4 Architectural feats you probably didn’t know about the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

APR 17, 2019 | By Nitija Shastri
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT The Notre Dame; Photograph courtesy Instagram @becontavinos; The Flying Buttresses in Notre Dame, Paris; Stained-glass rose windows in Notre Dame, Paris; The Notre Dame in Paris.

Reminiscent of the marvellous Romanesque Architecture of what is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, Notre-Dame is any design aficionado’s object of marvel. While thousands of tourists enter its doors each day to photograph its rosy windows and flying buttresses, few know much about one of France’s iconic landmarks. We climb in…The Flying ButtressesThe buttresses, constructed during the 12th century were built to lend the support to the thin walls, allowing more light in inside the colossal church. Which in turn, required larger windows, and thus greater support. The exposed flying buttress of the cathedral has now become an iconic aspect of Gothic design.GargoylesArguably the cathedral’s most famous feature, the Gargoyles. This gothic structure features several gargoyles which are inspired from the ancient French folklore — namely, the 7th-century story of Saint Romain and La Gargouille, a fire-breathing monster whose head was nailed to a church to serve as a waterspout. These stone-carved gargoyles have water spouts to carry rainwater off the building — performing an essential role of projecting rainwater away from the building.Rooftop ForestThe cathedral accommodates one of the oldest surviving wood-timber frames in Paris on the roof of the cathedral. This includes 52 acres of trees that were chopped down in the 12th century. Each beam is made from an individual tree. For this reason, the lattice of historic woodwork is fondly nicknamed as ‘The Forest.’Stained-glass WindowsOne of the most famed feature of the edifice remains to be the stained-glass rose windows. The dazzling windows are a trio of immense round stained-glass windows over the cathedral’s three main portals that date back to the 13th century that brings light and colour into the interiors of the cathedral.