Friday, May 27, 2011

Architecture in the 4th and 5th Arrondissements

Today we hit the streets, focusing on Medieval and Gothic architecture in the 4th and 5th arrondissements. The building that we focused on the most was the Notre Dame. We looked at both scale and its way of creating a religious / sacred space with the architecture. Both of these relate to each other. When you first walk up to Notre Dame, your overwhelmed with the size of this building. It truly is the main focal point of the area. You are always looking up to the "heavens", to see...there is not much human scale to exterior or the interior. The first thing that I noticed on the inside were the large elevated ceilings that are in the shape of a cross, these are the areas of the main worship, for the priest and where the large stain glass is located. The bottom of the cross starts where the priest enters for mass, the two sides are where the large stain glass rose windows, the center is where the alter is located, and the top of the cross was a statue of the pieta. Around this cross are lower ceilings, the scale being a little smaller but still not to human scale. This is only one of the ways that the ways that the architecture created religious content.

After looking at Notre Dame, we got to walk around the Ile Saint Louis, which is on
e of the oldest part of Paris, Hemingway and Marie Curie both lived on this Ile, and the Latin Quarter. The medieval architecture was very apparent on these streets. The first floor canters or bulges out and the second floor comes back in. It was really interesting, something that I did not really pick up when we were just walking around, but after it was pointed out to me, it seemed that it was everywhere.

Tomorrow we are going to Versailles, I can't wait to see the beautiful gardens!!!

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