Just over two weeks ago, Paris was hit with a devastating fire that struck it right in its figurative heart. I had been in the side garden where the cherry blossoms were in bloom just days before shooting the trees, and of course, my bike. The trees were still in bloom when the fire hit, and when I went to watch as the cathedral burned, I couldn’t bring myself to go watch from the Seine side, where I might see those beautiful trees burning, too.
Notre Dame is well-known across the world and is always among the top destinations for tourists to visit in Paris. And yet, I find many people don’t know the history of the cathedral. Construction work began on Notre Dame in 1180. Yes, you read that right. And it took 200 years to finish. Through centuries of construction and use, the Cathedral has weathered French history through religious wars, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Era, World Wars, and so much more.
As I wrote about in my previous post about the fire, Notre Dame lost its spire last month, but this is not the first time that has happened. In 1786, after the spire’s supporting structure was deemed no longer strong enough to sustain it that restorers removed it and replaced it. A dedicated team has been key to keeping the Cathedral well maintained over the centuries. It seems we owe them a debt of gratitude now more than ever seeing that the Cathedral is still standing.
I have been photographing the Cathedral and the surrounding area since I first moved to Paris in 2006. I lived down the street from Notre Dame, on Île Saint Louis, and am embarrassed to say I’m not sure I ever fully appreciated my proximity to it the way I should have. Since I started by photography business and blog, it has become one of the most important and sought-after subjects of my work. I hope you enjoy these photos, as it was pure joy for me to shoot them.
A few photos of my bike from before the fire 🌸🚲
“If we lose Notre Dame, we’re not losing only a sacred space, and not only an art treasure. Notre Dame is a symbol of human accomplishment, and more than that, of social accomplishment. It’s not the work of any one person, but of generations upon generations of labor.”
~ Constance Grady
Check out my other posts featuring Notre Dame here:
" Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it." ~ Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
Enjoying my favorite tree in all of ParisI've been busy taking photos throughout this beautiful Spring, so I thought I'd put together this post to share some of the pauses I've taken on my bike over the past couple of months just for fun. I don't go everywhere by bike [...]
Click image to purchase Many of you have written to me in the last two weeks requesting images of Notre Dame. You all know the gardens near Notre Dame is one of my favorite places to photograph, especially in Springtime. The cherry blossoms pop open sometime between late [...]
"The men and women who build the future are those who know that greater things are yet to come, and that they themselves will help bring them about. Their minds are illumined by the blazing sun of hope. They never stop to doubt. They haven't time." ~ Melvin J. Evans