If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?
This building has a deep reverence about it, a worndownness, an ancientness beyond its years. The Gothic architecture inspires terror and fear as if human torments are made real in concrete. There is a feeling of many souls passing through and their accumulated grief, happiness, religious fervor, peace, praise, prayer has literally seeped into the very being of this cathedral. I felt this the moment I set foot on the worn front stairs. Construction began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII and it took so long to complete. Almost as if it really struggled to be born and to come into being.
I wept within these walls for the profound effect it had on me, literally making my hair stand on end. And the view from the Seine as one passes under bridges, each different from the one before, just passes conceptualisation. The Notre Dame touches me in all unspoken ways. I just love this building and THIS WOULD BE IT!
It was here that I discovered Gregorian Chants, it captures some of the qualities of Notre Dame – “Gregorian chant, in its all-embracing spirituality and poetry, appeals to the deeper levels of the human heart.” Here is a sample from SoundCloud: