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on circling notre-dame de paris

Notre-Dame de Paris is being repaired and rebuilt. If President Macron is correct, it should be finished in 2024.

I have seen it many times, and I have often climbed up its towers, but many years ago, when one could spontaneously leave the street and climb the stairs, winding to the top. I would pay a few francs.

Once one could freely enter the cathedral itself and not wait in line. It was like the église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont today, another favorite church, close to the Pantheon, where one can enter without pausing in a line.

It cannot be ignored, really, the cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris because it is in the center of Paris and to go north or to go south through the center, which is easiest, one cannot ignore it. It is there in the center of the city.

(Many of the photos here are taken with a film stock simulation, Kodak Tri-X 400 and thus have a grainy, old fashioned appearance.)

The towers are often visible from a distance. In another time, the towers, or steeples, of cathedrals in France pricked the sky and travelers used the sighting of the steeple as a marker to follow. The steeple on Notre Dame no longer exists. A construction crane is currently a replacement for the spire.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) 

During construction the cathedral is enclosed with barriers, and one cannot get too close. They are too high for taking most pictures; they block the view.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

However, from a distance it does mark Paris. Notre-Dame will anchor images and one will still want to gaze cross the image to find it.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Turning the camera away from Notre-Dame and looking around, many things of interest are happening. Artists will paint, musicians will play, beggars will beg, tourists will take photos, and sometimes pickpockets will pick.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Helen #

    Appreciating the b&w photos and hoping you see it, climb it, the year it is finished.

    10/09/2021
  2. Jim O'Connell #

    Thanks so much for sharing the photos and the narrative Michael. I especially enjoyed the fellow beneath his umbrella. The composition of the photo drew me in:-). Well done sir!

    10/09/2021

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