The fire at the famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has the world reacting in shock and disbelief. Pictures of its beauty but also its destruction flood social media as those that once visited remember their time there. And while this is a horrible and tragic incident, it’s a good reminder and opportunity to take a closer look at this impressive gothic architecture and learn more about the history and importance of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Fascinating Facts about Notre Dame Cathedral
- Have your child or students discover fun facts about the building and history of the Notre Dame Cathedral and make their own travel pamphlet encouraging people to visit.
- Let them use what they know, take history snippets, and even ask people that they know who may have been there what their biggest impression of the church was and have them create a fake Facebook Page or Twitter account drawn on paper with highlights!
- Do a full study on the Middle Ages and its architecture to analyze the true miracle in architecture Notre really was!
- Give students materials and let them try to construct their own version of Notre Dame the best they can, analyzing what was most difficult.
- Create a timeline of key moments in history for Notre Dame such as the crowning of Napoleon and more.
It took 52 acres of wood from nearby forests to construct the church
Part of the structure was even called “the forest” because of just how much wood it took to construct. Each beam was made from one tree and the whole church took more than thirteen hundred trees to complete.
Almost all of the stained glass is from the 13th century
That means the beautiful colored glass pictures lasted for over eight hundred years! Both the stained glass and the depiction on the outside of the church helped tell Bible stories to those who were illiterate in the Middle Ages… which was most everyone.
The Cathedral was home to important historical artifacts
There are lots of relics that called Notre Dame home; many people believe that a piece of the cross and the crown of thorns were the ones that the cathedral held.
Notre Dame was built on an island at the middle of the city
It’s considered to be a sacred space and is built upon the remains of churches and palaces that were built long before the construction of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame has seen destruction before
Its bells melted and statues destroyed in the 1800s. Therefore a lot of work was done on it in the 1850s, but most renovations weren’t done again until 1991.
Games and resources to learn about Notre Dame
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