“Central Nave of Notre-Dame Cathedral” from the “Book of the Coronation”
Charles Percier and Pierre Franēois Léonard Fontaine - 1807
Completed after nearly two centuries in 1345, Notre-Dame has stood at the heart of French history for hundreds of years. In 1793, with the closure of many of the French churches, the cathedral was vandalized and looted. For nearly a decade, it was used as a warehouse for food. Napoléon restored religious freedoms in 1802. The coronation at Notre-Dame two years later elevated this powerful symbol of the country to its rightful place once again.