Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Visit to Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris - but there was no Hunchback

Hunchback of Notre Dame was a memorable movie based on a French romantic novel by Victor Hugo. The story was based around the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. The character of Quasimodo - a bell ringer of the Notre Dame who was a half blind hunchback was performed by the legendary Hollywood actor Anthony Quinn, while the romance was induced by Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda - a gypsy girl, singing in the streets of Paris. 

 Screen shots from the film Hunchback of Notre Dame: Anthony Quinn as Hunchback (above) and Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda (below)

I saw the movie in 1970, though the movie was produced in 1956. The movie always remained my favourite as Anthony Quinn was one of my favourite actors. I often wondered how the Cathédrale Notre Dame would actually looked like. Well, I had to wait for many decades later till I visited Paris in September 2014 and made it a point to see the Cathédrale Notre Dame. 

I had the first glimpse of the Cathédrale Notre Dame during the boat ride in the famous River Seine of Paris and instantly recognized it as the architecture of the Cathédrale Notre Dame was still vividly saved in my memory. 

 My son smiles at me for he knew that I have been so anxious to see the building behind him

As we passed by the Cathédrale Notre Dame, I hurriedly took a few shots - but that was not to be the end. I made it a point that before leaving Paris, I get to see it right there in front of me. And so did I on the last day in Paris, while saying goodbye to this city of lovers and love.

So it was on the last day in Paris - I drove to the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, which was already full of tourists thronging the place - perhaps many like I recalling the movie and comparing it to our memories.

My first daylight glimpse of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

 The massive artwork on the facade of the church building

So it was - the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris and I standing in front of it. I tried to look around and up above the Cathédrale Notre Dame, but could not find any Hunchback nor a lovely Esmeralda dancing around. But then we all have a true heart of a Hunchback when it comes to saving someone - specially someone as beautiful as Esmeralda. Life goes on while memories become skeletons and wither away in the sands forever.

You may also read my post related to Notre Dame: Paris Night-Boat Ride

Photos Credit: All photos are mine and accordingly copyrighted (Except two scree shots from the film 'Hunchback of Notre Dame)

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