What Was Going On When Notre Dame Was Built?

What Was Going On When Notre Dame Was Built?

With the Notre Dame Crypt opening to the public for the first time since the 2019 fire, let us look at some events contemporary to its construction from the 12th to 14th centuries.

Crux of the Matter

Events Between 12th And 14th Century

  • 1119: First use of magnetic compass was recorded in China.
  • 1167: Classes began at Oxford as King Henry II banned English students from the University of Paris.
  • 1185: Bhāskara II died at the age of 71. The first use of calculus and the concept of infinity has been recorded in his work reportedly.
  • 1227: Genghis Khan, the conqueror of most of Asia, died.
  • 1249: The University College of Oxford was founded.
  • 1291: The Crusades ended (series of war starting from 1096 between Christians and Muslims over religion and territory).
  • 1320: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri was completed, which has been cited as one of the most important literary works, which was divided into three parts of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
  • 1325: The ‘Aztecs’ arrived in Mexico, who established the great Aztec empire which ended in the 1520s after losing to Spain.
  • 1336: The Vijayanagar empire was founded in the Deccan in revolt against Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq.
  • 1337: The 100 years war broke out between England and France.
  • 1348: Black Death (bubonic plague) reached Europe – killed more than 20 million in the continent.
  • 1398: Conqueror Timur invaded Delhi and demolished the city.
  • The 2014 video game, Assassin’s Creed Unity, has a detailed virtual recreation of Notre Dame in it; which took almost a year to be created by the developers. Soon after the 2019 disaster, theories started coming up of how the game can help rebuild the structure. Although the idea was quickly dismissed by historians as the video game developers did take some artistic liberty while recreating the monument.
  • Maurice de Sully was Bishop of Paris from 1160 until his retirement in 1196. He was responsible for the construction of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. 
  • Donations of over €1 billion have been pledged for the cathedral’s reconstruction. Arnault family (LVMH) & Bettencourt family (L’Oréal) pledged €200 Million each.