The Vaulted Ceiling of Notre Dame de Paris

Written by Milan Jara

Notre Dame de Paris translates to "Our Lady of Paris" in French. This Gothic cathedral is located in Paris, France, on an island called Île de la Cité. Notre Dame has a rich and fascinating history dating back to the 12th century. Notre Dame is also the seat of the Catholic archdiocese of Paris.

Stonemasons of the era worked for their entire lifetimes and didn't see the completion of the project because the cathedral took 300 years to build. The long span of building time led to the structure featuring mostly French Gothic architecture, but it also has distinct touches of the Renaissance and Naturalism eras, which makes the finished result an unusual combination of the different styles. But even today, Notre Dame de Paris is considered an unparalleled example of French Gothic architecture.

Notre Dame de Paris was built with vaulted ceilings that were not only breathtakingly beautiful but exceptionally strong and stable. Architects and stonemasons who successfully designed and built the vaulted ceiling inside Notre Dame carried out an impressive feat for that era. The main reason for building a vaulted ceiling on a structure is to protect the interior of the building if the roof burns.

Notre Dame de Paris has been the site of important historic events. Notable royalty has been crowned inside Notre Dame, including Henry VI of England in 1431 and Napoleon as emperor in 1804. Joan of Arc was also beatified in the cathedral in 1909. Joan of Arc was a peasant girl who claimed to have visions from God, and these visions helped France's military win battles against England. The Burundians captured Joan of Arc and accused her of heresy, then burned her at the stake.

Notre Dame's bells and organs are renowned throughout Europe. The cathedral has ten large bells, but the bourdon bell Emmanuel in the South Tower is the most prominent and well-known bell. This bell weighs more than 13 tons. One other bell hangs in the South Tower, while the other eight are in the North Tower. Bell-ringers rang the bells by hand at first, but electric motors were installed during the 20th century to modernize the bell-ringing process.

Destruction and damage have occurred at Notre Dame de Paris over the centuries, and restoration has followed each time. Huguenots and the French king damaged features of the cathedral that they considered idolatrous during the 16th century. Stained glass windows and tombs were destroyed to try to modernize the cathedral. During the French Revolution, Notre Dame was used to store food, and many statues were beheaded during that time. The first restoration project spanned from 1845 to 1870; damage was repaired, and they also built on new additions. During World War II, France feared that German soldiers were going to damage the cathedral's stained glass windows. To prevent this, they removed the windows, they did not reinstall them until after the war ended. In 1991, another restoration program began working on cleaning sculptures and facades.

In April 2019, a fire started under the roof of Notre Dame de Paris. In the course of the fire, the spire collapsed, the roof was destroyed, and the cathedral's upper walls were damaged. The vaulted ceiling prevented extensive damage to the interior of the cathedral, just as it was designed to do. Restoration efforts have been ongoing since the fire, and private companies and surrounding countries have pledged resources and support to the cause.

Visit these websites to learn more about the history and architecture of Notre Dame de Paris:

- Milan Jara

Buy Ceiling Tiles in Bulk & Get 10% - 15% off + Free Shipping Buy Now

Buy Ceiling Tiles in Bulk & Get 10% - 15% off + Free Shipping

Buy Now
Need Help