Monday, September 17, 2012

Above the door of Notre Dame Cathedral

Detail of carving. Notre Dame Entrance one - Photograph by Tim Irving
While editing and filing my recent photographs, I've fallen in love with the intricate detail of Notre Dame cathedral and started looking at Gothic architecture with new eyes. The photograph above is a small detail from one of several entrances. Each figure is life size, carved from limestone that has aged with a golden hue.

The trouble is Notre Dame is very popular and very busy with thousands of tourists wandering around, it's not my cup of tea. I didn't enter the cathedral or take a photograph of the main entrance which is is even bigger and more impressive (but more crowded), so I can't imagine the sights that await me inside. I simply walked to the entrance, pointed the camera up to avoid the heads of tourists and took the two photos below. Notre Dame has whetted my appetite, I'll do a bit of research and return to have a better look.

Entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral Paris - Photograph by Tim Irving
Above door at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris - Photograph by Tim Irving


  1. That's cool you've developed a fresh interest from examining your holiday images after the fact. So nice you were gifted with "seeing" what you were too harrassed to take in while being jostled by the madding crowd. I often look at photos and remark that they're better than eyesight. The camera records without evaluating, without seeing through a racing mind, and then sometimes delivers an unanticipated surprise.

    I don't know a lot about Gothic architecture, but in being herded past and through edifices on my own travels my first impression is of heft and heaviness. It was necessary to get close to the detail in order to see skill, delicacy, humanity. Have you visited the Cathedral(s) in Salamanca? Not purely Gothic, in its favor really, but it wears some of the most delightful stone carving. The interior is my favorite of all cathedrals I've visited. I have a lovely memory of standing inside it, nearly alone, the predictable cool shadows but also afternoon light sliding in. I remember stopping next to one of the beautiful, giant columns and suddenly knowing I wouldn't forget that moment. And I didn't.

  2. We didn't go inside either for the same reason, but these are lovely. I only managed one shot of above the door but I was fascinated by it too.



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