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Notre Dame (Our Lady of Paris)
Notre Dame de Paris is a historic Roman Catholic Marian cathedral on the eastern half of the Ile de la Cite in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.
Widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the most well-known churches ever built, Notre Dame is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris;
that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra (official chair) of the Archbishop of Paris, currently Andre Vingt-Trois. The cathedral treasury is notable for its reliquary,
which houses the purported crown of thorns, a fragment of the True Cross and one of the Holy Nails - all instruments of the Passion and a few of the most important first-class relics.
"That most terrible church of the most glorious Virgin Mary, mother of God, deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars. And although some speakers, by their own free judgment,
because [they are] able to see only a few things easily, may say that some other is more beautiful, I believe however, respectfully, that, if they attend more diligently to the
whole and the parts, they will quickly retract this opinion. Where indeed, I ask, would they find two towers of such magnificence and perfection, so high, so large, so strong,
clothed round about with such a multiple variety of ornaments? Where, I ask, would they find such a multipartite arrangement of so many lateral vaults, above and below? Where,
I ask, would they find such light-filled amenities as the many surrounding chapels? Furthermore, let them tell me in what church I may see such a large cross, of which one arm
separates the choir from the nave. Finally, I would willingly learn where [there are] two such circles, situated opposite each other in a straight line, which on account of their
appearance are given the name of the fourth vowel [O] ; among which smaller orbs and circlets, with wondrous artifice, so that some arranged circularly, others angularly,
surround windows ruddy with precious colors and beautiful with the most subtle figures of the pictures. In fact I believe that this church offers the carefully discerning such
cause for admiration that its inspection can scarcely sate the soul." -Jean de Jandun, Tractatus de laudibus Parisius"