Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the world

Notre Dame
Notre Dame cc licensed photo by Олександр

The Notre Dame Cathedral is a name that many people will know. Notre Dame de Paris is its full name, meaning Our Lady of Paris. The cathedral is built in the Gothic style and is a Roman Catholic church that is still in use today. It is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the world.

The Notre Dame received much notoriety from the famous novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' by renowned author Victor Hugo which was published in 1831. Today it attracts over 13 million visitors and pilgrims each year. In holding with the view that worshiping the Lord should be open to all, there is no entrance fee to the cathedral. Visitors are asked to dress appropriately and to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb those who come to worship in its hallowed halls.

A number of significant events have taken place in the Notre Dame Cathedral. Some of those events include the coronation of Henry VI as king of France, the marriage of James V of Scotland to Madeleine of France, the coronation of Napoleon I, as well as the beautification and canonization of Joan of Arc.

The Notre Dame Cathedral was built on the exact site of the first Parisian Christian church, Saint Etienne basilica. The basilica was built on the site of a Roman temple to Jupiter. Thus the Notre Dame Cathedral symbolizes the victory of Christianity over the pagan Roman gods to some pilgrims.

Though the Cathedral was ravaged during the French Revolution, it has been beautifully restored. It is a shame that the statues and stained glass windows destroyed during that time are lost forever. In spite of this desecration the Cathedral still has many architectural features that must be seen. There are the portals, the west front with its two enormous towers and the stained glass windows that remain, including the various rose windows.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is visited by many people each day and hundreds come to attend the various mass services. If you truly want to experience the Roman Catholic church then this is the place to do it.

Nearby attractions: Sainte Chapelle and The Latin Quarter

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Access to the cathedral is open and free of charge every day of the year, during the opening hours. Donations are welcome if you feel it is appropriate. Access to the cathedral Towers is free with the Paris Pass otherwise admission charges apply.

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

Phone: 01 42 34 56 10

Official Website: Notre Dame Cathedral


Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M4Saint-Michel7 minutes
M10Cluny - La Sorbonne6 minutes
M1, 7, 11, or 14Châtelet12 minutes
RER B or CSaint-Michel - Notre-Dame6 minutes

How to get to Notre Dame Cathedral by Metro / RER

By Metro: From Metro Line 4 exit at Saint-Michel Station and cross the road to your right and walk north straight across the Saint-Michel Bridge. You will already see the Notre Dame to your right as you are crossing the bridge. From Metro Line 1,7,11, or 14 exit at Châtelet Station and follow Rue Saint-Denis south and cross the bridge over the Seine. Keep walking south on Blvd du Palais and go left just before the next bridge. The Notre Dame is straight ahead. From Cluny - La Sorbonne Station exit and go east to Rue Saint-Jacques; then left (north)continuing across the bridge.

By RER: Take RER B or C to Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame Station and cross the Saint-Michel Bridge. Notre Dame is visible on your right.

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Rated 4.7 out of 5

5 Star Rating A beautiful Gothic church, one of the most famous out there! There is so much detail and work that has gone into it, even if I don't always understand the significance of some of the symbols (why are there lobsters?). Well worth checking out, and there is a lovely plaza where you can just sit and admire some history.

K. Honan - 3 days ago

4 Star Rating Beautiful building, but BEWARE of pigeon-mobsters, who offer grain to people, so they can make picture with pigeons. They charge 10€ for bit of grain. Come on, this is robbery, you can use bread from your breakfast and not feed these gangsters. I would prefer police chase them. One star down for it.

Andro Jelinek - 9 days ago

5 Star Rating Best part of our entire European holiday. Truly one of the greatest buildings ever to be built. I purposely made 3 separate trips back, just so I could take another look at it. I will be back, only next time with a proper camera!

curtis wood - 28 days ago

5 Star Rating Simply amazing! I’m not a fan of the chaos surrounding the outside nor the solicitation of money once inside, but it never felt uncomfortable. The architecture and history is astounding and worth the time to check out all the nooks and crannies. Don’t rush through this place.

Gabriel Forrey - 1 month ago

4 Star Rating Surprisingly, the tourist were allowed to walk around the entire cathedral while services were going on. This was not only distracting, but not respectful to the mass. The site itself was impressive, but without paying there is not much to see. Also the ushers during the service were borderline rude. While the collection was being taken, one basket was passed to us and we were able to make a contribution. Another usher came by a few seconds later and tried to pass the basket to us again. When we didn't put anything in to the contribution basket, we received several dirty looks and the usher receiving the basket jiggled the coins and then offered it to us AGAIN! All of this occurred DURING a service. I was very sad that this type of activity was happening in such a beautiful place.

David Arendt - 3 months ago


Interesting overview about the history and significance of Notre Dame in Paris

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