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In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern.The total surface area is 5,500 m² (interior surface 4,800 m²).Finally, I would willingly learn where [there are] two such circles, situated opposite each other in a straight line, which on account of their appearance are given the name of the fourth vowel [O] ; among which smaller orbs and circlets, with wondrous artifice, so that some arranged circularly, others angularly, surround windows ruddy with precious colors and beautiful with the most subtle figures of the pictures.
The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and best-known church buildings in the Catholic Church in France, and in the world.
To begin the construction, the bishop had several houses demolished and had a new road built to transport materials for the rest of the cathedral.
Construction began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII, and opinion differs as to whether Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone of the cathedral. Bishop de Sully went on to devote most of his life and wealth to the cathedral's construction.
The statues were originally colored as was most of the exterior. John of Jandun recognized the cathedral as one of Paris's three most important buildings [prominent structures] in his 1323 Treatise on the Praises of Paris: That most glorious church of the most glorious Virgin Mary, mother of God, deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars.
And although some speakers, by their own free judgment, because [they are] able to see only a few things easily, may say that some other is more beautiful, I believe however, respectfully, that, if they attend more diligently to the whole and the parts, they will quickly retract this opinion.