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

Due to a devastating fire causing severe damage to the the roof and vault of the Notre Dame on April 15th, 2019, it will be closed to the public until further notice. This valuable UNESCO World Heritage site will be restored with meticulous care.

Visitors can stil get a good view of the outside of the Cathedral from multiple vantage points including the streets of the Ile de la Cité, the bridges over the Seine, the left bank quays and the Ile Saint Louis.

How Long will it take to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral

No one knows for certain how long it might take to restore the Notre Dame after fire. While the President of France would like to see it done in 5 years, this is likely an overly optimistic goal. While the restoration is expected to cost upward of 1 billion dollars, money is not the issue. There are plenty of donations and funding to cover the cost. There are also skilled trades and craftsman who have the experience needed to do this type of work. The issue is simply that this type of work is painstaking and cannot be rushed. Most experts estimate the restoration will take 10 to 20 years and possibly much longer.

This is not the first time the Notre Dame has been damaged. It was also ravaged during the French Revolution, and was beautifully restored after that as well. It is a shame that the statues and stained glass windows destroyed during that time are lost forever.

Visiting the Notre Dame

Visitors to Paris can still enjoy seeing the outside of this magnificent structure. The renowned rose colour stained-glass windows and iconic twin square towers survived the fire. There is still plenty of architectural detail to discern and looking beyond the scafolding and reflecting, one can still envision the overall lines and beauty of this historic Cathedral. Many visitors still come by daily to do just that. There are plenty of vantage points on the surrounding streets and bridges and from the left bank of the Seine.

Interesting Facts and History

The Notre Dame Cathedral is a name that most people will immediately recognize. Notre Dame de Paris, meaning Our Lady of Paris, is its full name. The cathedral was built in the Gothic style and, up until the fire in April of 2019, it was actively used as a Roman Catholic church. 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.

Nearby attractions: Sainte Chapelle and The Latin Quarter

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: Notre Dame Cathedral

Fee: No. Access to inside the Cathedral is closed due to the fire but the outside and the restoration work can still be viewed from the surrounding streets.

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

Phone: 01 42 34 56 10

Official Website: Notre Dame Cathedral


Rated 4.7 out of 5Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris Star Rating

5 Star Rating What and incredible landmark and architectural masterpiece. Got consumed by the incredible art pieces and structural magnificence. I was stunned by the sheer spectacular grandeur and genius that went into building this incredible cathedral. So much history and I’m sure millions of tourists have visited this wonderful landmark in the city. Certainly not to be missed by any travelers passing through and looking to enjoy the magnificent construction. A sad day when the building caught fire 🔥 and destroyed so much of this incredible masterpiece. So glad to have captured these images in time and history never to be seen again as destroyed in the fire.

Lord Stanley (Lifepilot) - 9 days ago

4 Star Rating Despite being temporarily closed, Notre-Dame is still worth a visit! The site is still very beautiful and there's lots of information available about the history and restoration of the cathedral. There's even a tiered seating area to sit and enjoy the view or take a nice photo. Will be back to visit when it's open again!

Kathryn Buck - 9 days ago

5 Star Rating My wife and I visited this famous church for the first time way back in 1997. Then we were here as a family in 2007 and lastly in September of this year my wife and I watched the progress of the repairs together with the others. The reconstruction is progressing very well. Well done.

Bogdan Marcelan - 19 days ago

5 Star Rating Even though the interior is closed and the exterior is covered with scaffolding, this is still an essential Paris stop. There are displays in front of the cathedral with helpful information and (when we visited) street musicians outside. We were glad we came. Note: the path and garden behind the cathedral is closed off.

Linda Suskie - 15 days ago

4 Star Rating It was disappointing that 3/4 of the structure was covered/surrounded by tall metal panels that you couldn’t see through. Even though it’s burned and under construction I would have loved to see more of it. They erected a set of bleachers on the square for the public to sit and look at the front, but to see any of the rest you have to cross the Siene to see over the panels and through the scaffolding.

Lena Roberts - 19 days ago

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