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Free E-mail News Report: 'The Rose' Historic Overview: Notre Dame de Paris 

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Earthlore Explorations  Notre Dame de Paris
Southeast Perspective - Contemporary View

View of Notre Dame de Paris from the Southeast

       The Paris of Abelard's time was astonishingly old; so old that hardly a stone of it can be now pointed out. Even the oldest of the buildings still standing in that quarter—Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Saint-Severin, and the tower of the Lycee Henri IV—are more modern; only the old Roman Thermae, now part of the Musee de Cluny, within the walls, and the Abbey Tower of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, outside, in the fields, were standing in the year 1100. Politically, Paris was a small provincial town before the reign of Louis-le-Gros (1108- 37), who cleared its gates of its nearest enemies; but as a school, Paris was even then easily first. Students crowded into it by thousands, till the town is said to have contained more students than citizens, Modern Paris seems to have begun as a university town before it had a university.

        Students flocked to it from great distances, encouraged and supported by charity, and stimulated by privileges, until they took entire possession of what is still called the Latin Quarter from the barbarous Latin they chattered; and a town more riotous, drunken, and vicious than it became, in the course of time, hardly existed even in the Middle Ages.

        In 1100, when enthusiasm was fresh and faith in science was strong, the great mass of students came there to study, and, having no regular university organization or buildings, they thronged the cloister of Notre Dame—not our Notre Dame, which dates only from 1163, but the old Romanesque cathedral which stood on the same spot—and there they listened, and retained what they could remember, for they were not encouraged to take notes even if they were rich enough to buy notebooks, while manuscripts were far beyond their means. One valuable right the students seem to have had—that of asking questions and even of disputing with the lecturer provided they followed the correct form of dialectics.

—Henry Adams, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres

Photographic Features of Notre Dame de Paris
Images Will Open in a Separate Window
Gothic Heart Vista of Paris from atop Notre Dame - 45k
Gothic Heart Vista of Notre Dame from the Southwest -
Gothic Heart View of Notre Dame from Southeast -
Gothic Heart Vista of Notre Dame from the Seine -

Gothic Heart Interior of the North rose window - 165k
Gothic Heart View of the West facade, 1890s -
Gothic Heart Vista from the Southeast, 1890s -
Gothic Heart View of the Barricades, 1870s -

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