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 4.6 out of 5

5 Star Rating Unbelievably beautiful and filled with history. Baptisms were taking place while we were there. It was nice to hear the music and French prayers. I'd like to go back for Mass to soak it all in a little more. I think it takes more than one visit to absorb the magnitude of Notre Dame. I visited outside early morning and late at night to see it at sunrise and under the lights. It's also beautiful from across the Seine.

Mary Pat Cornett - 11 days ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful place with far more spirituality than the Vatican which is completely commercialized. Inside this cathedral, you will see people lighting candles at various stations, and respect given in the main area. Though we are not Catholic, we were blown away by the beauty of it all. The gospel stories on the wall sculptures were particularly interesting for us. The architecture is majestic; nothing more needs to be said. Though the line outside seems long, it's incredibly fast. Worth the wait!

R. W. - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Without a doubt you must visit here if you are in Paris. Even if you aren't Catholic or Christian, the historical significance is with the trip. Entrance is free but I'd suggest the audio tour. It provides some interesting perspective. It is a working church so it's best to tour quietly especially if Mass is being observed. I'd recommend attending a mass. On Sunday there is an international mass. The handout includes languages other than French but the mass is in French. Even if you can't understand French, it's a spiritual experience that's worth the time. It's not pristine and spotlessly clean but it's fascinating, and there is more to it then flying buttresses.

Beth Copeland - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating The Cathedral itself is free to enter and gorgeous. The lines can be long ish in the summer, but in the off season no more than 10-15 minutes. The audio tour was quite good (5 Euro) and I'd suggest it, gives a lot of background on the cathedral and architecture. The real highlight for me was the climb to the Towers. While this is 10 Euro normally if you have the Paris Museum pass it's included. The climb isn't for the feint of heart (literally) as it's a few hundred feet up medieval staircase. The views are breathtaking and you get up close and personal with the roof, gargoyles, and architecture.

Bill Dinger - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Definitely a must see Paris attraction. There was a pretty long line to get in. However it went very fast. If you have someone with you that is requiring special assistance go to the exit door and they will help you. The line on the side was to climb up the stairs. However, there is no elevator. Seeing all of these stained glass windows was very impressive. If you come on a Sunday you can attend Mass. There is something to be said about praying and such a historic church. The ambiance was unlike any other place I have ever been.

Mo C - 2 months ago


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

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