Notre Dame de Paris — 850th Anniversary. is celebrating the 850th anniversary of Notre Dame Cathedral with exclusive needlepoint.

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Our shop is righ accross from Notre-Dame Cathedral

The construction of Notre Dame de Paris was begun in 1163 on the site of a church complex built in the 4th century and destroyed in the 8th century. The basilica of Saint Denis, just outside of Paris, was the first building to depart radically from the Roman architecture and to adopt the Gothic. The cathedral of Paris, built immediately after Saint Denis, stands today as the first cathedral to be built in the new Gothic architectural style, which accounts for its purity and its relatively small size. After Paris, the next cathedrals were all built to be better and bigger. This explains the different Gothic styles, from the simple to the flamboyant, and the increasingly larger sizes of the cathedrals, until the largest which fell down twice due to its extravagant height (Beauvais).

Notre-Dame Needlepoint kits

It took about 200 years to build Notre Dame. At that period, this was record time. In the 1200’s the lateral chapels were added to the main body, as well as the flying buttresses, the arms of the transept, and the sculpture around the doors, finished in 1272. The three rose windows were added before the end of construction which was 1345. The biggest organ in France is in Notre Dame. There are actually three organs, the largest of which has 8000 pipes.

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The cathedral is endowed with 20 bells: 8 new bells in the north tower, 7 in the spire, 3 in the north transept, and the two biggest bells, Marie and Emmanuel in the south tower. Cathedrals in the middle ages were painted inside and outside. Stained glass windows, as well as the paintings on the stone walls, explained the Bible to common folk, who did not read. Tapestries lined the walls of Notre Dame, depicting stories from the Bible. We do not know where these tapestries are today. Most tapestries in existence today are in museums and castles. During the middle ages, tapestries were a major part of the inventories of cathedrals and chateaux. They were woven in the many workshops which were everywhere in western Europe, especially in France. Tapestries were also needlepointed on canvas. The art of needlepoint is still active today. Our workshop, Tapisseries de la Bûcherie which is right across from Notre Dame, on the left bank, still offers tapestries to be needlepointed on canvas. This year, the 850th birthday of Notre Dame, our shop is proud to offer ten models related to the cathedral: two stained glass details from two of the three rose windows, three chimeras, one gargoyle (gargoyles were the first gutters), two facades, one full side view and a view of the famous Paris bookstalls with the cathedral as background. We hope very much you will enjoy these designs.

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