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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

Notre Dame

In the 19th century, the cathedral was in ruins.

A campaign, spurred by French writer Victor Hugo, succeeded in launching a massive restoration project, led by famous architect Viollet-le-Duc, who wanted to restore the cathedral to its medieval glory.

The choir was delimited by an intricately carved wooden panel considered a medieval masterpiece today.

Most of the choir dates back to the 18th century.

After 23 years of marriage, king Louis XIII still hadn't produced any children.

He implored the Virgin Mary to give him an heir and promised he would place France under her protection.

His wife, Anne of Austria, finally gave birth to a son, Louis XIV!

His son also followed up on his father's promise to remodel the choir.

The sculptures represent Louis XIII, Louis XIV and Mary cradling Jesus' body.

Fun fact : while building the choir workers discovered a mysterious stone pillar dedicated to Roman emperor Tiberius, mixing Roman and Gallic referenced.

It turned out it's now the oldest monument in Paris and was an offering of a powerful guild of traders to the Roman emperor in the 1st century AD.

That's it for our tour of Notre Dame, we hope you liked it!

To continue, we recommend exploring the History of Paris.