November 17, 2015

0383, 0605, 2043 FRANCE (Île-de-France) - Notre Dame de Paris - part of Paris, Banks of the Seine (UNESCO WHS)

0383 Notre Dame de Paris - Cathedral's Western Facade

Posted on 14.11.2012, 18.04.2013, 17.11.2015
"That most terrible church of the most glorious Virgin Mary, mother of God, deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars", wrote Jean de Jandun in 1323 in his Treatise on the Praises of Paris, about the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris), located on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité. It is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, even if it suffered significant damages during the riots Huguenots in the 16th century, during the French Revolution, and during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV, when they tried to modernize the cathedral. Neither the WWII didn't spare it.

0605 Notre Dame de Paris - Quai Montebello and the Cathedral

Tradition has it that Notre-Dame’s first stone was laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III, the initiative of building the cathedral belonging to Maurice de Sully, the bishop of Paris, who wanted to provide a response to the unprecedented development that the city knew at the time. Construction was completed in 1345, with the contribution of many architects, and in the next centuries held periodicaly refurbishments. The cathedral treasury is notable for its reliquary, which houses the purported crown of thorns, a fragment of the True Cross upon which Jesus was crucified, and one of the Holy Nails - all instruments of the Passion.

2043 Notre Dame de Paris - The Cathedral viewed from
Pont de l'Archevêché, covered with 'love padlocks'

In the postcard 0383 can be seen the Western Facade of Notre-Dame, "an imposing, simple and harmonious mass whose strength and sombre grandeur is based on interplay between vertical and horizontal lines: four powerful buttresses that spring up to the top of the towers, lifting them heavenwards. They symbolically let us know that this cathedral-church was built for God. Two wide horizontal strips seem to bring the building back down to our mortal earth." Its construction started in 1200, the North Tower being completed in 1240 and the South tower in 1250.

At the centre is a large rose (9.60 m), forming a halo above a statue of the Virgin with Child between two angels. Under the balustrade, there is a wide horizontal frieze, the gallery of kings, a row of twenty-eight statues representing the generations of kings of Judah, descendants of Jesse and human ancestors of Mary and Jesus. On the lower level there are three large portals which are not exactly identical. The central one, known as the Portal of the Last Judgement, is taller and wider than the others, the Portal of Saint Anne (to the right, or the south) and the Portal of the Virgin (to the left and the North).

Notre Dame de Paris is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Paris, Banks of the Seine, about which I wrote here

About the stamps
On the postcards 0383 and 0605
The stamps are the same blue Marianne et l'Europe issued on November 7, 2011.

On the postcard 2043
The stamp is part of the series, 2013 - Astrological Magic, which depicts the 12 signs of the astrologic calendar, designed by Ciou, and issued on February 3, 2014.

Notre Dame de Paris - Wikipedia
Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris - UNESCO official website

Sender 0383: Ana
Sent from Paris (Île-de-France / France), on 14.08.2012
Photo: Antonio Carrara
Sender 0605: Dragoş Cioroboiu
Sent from Paris (Île-de-France / France), on 12.04.2012
Photo: Laurent Dubos
Sender 2043: Emilie / emiliphant (postcrossing) FR-603253
Sent from Paris (Île-de-France / France), on 13.11.2015
Photo: Laurent Leon
The postcard left Paris on November 13, 2015.

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