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Notre Dame Chimeras and Gargoyles

Here’s we have other photo of Paris of what I think is an incredible work of art, the timeless cathedral Notre Dame and his incredible gallery of Chimeras.

In the area of the cathedral, originally, there was a pagan temple dedicated to Jupiter, the result of construction of Lutetia by Julius Caesar after the surrender of Vercingetorix of 52 BC.
The first Christian place of worship was built in the fourth century. In the seventh century, the cathedral was restored in Romanesque style. Following a fire in 857, the church of Notre Dame rebuilt as Carolingian.


On 1160 the bishop of Paris promoted the construction of a new and larger cathedral, the city, in fact, became the capital of the kingdom of France, and also an important economic and cultural center.

Were demolished the two churches of St. Stephen and Our Lady, the new building would be built in the gothic style.
The construction of Notre Dame was conducted in two stages: by 1250 the building was completed, until the middle of the fourteenth century there was a series of interventions to the structure both internal and external, to reach its current appearance.

Photo gallery: Notre Dame Chimeras and Gargoyles

After the damage inflicted to the cathedral of Notre Dame during the French Revolution and the riots of 1830 the catedral required a major renovation; although it was reopened for worship, the church was in poor condition. An important role in the campaign for the restoration of the cathedral was played by the writer Victor Hugo and there was a great interest in Notre Dame.

The aims of 1841’s restoration was to bring the cathedral to its original medieval splendor, creating a unit of styles integrating architectural and artistic elements.

The facade, in an advanced state of decay, was subject of a major restoration, which involved the bas-reliefs of the portals and reconstruction of various statues. The restoration was not without controversy for several reasons, in particular, there were criticals to the creation of Chimeras and Gargoyles gallery wanted by the architect Viollet-Le-Duc but not originally present.

The Chimeras and Gargoyles gallery is located 46 meters above the ground; disturbing and spectacular statues, hybrid animals, halfway between birds and fabulous monsters, which fix and curved the city.

But what is the real genesis of Chimeras and Gargouilles? To find an explanation we can analyze the etymology from the Latin gurgulium indicating the noise of the water, indicating the function of gargoyle as final part of the rainwater draining system pulling away water from the walls.

The wide range of forms can be attributed to the symbolism of the Holy Scriptures, and to the well-known medieval bestiary. The fascinating pictures turned out, for someone, to be demons from which Christians can avoid entering the church, for someone else they are guardian placed as protectors of the city.

Fortunately, during the Paris Commune of 1871 there was not serious damage, the building was also saved during the two world wars, and today we can admire it in all its beauty.

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There are 10 comments for these photos

  • i like number 13

  • Good set of interesting subjects.

  • For me the shallow DOF on the gargoyles doesn’t really work, if your’e having one of the most beautiful cities in the world as a backdrop you should use that in the image, and the Notre Dam shots are a little too tight and taken at the wrong time of day. They all need some PP on them as they are all very flat. I don’t mean to sound negative I am just giving some advice that would help improve these images, obviously you cant change the dof but some PP could make things better.

    • Thanks for the comment, about PP maybe can do better but I love things natural, but about DOF was my intention, probably a couple of monster looking the tower or something particular make sense try to have a focus also on the city but I was interested to them and the city ass background,

  • Very nice series….hopefully one day i might have a chance to go there.

  • Very nice series of shots. The close ups of the figures came out well.

  • I love gargoyles. Cool set of images. Would probably benefit from some post editing to create some drama and atmosphere to them but I like them.

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