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Notre Dame de Paris (French for "Our Lady of Paris", meaning the church in Paris dedicated to the Virgin Mary), often known simply as Notre Dame in English, is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. A major tourist destination, it is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

==Innovations Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, giving them a more secular look that was lacking from earlier Romanesque designs.

Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. However, after the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. The buttresses were added to prevent further deterioration. For many years, the buttresses were reviled as it was said they looked "like scaffolding" someone had forgotten to remove and gave the cathedral an "unfinished" look.

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Additional Photos by Onur ZORLULAR (Imagine) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 28 W: 58 N: 28] (342)
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