Here’s the earliest sound footage of Paris showing street traffic outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral on October 21, 1928. This was shot with Movietone sound cameras.
Notre-Dame de Paris (meaning “Our Lady of Paris”), often referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style.
The cathedral was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the ensuing centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In 1804, the cathedral was the site of the Coronation of Napoleon I as Emperor of France, and witnessed the baptism of Henri, Count of Chambord in 1821 and the funerals of several presidents of the Third French Republic.
Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831, of Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who added the cathedral’s iconic spire. The liberation of Paris was celebrated within Notre-Dame in 1944 with the singing of the Magnificat. Beginning in 1963, the façade of the cathedral was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime, returning it to its original color. Another cleaning and restoration project was carried out between 1991 and 2000. The cathedral celebrated its 850th anniversary in 2013.
The cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris (Michel Aupetit). 12 million people visit Notre-Dame annually, making it the most visited monument in Paris.
On 15 April 2019 at 18:50 local time, the cathedral caught fire, causing the collapse of the spire and the roof. The extent of the damage was initially unknown as was the cause of the fire, though it was suggested that it was linked to ongoing renovation work. French President Emmanuel Macron said approximately 500 firefighters helped to battle the fire. The main portion of the cathedral had been saved, despite the collapse of the spire and roof.