PARIS: More Notre Dame

After the 2019 fire, it seems especially appropriate to admire Notre Dame.

The 225-foot-high north tower had scaffolding even 18 years ago. In the 2019 blaze, firefighters feared if that tower’s eight huge bronze-alloy bells fell, they would bring down the south tower, too, and the cathedral would have been lost.
The circular stained-glass, or “rose” windows, are one of the most prized aspects of Notre Dame. These 12th and 13th Century works of art were not damaged in the fire.
One of the first cathedrals to use flying buttresses was Notre Dame. These arched, external supports enabled builders to erect very tall but comparatively thin stone walls, so that much of the wall space could be filled with stained-glass windows.
A spiral staircase of fan-shaped steps leads to a gallery that offers a close-up of the gargoyles that played supporting roles in Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
During daylight at the height of the tourist season, the square in front of the cathedral looks like this day after day.

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