|Southeast Perspective - From Across the Seine|
|View of Notre Dame de Paris from across the River Seine to the Southeast of the cathedral.|
For several centuries Paris remained an island, with two bridges, one north, the other south, and two bridge heads, which were at once its gates and its fortresses: the Grand-Châtelet on the right bank, the Petit-Châtelet on the left. Then, after the kings of the first generation, Paris, finding itself too cramped on its island home, where it no longer had room to turn round, crossed the river; whereupon, beyond each of the bridge-fortresses, a first circle of walls and towers began to enclose pieces of the land on either side of the Seine. Of this ancient wall some vestiges were still standing in the last century; to-day, nothing is left but the memory, and here and there a tradition, such as the Baudets or Baudoyer Gateporta bagauda.
By degrees the flood of dwellings, constantly pressing forward from the heart of the city, overflows, saps, eats away, and finally swallows up this enclosure. Philip Augustus makes a fresh line of circumvallation, and immures Paris within a chain of massive and lofty towers. For upward of a century the houses press upon one another, accumulate, and rise in this basin like water in a reservoir. They begin to burrow deeper in the ground, they pile storey upon storey, they climb one upon another, they shoot up in height like all compressed growth, and each strives to raise its head above its neighbour for a breath of air. The streets grow ever deeper and narrower, every open space fills up and disappears, till, finally, the houses overleap the wall of Philip Augustus, and spread themselves joyfully over the country like escaped prisoners, without plan or system, gathering themselves together in knots, cutting slices out of the surrounding fields for gardens, taking plenty of elbowroom.
Victor M. Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris
|Photographic Features of Notre Dame de Paris|
|Images Will Open in a Separate Window|
of Paris from atop Notre Dame - 45k
Vista of Notre Dame from the Southwest - 50k
View of Notre Dame from Southeast - 95k
Vista of Notre Dame from the Seine - 50k
of the North rose window -
View of the West facade, 1890s - 50k
Vista from the Southeast, 1890s - 40k
View of the Barricades, 1870s - 48k
|Return to Earthlore's Historic Overview of Notre Dame de Paris|
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