While the whole world was observing the Holy Week, workers in Paris spent Easter weekend stabilizing the damaged Notre Dame. Efforts have already started to rebuild the collapsed 19th-century spire, which wasn’t part of the original cathedral along with which some controversies too have cropped up. Also there is debate going on whether modern fire-protection should be incorporated into a structure that is treasured, in large part, for its historic look. Controversies and debates apart, now it’s the time to go into the origins of the architecture of this beautiful cathedral as architects have to replicate the burnt portions. And that exercise leads to some interesting facts. Do you know who inspired the architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral?
Qalb Loze is a Druze village in northwestern Syria situated near the border with Turkey. With a population of less than 1300, the village is well-noted for its 5th-century church and other Byzantine-era ruins. The church at Qalb Lozeh dates back to the 460s AD and is one of the best-preserved churches of this period in the region. The church is the first known in Syria with the wide basilica, where the columns that in traditional Byzantine church architecture separate the aisles from the nave have been replaced with low piers and soaring arches that create the feeling of expanded space. The site was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2011 as a part of the “Ancient Villages of Northern Syria” listing.
According to a well known archaeologist, Gertrude Bell, church is the beginning of a new chapter in the architecture of the world. “The fine and simple beauty of Romanesque was born in North Syria!” No wonder then many people believe that Notre-Dame’s architectural design, like all Gothic cathedrals in Europe, came directly from Syria’s Qalb Lozeh 5th-century church. According to some heritage architects, the striking twin tower design of Notre-Dame is one of the main features that can be traced back to Syria. Further, cathedral’s famous spire seemed to have been inspired from the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus, which was built in the eighth century.