Posted 8 years ago
Around 100AD Paris was known as Lutetium and the city fathers built a Roman temple to Jupiter on the island in the city centre. Notre Dame now stands on that spot. But there was an even earlier Christian church built at the same spot around 400 AD or perhaps later in the 7th century. Some suggest a date of 528 AD and say that it was built by Childebert I, the king of the Franks.
It was dedicated to St Stephen aka saint Étienne.
It was a large Christian basilica with five naves, which most likely resembled the ancient basilicas of Rome or Ravenna.
Not much is left of this church, though, because the bishop Maurice de Sully had it torn down in 1160 to build the new church of Notre Dame, which is still there today.
The south transept portal of Notre Dame is dedicated to St. Stephen and commemorates the earlier cathedral church of Paris. It was built by Jean de Chelles and later by Pierre de Montreuil between 1258 and 1270.
It shows scenes from the life and death of the martyr Saint Stephen. There was damage to the doorway in 1793 and were restored by Viollet-le-Duc and his atelier in the XIXth century.
This is a postcard published by N.D. Phot No. 1180: Neurdein et Cie (1860’s-1919) Paris, France.