Every Square Inch is a Masterpiece


This is one of the most incredible buildings I’ve ever seen.

Building Study 004: Notre Dame de Paris, 1163-1345.

I’ve visited Notre-Dame de Paris on two occasions. Both times I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed. It’s one of the most breathtaking spaces I’ve ever stood in.  Check out my photo-essay to see a broader study of architecture and urban space in Paris.

Standing inside the cathedral created in me an actual bodily reaction. But I’m not a holder of religious beliefs; my reaction wasn’t spiritual – it was born out of the atmosphere and character of that space! The interior of the building has an air of the sublime. It is simultaneously soaring and majestic; while being serene and elegant too…

It is mighty and intimate at exactly the same time.

The ornate, sculptural carvings which envelope the facade create a dramatic and expressive narrative – a story which sits in pleasing synergy with the muscular and robust form of the building. As a whole; it has a spectacular urban presence, but, thanks to the evocative storytelling which adorns the walls; there is also an immediate, humane quality to this wonderful landmark.

Given the richness and complexity of the spatial moments created externally and internally by the building; it’s interesting to consider a delightful, simple truth. It’s just stone; and glass.

Those materials have been crafted in to something which transcends the ordinary physical qualities of the built environment; to form an object of compelling and memorable beauty.

View from café on  Quai de Montebello.
View from Pont Saint-Michel.
The west façade (wonky composite of twelve photographs).
Flying buttresses on the south-east corner.
Exterior detail 01. North façade.
Looking up, from Square Jean XXIII.
Exterior detail 02. North façade.
Interior detail 01.
Interior detail 02.
Interior detail 03. North façade Rose Window.
Exterior detail 03. West façade.
Exterior detail 04. West façade.


51 thoughts on “Every Square Inch is a Masterpiece”

  1. You are of course correct in every frame . The whole of Paris , most of it planned , is breathtaking in design and spellbinding. It is a walkers paradise with pleasant surprises around every corner. And the food is wonderful!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! What a marvel! The detail and craftsman ship is remarkable. Love the title picture, threw the eyes off for a moment trying to find the equilibrium. The stained glass is the most impressive by far I’ve ever seen. SO cool to take a visual vacation through your lens. Each picture is a different kind of feast for the eyes-what a great eye you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Notre Dame too. It’s my favorite. Wonderful photos. I didn’t understand what you meant by “wonky composition of twelve photographs”… Did you stitch 12 together?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do enjoy elements of Gothic architecture, the pointed arches and the windows and the flying buttresses. In Paris, I actually prefer the Sacre Coeur but my favourite cathedral of all is St Pauls Cathedral in London. Have you seen the amazing windows in the Saint Chappelle in Paris?

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