France, Travel, World Heritage Site
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World Heritage Site Tuesday: Notre Dame de Paris

“He therefore turned to mankind with only regret. His cathedral was enough for him…The saints were his friends, and blessed him; the monsters were his friends, and guarded him.” – Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I remember seeing The Hunchback of Notre Dame with my best friend from high school. I don’t recall a lot about the movie. At the time, I knew we were curious about the adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel.

It was not until my Contiki trip years after, looking up at Notre Dame itself, that I remembered the film and the book again, which was written to call attention to the importance of the cathedral as it has, throughout history, undergone a lot of destruction.

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A rainy afternoon in France in front of Notre Dame de Paris.

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Notre Dame’s external facade, although not as elaborate as Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, is definitely something to see. Depending on which side you are looking at, you would see something different. Its famous gargoyles and smaller statues, which I learned were added to serve as water sprouts and for support, were very detailed. It was also interesting to see the flying buttresses, and learning that Notre Dame was one of the first to be constructed with them.

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Inside are breathtaking stained glass windows, each with a different design. Some are geometric shapes, some depict images of saints.

One of Paris’ world heritage sites, it is truly a great achievement in architecture, and for frequent travelers who visit a lot of cathedrals from around the world, it is truly unique and a must go for those visiting France.

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