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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

Louis XIV's Choir

Notre Dame

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

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

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

But part of the original medieval choir still exists today, as seen with the intricately carved wooden panel.

It's considered a masterpiece of medieval art today.

In the 18th century, after 23 years of marriage, Louis XIII still didn't have any heirs.

He appealed to the Virgin Mary and promised he would place France under her protection if she could grant him an heir.

The queen, Anne of Austria, finally gave birth to a son (the future Louis XIV).

While Louis XIII died before he could finalise his promise, his son, Louis XIV, remodelled the choir.

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

Fun fact : while building the choir, workers excavated a mysterious stone pillar, dedicated to the Roman emperor Tiberius, mixing Roman and Gaulish references.

It was a gift from a guild of naval merchants in the 1st century AD.

It's now considered the oldest monument in Paris!

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

To continue, we recommend exploring the History of Paris.

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)

Next:

The Parvis

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