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A Celestial Ambience
As a testament to the correlation between glorious spaces and heavenly thoughts, the Notre Dame de Paris has stood for 750 years as the apex of European religious architecture.
Seeking to liberate their creation from the sepulchral atmosphere of the plague-ridden medieval era, the Notre Dame architects conceived of a design more spacious than that of their predecessors. New developments in arched doorways and supports allowed for thinner outer walls and larger windows, including the famous Rose Windows on the cathedral's north, south, and west sides.
The west window is 9.75 meters in diameter and depicts the infant Jesus surrounded by 16 prophets, 32 Old Testament kings, and 32 high priests, in concentric circles. With the added light and color provided by these windows, the architects created an ethereal ambience without compromising structural integrity.
Since its fundamental completion in 1250, the cathedral has borne witness to many of the significant events of European history, as well as bearing the scars of its violent periods. It was the scene of the coronation of Henry VI of England in 1430, and later, that of Mary, Queen of Scots. It survived attempted destruction during the French Revolution to witness the crowning of Napoleon and Josephine. Since then, the Notre Dame de Paris has survived two world wars, and it remains a symbol of European history and resilience.