The original appearance of the Notre Dame: a fictional concept?

On TV, I saw that Notre Dame was in a raging fire, and I was very worried. Fortunately, although the roof was burnt down, the building structure was not a big problem, and the giant painted glass windows on the north wall were also intact. French President Mark Long vowed to find the best experts from all over the world and asked all the French to work together to repair this iconic historic building. This, I believe the French can do it.

In fact, if the Notre Dame de Paris can be repaired, it will not be the first time in its history. The current Notre Dame de Paris is a tall and light Gothic building, but it was the result of a massive restoration in the mid-19th century. For example, the 93-meter-high spire that collapsed in the center of the church and collapsed in the fire was completed at that time. The original spire was demolished during the French Revolution, and the lead was melted and cast into bullets.

The restoration of the year was a psychological reaction from the French society to the destruction of Notre Dame during the Great Revolution and the tens of years of change. In the early 19th century, the building was not only demolished, the embossed ruins of the outer wall, the rose window was empty, and the original Catholic church was transformed into a temple dedicated to the “rational goddess”. Gaudy, it looks like a golden salon in the Palace of Versailles or a set of opera houses.

In 1830, the 28-year-old French writer Victor Hugo made a decision: If history cannot protect Notre Dame, then only his novels should be used to accomplish this task. In the second year, “Notre Dame de Paris” was published, causing a sensation in France.

The novel tells the story between the gypsy dancer and the bell tower geek, but it is also an elegy written for the building that has long since passed away. Many readers came to the place where the story appeared in the novel, reconstructed the picture in the novel in the heart, and imagined the beauty of the Notre Dame de Paris because of “the blindness of time and the stupidity of human beings”. Soon after, the public in Paris began to demand the restoration of the church, even as written in Hugo’s novels. So in 1845, two architects, Viollet-le-Duc and Lassus, were ordered to repair Notre Dame.

The question is: what does the repair look like? Notre Dame de Paris was built in 1163 and has undergone numerous renovations over the centuries. Which version is the “real”, unspoiled Notre Dame? The two architects are very aware of their mission: the restoration project is not a rigid restoration of history, but a romantic imagination, trying to find a fixed point for a building in the long river of time, to restore it to a kind of “in the past can not reach The complete state.”

For example, the outer wall of Notre Dame de Paris is an inheritance and compromise to the transformation of the past. In the central area, directly below the apex, the two architects used the original thick wall and small window style, which was solemn and dignified, but the rest of the walls on both sides inherited the transformation of many generations of stonemasons in the past, through the arch “Structure, that is, we now see a row of bridge-type structures that extend out of the wall to bear the weight, ensuring that large windows can be opened on the outer wall and stained glass can be embedded.

As Edward Hollis pointed out in “The Past and Present of Architecture”, the “original appearance” of architecture is only a fictional concept. The “Restoration” of Notre Dame is a combination of science and romance. It is not so much A historical picture is more like the era in which it was.

I believe that in the future, the French government will bring in the repair experts from all over the world. Despite the support of modern technology, it is still necessary to make a choice on the question of what should be repaired. Notre Dame de Paris, which we hope to repair in their hands, can also reflect the era in which we live.