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

Directions

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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Reviews

Rated 4.7 out of 5

4 Star Rating Great thing about Paris, is it is very walkable. Walking along the Seine River, meandering around to this church was nice in itself. The early AM line went fairly quickly as it was not complicated by excessive security checks. Inside, people were respectful and I appreciated the areas of the church where it outlines the history of the structure. Take time to get behind the alter and peek through the windows to the downstairs.

john Simmons - 12 days ago

5 Star Rating How can you put less than five stars here? Marvellous architecture, in all of its possible views: outside in front, to the rear (do not miss it, it is beautiful), inside with these giant ancient windows original at that old times. You must not miss to reach the roof either. Some stairs and there you are, gargoyles at one meter of distance or less, bells ringing very close, and a wonderful outstanding view on Paris. I just find too bad that there is not so much control at the roof. It is getting ruined by vandals fast..

Noemi G. - 25 days 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 - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating When we got to the Cathedral the line was easily a city block long I really didn't want to wait in line for an hour. As we stood there it started to move pretty fast, free admission! I really enjoyed getting to participate in their service, the Church is still actively worshiping Jesus and displaying generations of it's existence. On the circumference of the sanctuary there are displays set up for you to observe some historical and some are significant events of the church and nation. ie.Notable priests, Joan of Arc, etc. We spent 2 hours here could've taken more but were able to see everything and pick up a souvenir in the shop inside the church in that time.

C Bokelman - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful. One of the proud experience as a catholic to visit this historic architecture. One have to wait in the cues for hours to get into this marvel of architecture but worth visiting it as this is one of the few things that can't be missed as a tourist in Paris. The construction of this beautiful piece of French Gothic art took almost 200 years, watching the mysterious Gargoyles will take your breath away. The view from the top is stunning. Missing this place.

Cyril Francis - 2 months ago

Video


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

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