Marvelous Tourist Attraction Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
Having amazing facts the Notre Dame is also among the most popular tourist attractions & monuments in Paris, France.
France is packed full of World’s Most Bizarre Tourist Attractions. There are lots of things to see for visitors with incredible history, beauty and unique attractive power. Beating Eiffel Tower with 13 million visitors each year & having amazing facts the Notre Dame is also among the most popular tourist attractions & monuments in Paris, France. Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral is arguably the most stunning gothic cathedral in the world and is undoubtedly the most famous. Major components that make Notre Dame unique include one of the world’s largest organs and its immense church bells.
Amazing special facts about Notre Dame Cathedral
As the principal church of the Catholic archdiocese of Paris, Notre Dame is the spiritual heart of the French capital. It is also a shrine that preserves the Crown of Thorns, said to have been forced upon the head of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.
In 1804 Napoleon invited Pope Pius VII to come to Paris to crown him emperor in Notre Dame. At the last minute, however, Napoleon seized the crown from the pope’s hands and crowned himself.
Under a law dating to 1905, Notre Dame belongs to the French government, which maintains it, but the Catholic Church has the exclusive right to use the cathedral.
The largest bell in Notre Dame’s bell tower is named “Emmanuel.” It was cast in 1631, and weighs over 28,000 pounds.
Designed in the Gothic fashion and built between the 12th and 14th centuries, the Notre Dame Cathedral in France is the official seat of the Archbishop of Paris. After a period of neglect, it recaptured the popular imagination when 19th-century writer Victor Hugo immortalized it in ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’.The famous cathedral is also an active Catholic church, a place of pilgrimage, and the focal point for Catholicism in France – religious events of national significance still take place here. The construction of the Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, undertaken at the initiative of Maurice de Sully, began about 1160 and amazingly was completed within 40 years.
Damage and Restoration
During the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed much of the contents of the cathedral. Many features on the exterior were removed because they were considered idolatrous, while tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed in the name of modernization. During the French Revolution, the cathedral was converted into a storage warehouse for food, and the heads of many statues were removed.
The first attempt at restoration was conducted between 1845 and 1870. Much of the damage from the previous century was repaired, and new additions were constructed. Another restoration program began in 1991 and continues as of 2010. This effort focuses on cleaning and preserving sculpture and facades rather than adding any new features.
Visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral-
Best Times to Visit
Visit Notre Dame in low season – generally October-March and you’ll have a better chance of avoiding massive crowds and long lines. In addition, weekday mornings and evenings are generally much quieter than afternoons and weekends. Remember, though, that evening visits to the cathedral will not be optimal for viewing Notre Dame’s beautiful stained glass. Visiting at sunset will afford awe-inspiring views of the cathedral’s stained glass, notably the three rose windows.
- Cathedral main hall: free
- Towers: 7.50 Euros – approx. $9.70. Reductions possible for children and groups
- Archaeological crypt: 3.30 Euros – approx. $4.30. Free for children under 14. In addition, The Paris
- Cathedral main hall: 6:45 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.
- July-August: 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; weekends 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- April-June and September: 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- October-March: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Towers closed January 1st, May 1st, and Dec. 25th.
- Archeological crypt: 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; closed on Mondays
Tourist Attractions to See at Notre Dame Cathedral
Stained Glass Windows
The stained glass windows of the Notre-Dame are very beautiful and a significant number of them date from the 13th century when the cathedral was constructed. In this author’s opinion, Notre-Dame’s collection of stained glass is not as impressive as those at some other French cathedrals, such as Chartres and Bourges, and in Paris the best place to enjoy an overall effect of stained glass is probably not Notre Dame but Sainte-Chapelle.
The west front of the cathedral is one of its most notable features, with its two 69-meter (228-feet) tall towers. The South Tower houses the cathedral’s famous bell, “Emmanuel.” The bell weighs 13 metric tons – over 28,000 pounds, its clapper alone weighs 500 kilograms. The bell is Notre-Dame’s oldest, having been recast in 1631.
The three west portals of Notre Dame Cathedral are magnificent examples of early Gothic art. Sculpted between 1200 and 1240, they depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, the Last Judgment, and scenes from the life of St. Anne . Many of the statues, especially the larger ones, were destroyed in the Revolution and remade in the 19th century.