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30 review for Notre-Dame of Paris: The Biography of a Cathedral

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rrlgrrl

    This book was an interesting mix of history, religion, and architectural analysis. The photographs in the book are nice, but it would have better if each chapter, which focused on different parts of the cathedral, had accompanying pictures to explain some of the architectural details and terminology. The history focused more on the building of the cathedral, rather than spanning all the centuries of its existence. While it is interesting to read about how it was built, piece by piece, only the l This book was an interesting mix of history, religion, and architectural analysis. The photographs in the book are nice, but it would have better if each chapter, which focused on different parts of the cathedral, had accompanying pictures to explain some of the architectural details and terminology. The history focused more on the building of the cathedral, rather than spanning all the centuries of its existence. While it is interesting to read about how it was built, piece by piece, only the last chapter was devoted to the later centuries and what happened to the cathedral. I'm sure there are more thorough histories of the building, but regardless, it was an interesting read on how such structures were built in the Middle Ages.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    This is a historical examination of the building of Cathedrals focused, of course, on Notre-Dame of Paris, associated religious beliefs and politics. Money can buy anything except beauty, strength and happiness. Mais où sont les neiges d’antan? An interesting examination of things French. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and recommend it to persons interested in the human condition.

  3. 4 out of 5

    James Henderson

    Sub-titled "The Biography of a Cathedral", Allan Temko's book spans two centuries of Medieval France. These centuries saw the Gothic established in all of Europe, and the great Cathedral of Paris was the embodiment of that age. This story is at once historic, biographical, social, and artistic. It is the story of the bishops who dedicated their lives to its creation; of the builders and the people who gave of themselves; of the daring experiments in engineering which introduced a new conception; Sub-titled "The Biography of a Cathedral", Allan Temko's book spans two centuries of Medieval France. These centuries saw the Gothic established in all of Europe, and the great Cathedral of Paris was the embodiment of that age. This story is at once historic, biographical, social, and artistic. It is the story of the bishops who dedicated their lives to its creation; of the builders and the people who gave of themselves; of the daring experiments in engineering which introduced a new conception; of the growing identification with the cult of Mary, its symbolism, its power, its direction. Using the shadowy records of early Paris, the author tells of the origins in the first places of worship in the Ile de France, the pagan gods of the conquered Gauls, the Roman gods, and the slow acceptance of primitive Christianity. Dim evidence exists, indicating the pattern of earlier churches, basilicas, a Cathedral, finally the first Notre Dame. From 1120 -- about the date when Maurice of Sully was born, the facts begin to establish themselves, the chronology, the details were recorded. And to the lowly born Maurice, ultimately to become Bishop of Paris, goes credit for building Notre Dame. Even though some parts were unfinished, other parts rebuilt and additions made contribute to the time span, but the cathedral in its essence was ninety years in the building. Its final glory was achieved when the sainted Louis was king. The pageantry of Paris was background; the Middle Ages come to life in these pages. The history is often detailed, possibly overly technical for many readers. However, its fascination, its imaginative sweep charmed this reader. I was reminded of Henry Adams' Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres as the book parallels that masterpiece in its own way. This history is an exciting reading experience.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    An extremely enjoyable story, and it is that, of Notre-Dame of Paris. Architectural detail linked with the fascinating history of France. As close to a can't-put-down book as a book of non-fiction can be. An extremely enjoyable story, and it is that, of Notre-Dame of Paris. Architectural detail linked with the fascinating history of France. As close to a can't-put-down book as a book of non-fiction can be.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gilbert Wesley Purdy

    Almost as good as Adams's Mont Saint Michel Chartres. I love this kind of book. Rich with the fine detail of history. Almost as good as Adams's Mont Saint Michel Chartres. I love this kind of book. Rich with the fine detail of history.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margy Robbins

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  8. 4 out of 5

    yoko

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Scott Kent

  11. 4 out of 5

    Yuey

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

  13. 4 out of 5

    A Sharkus

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rafe

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thom Dunn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  17. 4 out of 5

    Éowyn

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fred Eisenhut

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric Stutzman

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  21. 4 out of 5

    Terri

  22. 4 out of 5

    Letty

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Osman

  25. 4 out of 5

    D E

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tamra

  27. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Teigen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jimbethhoward

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sharon McNeil

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