She wears her age well, this Grande Dame :) I'll bet it was built upon an ancient sanctuary of goddess worship. It has all of the hallmarks: It was built on a island (check); it either had it's own source of water or was near a conjunction of rivers (check); it's named after the Roman Catholic Mother of God (check). It incorporates well-known (if not to laymen of today) Goddess symbols ("Rose Window," bells, etc.)
This is the "Rose" Window of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. If you count the small circles around the center-most circle in the "rosette," there are eight. Eight, the number of the Goddess from ancient times, as in the eight-pointed rosette symbol of Inanna, back in the days of ancient Sumer. Many "rose windows" also have center-most circles of five, another sacred number codified in the Fibonnaci Spiral and seen in nature repeatedly. See "Rose Window" at Wikipedia for some great photographs of many different "Rose" windows.
Paris Notre Dame cathedral turns 850 years old
December 24, 2012