Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Devilish Locations: Portal of the Last Judgment - Notre Dame, Paris, France

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Portal of the Last Judgment
Cathedral of Notre Dame
Paris, France
Topic: Devilish Locations
Detail of the Sculpture
Center Portal 

N 48° 51.196 E 002° 20.950

Quick Description: 

The bas-relief sculpture above west façade’s central portal to the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris makes it a devilish location.

Long Description:

The central portal to the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris is called "The Portal of the Last Judgment". It was built about 1220 to 1230, just after the reliefs that decorate the façade on the portals to the left and the right. The sculpture above the portal represents the Last Judgment according to the Gospel of Matthew.

The middle lintel depicts the Archangel Michael is weighing souls according to the lives they led on earth and the love they showed to God and to men. The chosen people are led to the left towards Heaven and the condemned are lead by a pair of devils to the right towards hell. Above, Jesus is seated on His throne of glory. Below the dead are shown rising from their tombs.

At a time when very few people could read and the copies of the Bible were not generally available . These bas-relief sculptures were meant to convey the meaning of the Gospels to the illiterate masses. Thus it is wholly appropriate that these images be placed where medieval people would see them.

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