The construction of Notre-Dame Cathedral began with its apse, built in the shape of a semicircle. It is therefore the oldest part of the sanctuary. It encircles the apsidal chapels and corresponds to the apse of the interior of the building. In the 14th century, Jean Ravy replaced the old 13th century flying buttresses. He placed fourteen new buttresses around the choir with a span of fifteen meters, including six for the apse itself. As with the façades of the nave, their function allows rainwater to drain away. Panels representing episodes from the life of the Virgin decorate the apse.

Discover more of
Notre-Dame Cathedral's artifacts

The Preaching of the Prophet Agabus to Saint Paul
Saint Anne Portal
Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris is the official 501(c)(3) charity leading the international fundraising efforts to rebuild and restore Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Le Stryge

Help us rebuild and restore Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame Cathedral is not just a Parisian or a French monument. She belongs to the world, and she needs our help. Donate to Notre Dame today!

Your donation to Notre Dame is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by US tax law.