Travel Theme: Four

Someone LOst His HEad

Sculptures, front facade, Notre Dame, Paris, France

Group of four sculptures next to the portal of The Virgin on the west front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.  From the left: Emperor Constantine, an angel, St Denis, the third century Bishop of Paris, holding his head, and another angel.  The statues are part of  an extensive (some say excessive) renovation in the 19th century (1845-1864) by the French architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.

From the purging of idolatry by the French Huguenots in the 16th century through the French Revolution, Notre Dame treasures had been plundered, its stained glass windows modernized with clear glass, and many architectural elements and sculptures destroyed. Used for storage during the French Revolution, the Cathedral was left to deteriorate. After the 1831 publication of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a new interest was taken in the church.  In 1844, King Louis-Philippe I issued a decree for The Restoration of Notre Dame.  A program of  maintenance, renovation and preservation continues today. In 2016, approximately 14,000,000 people from around the world visited Notre Dame.

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