columns, pointed arches, gorgeous stained glass windows and immense vaults are enough motive to keep you amazed during hours. Outside, I was fascinated with the intricate sculptures that adorn the facades, specially the ones that illustrate the Last Judgement at the central portal, the mysterious gargoyles that seem to be watching over the city and the impressive spire over the transept.
But not only Notre-Dame got my attention. I was really surprised to find so many majestic churches all over the city! Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque… The cultural and artistic heritage that the Catholic church has left in Paris over the centuries is stunning. I didn’t have enough time to visit all the churches that I’d have liked, but I loved the ones I saw.
So, here are some photos from Notre-Dame cathedral and the other churches I visited in Paris. Although I planned to post these photos before the fire that destroyed the spire and the oak roof of the cathedral last April, I doubted about posting them after that… but then I though that this post could be a little tribute to this majestic building. I hope that in not so many years, we can enjoy again the impressive Notre-Dame as beautiful as it was when I took these photos!