Notre Dame de Paris
Though not the largest cathedral, Notre Dame is perhaps the most famous cathedral. Notre Dame is the religious center of Paris. Construction of Notre Dame began in 1163 and was the “new” gothic style. It was meant to symbolize the status of Paris as the capital of France. Notre Dame was the prototype for future cathedrals in France. The Notre-Dame Cathedral has several rose windows, the northern 13th century window is the most imposing. The huge window has a diameter of 13.1 meters. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes.
The completion of Notre Dame was not until 1345. This was due to the enlargement during construction. The building's exterior is dominated by heavy flying buttresses, which allowed the architects to increase the window size significantly. The spectacular eastern flying buttresses at the east side of the building are 15m wide. The imposing Gothic arches run from the entrance all the way to the main altar. On each side columns divide the nave from the aisles. Supported by these columns and covering the side aisles are terraced galleries that look out into the nave and help to define its vastness. Over each segment stands a high window. In the sanctuary, the large arches progressively open up to a view of the windows set in behind them.
Notre Dame is one of the most impressive cathedrals ever built. The rose windows, stained glass, gothic arches and flying buttresses are all an integral part of the magnificence of the gothic style. http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/notredame.htm