View from the South
Lester's note: The flying buttress, a primary element in Gothic building, was probably first used on a monumental scale at Notre Dame. The
buttress channels the lateral thrust of the rib vaults away from the walls, allowing the walls to be made much thinner. Gradually
colored glass came to be used in place of stone. From the interior it seems as if the walls have disappeared. On the exterior the
flying buttresses create a seemingly bewildering mass of soaring props, struts, and buttresses. The original buttresses at Notre
Dame have been rebuilt several times and these buttresses were restored in the nineteenth century.