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Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in French | 0 comments

Notre dame – One of most famous cathedrals in paris to visit

Notre dame – One of most famous cathedrals in paris to visit

Notre Dame is one of the first Gothic cathedrals, amongst the finest example of sacred gothic architecture, with outstanding stained glasses, stone carvings and the first flying buttress built during history.

Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral is arguably the most stunning gothic cathedral in the world—and is undoubtedly the most famous. Conceived in the 12th century and completed in the 14th, the now-iconic cathedral was the very heartbeat of medieval Paris. After a period of neglect, it recaptured the popular imagination when 19th-century writer Victor Hugo immortalized it in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. The Notre Dame Catheral is not just one of the greatest Paris monuments. It is above all a catholic church, which is to say, it is a place of christian worship and fervor and therefore it should be respected and when visiting, tourists should behave accordingly. It is the most amongst sacred places and cathedrals for visitors. The Notre Dame cathedral is one of the most singular and beautiful cathedrals of Europe. The cathedral’s dramatic towers, spire, stained glass and statuary are most impressive. The Notre Dame was the heart of medieval Paris and took over than a century to complete.

Architecture of notre dame, paris

Visitors appreciating the architecture of notre dame

Its on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité that Notre Dame lies. Roman catholic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Paris, Notre Dame is one of the first Gothic cathedrals, amongst the finest example of sacred gothic architecture, with outstanding stained glasses, stone carvings and the first flying buttress built during history. The cathedral was desecrated during the French revolution and was rendered famous with Victor Hugo’s the hunchback of Notre Dame, written to raise awareness in a building which was an heritage in state of despair. In the square in front of the Cathedral lies the Point Zero, from which the distances from Paris are measured. Superstitious sayings holds that when a tourist stands there, he will come back to Paris during his life.

Facts About The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

  1. Notre Dame is 130 meters long, 48 meters wide, 35 meters high. The rose windows have a diameter of 10 meters. The cathedrals pillars have a diameter of 5 meters.
  2. Notre Dame is located on the Paris Island called Ile de la Cite, which concentrated the power attributes of France between the 4th and the 14th century.
  3. The world famous cathedral is referred to as: Notre Dame de Paris (“Our Lady of Paris” in French), The Notre Dame Cathedral or sometimes just simple “Notre Dame”.
  4. If you want to visit Notre Dame via the Paris metro: Cite station on line 4. Saint Michel station on RER B and C lines.
  5. The towers can be visited – April 1st to September 30th, 10am to 6.30pm (June to August, on Saturday, Sunday, 10am to 11pm) – October 1st to March 31st, 10am to 5.30pm. Last access is 45 mn before closure. Closed on January 1st, in May 1st, December 25th.
  6. The twin towers go as high as 69 meters (387 steps). The south tower houses the 13 ton Emmanuel bell.
  7. The best time to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral is early in the morning, between Tuesday and Friday.
  8. Access to the cathedral is open and free of charge every day of the year, during the opening hours.

Attractions in notre dame

The Two Towers

Measuring 200ft in height, these towers provide some of the best viewing points in Paris. At the summit of 387 steps, it’s not only worth the climb for the panorama over Paris, but also to admire the stone gargoyles crouching on its ledge.

Gargoyles and Chimera

The iconic gargoyles and chimera that adorn the Notre Dame were built in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc. Now, they are some of the most famous things about the cathedral, however, the original purpose of the gargoyles was for the drainage system. Because they extend so far out of the wall, they were built into the ends of the gutters, with big round holes as mouths, to drain water away from the sides of the building preventing water damage. The chimera, on the other hand, were purely decorative and sit on a ledge surveying the people of Paris below.

Ringing Bells

Notre Dame Cathedral has 10 bells, from Emmanuel to Marie, Gabriel and Étienne, ranging from 13,271kg to 782kg. The biggest and oldest, Emmanuel sits in the southern tower and has been a part of the building since 1681. Emmanuel rings on the hour, every hour and for special occasions and celebrations. Historically, in 1944, Emmanuel was rung in celebration and triumph by French troops and allies to announce to the city that it was on its way to liberation.


The Great Organ was installed in the 13th century and has five keyboards, 190 ties and 8000 pipes. Unsurprisingly, it’s the largest organ in France and the most famous organ in the world and has undergone countless restorations and improvements. It’s still used to this day in Sunday services, drawing in international organists to perform, as well.

Visitor guide

Getting there: Metro line 4 will drop you off at Cité, on the island where Notre Dame is located. Otherwise, the line 1 station Hotel de Ville is just across the river, making it convenient for anyone on the Right Bank. On the Left Bank, the line 10 station Maubert Mutualité is a short and lovely walk to the cathedral.

To visit the cathedral (free)

Everyday from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6.45 pm.

On the weekends, from 8 am to 7.15 pm.

To go up the towers (8,50 €)

April – September, from 10 am to 6.30 pm.
October – March, from 10 am to 5.30 pm.

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