The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is located in the Lle de la Cite, a small island in the middle of the River Seine and historical center of Paris. The famous cathedral was built between the 1163 and 1250 and it is an important example of Gothic architecture, sculpture and stained glass.
The Notre Dame de Paris
The Notre Dame is the most popular monument in Paris and in all of France, beating even the Eiffel Tower with 13 million visitors each year. It is also an active catholic church, place of pilgrimage, and the focal point for Catholicism in France – religious events of national significance still take place here.
The cathedral is over 800 years old. The Celts had their sacred ground here and the Romans built a temple to worship Jupiter. A Christian basilica was built in the sixth century and the last religious structure before the Notre-Dame construction started was a Romanesque church. Bishop Maurice de Sully started the construction in 1163. The Cathedral was to be built in the Gothic style and had to reflect Paris’s status as the capital of the Kingdom France. It was the first cathedral built in Gothic style and it became the prototype for future cathedrals in France, like the cathedrals of Amiens, Chartres or Rheims and many others.
The Notre Dame de Paris wasn’t completed until 1345. The building is 128 meters long with two 69 meters tall towers and 90 meters spire. The frontal west facade features three wide portals above which the Gallery of Kings is located. It features 28 statues of Judean Kings – and higher up are the famous gargoyles and grotesques. The spectacular eastern flying buttresses at the east side of the building are 15m wide.
The famous building was severely damaged during the Revolution and wasn’t restored until the nineteenth century.
The Notre Dame de Paris cathedral itself is open every day of the year from 8am through to 6.45pm and closes at 7.15pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Being a state owned church it is free of charge plus there are priests on hand at the chapel reception for spiritual counselling or for giving the sacrament of pardon.
- Location: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame | Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
- Tel.: +33 1 44 54 19 33
- Website: notredamedeparis.fr
- Nearby hotels: Melia Colbert – Paris, Hotel Esmeralda, Hospitel-Hotel Dieu Paris
- Nearby sights: Eiffel Tower, Sainte-Chapelle, Palais Garnier – Opera National de Paris
- Visiting hours: 7:45 am – 6:45 pm