French Language Blog

Notre-Dame de Paris avant le feu Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 in Culture

Mon coeur est lourd aujourd’hui (My heart is heavy today). Unless you are on a 24×7 news blackout, I assume by now you’ve all seen the tragic news out of Paris hier (yesterday). In an absolutely shocking turn of events, one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals and un vrai chef-d’oeuvre de l’architecture gothique (a true masterpiece of gothic architecturea brulé (burned).

The tragedy is receiving wall-to-wall coverage in the press and on television, so I won’t spend any time on the details here. My poor words will never do it justice, but given the recent events, I wanted to save my normally pop-heavy posts for next week, and spend just a minute on some of my favorite memories of this amazing monument to man’s quest for the divine.

My first “encounter” with Notre-Dame predates my own arrival in France. A year before I even thought about study abroad, my parents had the great pleasure of visiting Notre-Dame on Easter Sunday (something sadly that travelers to France this week will not be able to do).

My own visits to the cathedral were frequent. As a teenager in Paris, it was amazing to be able to wander the immense stone-pillared alleyways of this most impressive elogie to the eternal. The stained-glass windows were of course amazing, but the sheer size and scope of the building were always what moved me.

We so often see the cathedral from its impressive facade, but for my money, the view from the side or the back are the real wonders. Nothing matches a stroll along the Seine down around and behind this magnificent wonder of stone and glass. On a summer day, by winter brume (fog), sous les pluies du printemps (beneath spring rains), one could not help but be moved by the splendor of Notre-Dame de Paris.


La semaine prochaine (Next week) we’ll return to the normal language and culture, but for this week I hope you enjoy these quelques clichées (few snapshots) from happier days. Tim

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.