About Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris is known for its splendid location, towers, flying buttresses, and spire. For centuries, the 70 metres high Notre Dame Cathedral remained as one of the tallest and most precious edifices of Paris. Visitors coming here admire the beauty of the cathedral as a masterpiece carved out from French Gothic architecture.
Till date, it is rightly acknowledged to be one of the most significant Middle Age monuments of Paris.What makes the Notre Dame Cathedral as a unique monument is its unique revolutionary medieval design. The brilliance of the innovative Gothic flying buttresses technology is evident in every nook and corner of this cathedral.
Founded in the year 1163, the construction of this magnificent structure lasted for around 200 odd years with tonnes of architects’, stonecutters’, and carpenters’ contribution. The magnificently stained stunning windows here filter every ounce of the ethereal light that strikes the cathedral. In the evening, the illumination created by the votive candles amplifies the spiritual sense of the ambience here.
The cathedral has twin towers which are opened for visitors. To enter the tower, you need to make your way through the left side of the front doorways and then climb the 387 steps present there. The moment you make it to the top, you will be treated with a splendid view like never before.
How to Reach Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is situated at a distance of 31.2 km from the Paris CDG Airport. Here are some excellent options for you to travel between the two points
1. Option 1: Board a train from the Aeroport Charles De Gaulle 2 TGV and get down at the Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame. You have trains after every 10 minutes of the interval; so you do not need to rush up with the things. Once you get down, start walking for the next 6 minutes until you finally reach Notre Dame Paris.
-Overall time – 46 minutes
-Overall expense – 800 INR per head
2. Option 2: Start your bus journey from the Paris-Aeroport Roissy CDG T2 A/C/D and get down at the Paris-Gare de Lyon. From here, you need to take another bus to drop you at the Monge Mutualite then walk down for the next 8 minutes until you reach Notre Dame de Paris.
-Overall time – 1 hour and 05 minutes
-Overall expense – 700 to 1500 INR per head
3. Option 3: Take a direct cab ride from the Paris Airport to Notre Dame.
-Overall time – 32 minutes
-Overall expense – 4800 to 6000 INR per head
Best Time to Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
It is usually recommended to plan your visit to Notre Dame during its low season (usually between October to March). This is the period when you can easily escape the long lines or queues and the huge crowd visiting here.
Besides, weekday mornings and evenings tend to offer an excellent visiting time for those who do not want to be disturbed with the crowdy noise. However, planning a visit here in the evening won't allow you to explore its beautifully stained window glasses as is the case with other times of the day.
What Not to Miss at Notre Dame Cathedral
1. Musee d'Orsay: This museum is actually a train station located within the heart of Paris and in front of the Tuileries Garden. It was primarily constructed to host the Universal Exhibition in the year 1900. This is a three levelled museum - a central yard at its ground floor and the rooms are well-distributed on both sides of it.
At the intermediate level, you have a terrace and other exhibition rooms. The top floor is situated just above the vestibule running along the quay and extending into the highest part of the hotel.
2. Sainte-Chapelle: This is a Gothic-styled gem built within 7 years. It was created to shelter some of the precious Christian relics and all the crown of thorns acquired by Saint Louis. It has both the religious and political influence on French society.
3. Palais Garnier: Opéra National de Paris: This is one of the greatest operas and ballet houses within Paris which was founded around 3 centuries ago. It holds its prestige as the 13th opera house which was opened for a public visit in the year 1875. Every year, the place hosts a plethora of ballets, operas, and events on a wide scale.
4. Pont Alexandre III: Pont Alexandre III is a famous historical monument. It is one of the most emblematic bridges within the frontiers of Paris. It is known both for its massive architecture and its location. Across all its four extremities, it has got 17 metre-high pylons. The gilt bronze sculptures further amplify its beauty multifold.
5. Luxembourg Gardens: Located at the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the Luxembourg Gardens covers 23 hectares of land and features a tree-lined promenade, lawns, model sailboards, flowerbeds, and a picturesque fountain as its chief attractions. There is also an orangery within which numerous sculptures, artworks and photographs are displayed.
Things to do at Notre Dame Cathedral –
1. Admire the impressive details of the Cathedral frontage: The façade or the Cathedral frontage offers a massive blend of design and detailed craftsmanship. The vast plaza of the Notre Dame was designed in the 19th century and offers stunning views of the façade’s decorated portals. The left portal displays a coronation scene and astrological calendar.
The central portal demonstrates a judgement of the vertical triptych. The right portal shows an illustration of the Virgin Mary who is seen seated on a throne with a baby Christ in her hands. Above all the portals, you can witness a series of 28 statues of the Israel kings.
2. Go inside the Cathedral: The magnificent interior of the Notre Dame Cathedral will force you to fall deeply for it. There are long walls, stained glass filtering soft light, and vaulted ceilings. There is also a choir with a 14th-century screen portraying the biblical Last Supper. Besides, the stained glass windows of the Notre Dame Cathedral is something you should never miss on.
Other Essential Information About Notre Dame Cathedral
Location: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
Timings: You can plan your visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral during the following hours
- Monday to Friday – 08:00 am to 06:45 pm (There are no official mid-day closure timings here at the cathedral).
- Weekends (Saturday & Sunday) – 08:00 am to 07:45 pm (There are no official mid-day closing timings here at the cathedral).
Price: You do not need to pay anything to enter Notre Dame. However, there are entry fees for the tower (€8.50) and for the crypt (€6). If you are opting for the Paris Pass, you do not need to pay any additional charges for your entry to both the tower and crypt.
Interesting Facts about Notre Dame Cathedral -
Here are some interesting facts about the Notre Dame Cathedral –
1. The Notre Dame Cathedral is built across a sacred location for the Christian community and is consecrated to Virgin Mother Mary.
2. It is acknowledged as the Point Zero of French Roads – the point from where other destinations within Paris are measured.
3. The bells at the Notre Dame Cathedral are known by different names such as Denis, Emmanuel, Maurice, Benoit-Joseph, Gabriel and so on.
4. Once upon a time, the place was saved by the Quasimodo.
5. The roof structure of the Notre Dame Cathedral is entirely carved out of wood coming from more than 1300 different tree varieties.
6. During the age of revolution, this place was once acclaimed as the site of beheading.
7. It follows a golden ratio of 1:1.61.
8. Lastly, it is known to treasure some of the worthiest masterpieces of all time – Christ’s holy crown, a nail, and a piece of the Cross.
Places to Eat Near Notre Dame Cathedral
1. Le Reminet: The Reminet is a charming semi-gastronomic bistro which faces both the Ile Saint Louis and the Notre Dame Cathedral. The pretty tables, chandeliers, dim lights, antique mirrors, exposed stones – all make it a perfect place to plan out a candlelight dinner with your date in Paris. The place is accessible for disabled people and also offers free Wi-Fi connectivity. They are open to all payment options – American Express, Debit Cards, Cheques, Union Pay, and Eurocard/Mastercard.
2. Café Panis: This is a café cum bar cum brasserie located just in the front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. This Parisian brasserie is open on all 7 days of the week. Apart from the regular burgers and other vegetarian dishes, try their Nutella tiramisu, which is the most popular serving amongst most of their visitors.
Places to Stay Near Notre Dame Cathedral
1. Hotel Dupond-Smith: This hotel features around 8 luxurious rooms and suites to make it a comfortable stay for you. Reserve your winters here at the Hotel Dupond-Smith to start your day with a pop of champagne and a buffet breakfast.
2. Hotel Monge: The rooms at the Hotel Monge ensure modern comfort to all its guests by supplementing them with all the essential amenities. The decoration throughout the hotel premises reflects a refined Parisian style décor. The velvet fabrics, soft fibre optic lightings, and the tropical-themed wallpapers all club to impart a glamorous look to the hotel interiors.
3. Hotel Malte Astotel: Hotel Malte Astotel offers reasonable accommodation options for your Paris stay. There are single, double, and triple rooms available to make your stay a cosy and comfortable one. Every room here is equipped with a free Wi-Fi facility, air-conditioning system, double glazing, a safe, flat-screen TV, direct dial phone, duvet, desk with lamp, and other routinely essential facilities.
4. Hotel de Roubaix: Hotel de Roubaix offers 54 stunning rooms to accommodate the Paris wanderers. Every single room here can accommodate around 1 to 3 people at one go. The entire premises of the hotel is air-conditioned and the rooms are equipped with all essential amenities. They also have a public parking facility located within the range of 50 metres.
Traveler's tips Before Visiting Notre Dame cathedral
1. Plan your visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral early in the morning to make it a pleasurable moment for you. This is the time when the place usually remains quiet, and you do not need to wait for long hours to get into the cathedral.
2. You might witness some queues while entering the cathedral. But do not worry, as your entry into the cathedral is free; these queues are just for security check purposes.
3. If you want to climb upstairs to get the breathtaking vistas, you need to pay for the entry. It is usually good to get your tickets in advance to avoid wasting time on long queues. Cost of climbing upstairs is 10 Euros per head for adults and 8 Euros per head for children and senior members.
4. There are around 350+ stairs for you to climb to get some outstanding views from the topmost spot of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
5. You need to stay vigilant against the pickpockets and all their operational scams.