Notre Dame Cathedral Overview

The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous Gothic masterpieces in the world. The construction of this iconic Church spanned over 200 years which began in the 12th century. The Cathedral is famous for its magnificent stained glass windows, beautiful towers and the flying buttresses. Inside the Cathedral of Notre Dame there are splendid displays of some of the finest artworks and valuable items that reflects the Neo-Gothic design of that age.

The Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris is known for its splendid location, towers, flying buttresses, and spire. Enhanced by exploring Europe trip, 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.

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• The Gallery of Kings located below the largest Rose window, holds the statues of the 28 kings of Judah. However,the statues here are replicas as the original ones were beheaded during the French Revolution. The original statues are kept In medieval museum at Hôtel de Cluny.
• West Rose window is the largest of its type to be made during that period. It is over 10 meters in diameter and depicts drawings of biblical Adam and Eve.
• The Grand Galerie that is at the base of the two towers connects the North and South Towers. In the 19th century, Viollet le Duc added a group of chimeras to its edges.
• Saint - Etienne portal depicts the elaborate works of Saint Etienne. There is a triple arch at the door and is decorated by twenty one martyrs that are crowned by angels including Saint George.
• The Notre Dame cathedral was the first Gothic cathedral to have flying buttresses.
• The cathedral's vast plaza provides a magnificent view of the three majestically decorated portals
• The left side portal shows the life of Mother Mary while the right side portal shows Mother Mary on a throne with baby Jesus in her arms and the center portal features the Last Judgment.You May Also Like: France Honeymoon Package From ChennaiCheckout & Book : Best Seine River Cruise

How To Reach

By Metro: If you are using the metro then get on line 4 service to Île de la cité. Once out of the station the Notre Dame Cathedral is pretty easy to spot. 

By Train: Notre Dame Cathedral is also accessible by taking a RER B or C service to Gare De Saint - Michel Notre Dame to the banks of the Seine.

By Bus: If traveling by bus you can board bus number 63, 70, 95 and 96 and alight at a bus stop near Notre Dame Cathedral. 

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral is in the morning when it is less crowded and the calm ambience of the place enchants you. Mornings are also great in terms of exploring the elegance of the Cathedral's architecture, sculptures, stained glass windows and all the other artworks. 

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Other Essential Information

  • Flash photography and tripods are not allowed in the cathedral.
  • Large bags are not allowed in the cathedral.
  • While entering the cathedral you might want to pick up a 35 minute audio guide in 8 languages to help you really understand the history of the cathedral. 
  • The Tower tours in the cathedral are managed by the National Monuments Center.
  • There is no charge for anyone under 18 and 10 Euros per adult.
  • The stairs on the towers are enclosed and circular which can take a toll on your mental health as well, please keep that in mind before climbing the towers.

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Point of Interest for Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Exterior

Notre Dame Exterior

The Notre Dame is one of the very first cathedrals with Gothic architecture to have flying buttresses. It is also adorned with beautiful sculptures and gargoyles that not only add to the beauty of the Cathedral but also provide additional support to it.

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Notre Dame Interior

Notre Dame Interior

The interior of the Notre Dame cathedral holds 3 magnificent rose windows, but only the North Rose window holds the original glass that was installed. Near the back of the cathedral is a massive treasury of crosses and objects made of gold and other precious materials. The interior of this cathedral has witnessed many historical events including the crowning of Napoleon Bonaparte.

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Notre Dame Towers

Notre Dame Towers

The Notre Dame towers are over 223 ft high providing magnificent view of the Seine and the Ìle de la Cité, but to reach the top you must climb over 400 stairs. The South tower is home to the gigantic and infamous 13 ton bell. From the Tower you can also admire the ornate spire of Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame Crypts

Notre Dame Crypts

The Notre Dame crypts is an archaeological museum located at the foot of the square of Notre Dame Cathedral. The Museum features remains of the excavation done between 1965 to 1972 and provides a detailed view of architectural and urban developments in Paris. The most fascinating relics found in the Crypts are parts of the ancient city of Lutece and designs of the sewers of Paris from the 19th century.

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Notre Dame Cathedral FAQs

Why is the Notre-Dame cathedral so famous?

Notre Dame Cathedral is famous for its architectural grandeur, antiquity and size. The architects of the cathedral were the first to design the flying buttresses in construction. The Cathedral is also famous for its Gothic sculptures and intricate designs of its stained glass windows.

Why visit Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris?

Notre Dame Cathedral is a must visit attraction in Paris for its Gothic beauty, amazing architecture and rich history. The Cathedral has beautiful stained glass windows, imposing towers and interiors that are absolutely breathtaking. The Cathedral is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for years it has been listed as one of the most visited monuments in the country.

Who built the Notre Dame Cathedral?

The Cathedral was conceptualized and initiated by Maurice de Sully, the Bishop of Paris in 1160. The Cathedral was built on the ruins of two older basilicas. In 1163, Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone. The high altar was completed and consecrated in 1189. Four different architects oversaw the construction of the Cathedral which spanned almost 200 years.

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