by iris Conlay 51: NOTRE DAME OF PARIS A GOTHIC DREAM THE man behind the first Gothic building in France was the great Abbot Suger. He / • inspired the designer of the choir of St. Denis. P France.
For Denis the Gothic style was born in 0 For one person who visits the Abbey church P of St. Denis today, a thousand visit Notre Dame
0 and think of it as the earliest and most important Gothic church in Christendom. Seen from its lovely island site it rises out of the trees as fragile as a fairy-tale, its slender buttresses, its gabled transepts, its thin and soaring spire backed by two heavy towers. these arc all the ifs features of a perfect Gothic dream.
Dedicated to Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven is the central subject 'in two of the glorious rose windows. The statues carved in stone on the façade represent the kingly ancestors of Mary. Since the time of Clovis there has been a church on this site dedicated to Our Lady. The earliest church there, built about 365, was dedicated to St. Stephen.
In Notre Dame Henry VI of England, aged 10. was crowned King of France in 1431, In Notre Dame Napoleon I was crowned Emperor of the French by Pope Pius VII in 1804. All the history of France has flowed through this magnificent cathedral.