The Heritage of Notre Dame–Less European than People Think; Diana Darke; Arab America

It was striking as Paris’s landmark site of Notre Dame Cathedral burned before our eyes, how few seemed to know that Notre Dame’s architectural design, its twin towers flanking an elaborate entrance, its rose windows, its rib vaulting and its spire (la fleche) owe their origins to Middle Eastern predecessors. The earliest example says, Arab America contributing writer, Diana Darke, stands on a hillside in northwest Syria, in Idlib province, in a church built from local limestone in the mid-5th century. It’s called Qalb Lozeh (‘Heart of the Almond’ in Arabic) rightly praised as one of the best-preserved examples of Syrian church architecture, a magnificently proportioned broad-aisled basilica, the forerunner of what came to be known as the Romanesque period.

Source: The Heritage of Notre Dame–Less European than People Think

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