Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris was designed by Maurice de Sullly. Its construction began in 1163 and ended 182 years later, in 1345. World Heritage of Unesco since 1991 (only), the cathedral of Paris is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
High place of French tourism, Notre-Dame de Paris will delight you with its architecture and the works of art it contains.
Notre-Dame de Paris is also the symbol of old Paris, romantic walks along the Seine. She is the majestic witness of the History of the Capital.
For the record, the driving distances from France are calculated from the point “0km” located on the forecourt and which concretizes the center of Paris.
History of the Cathedral
The construction of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral began in 1163 under the order of Bishop Maurice de Sully, on the site of an old Romanesque church. The objective was to build a larger and more majestic cathedral for the city of Paris.
The construction process lasted over 170 years, with several phases of construction, modifications and additions. The architects and craftsmen who worked on the cathedral used the latest construction techniques of the time, including the flying buttress, which supported the cathedral walls and allowed for the construction of higher vaults.
Throughout its history, the cathedral has witnessed many important events. It has been the site of the coronation of many kings of France, including Henry VI of England in 1431, and has been the scene of many political events, notably during the French Revolution.
Over the centuries, the cathedral has undergone modifications and restorations. In 1844, a major restoration was undertaken under the direction of architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, who added new elements such as the cathedral spire.
The nave, the choir and the treasure
The cathedral can be visited for free and freely. Thus, you can access the nave, the choir, contemplate the stained glass windows and all the interior architecture of the monument. The treasure of Notre-Dame can also be visited during the day
A free guided tour (in French) is offered daily at 14:00 and 15:00 Monday to Friday and at 14:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. Visits are also organized in foreign languages.
The towers of Notre-Dame
It is possible to visit the towers of Notre Dame, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of Paris. The route also allows you to admire the gallery of chimeras and the belfry. Attention, the visit involves climbing a staircase of 422 steps.
The archaeological crypt of Notre-Dame
It is visited through an access located on the forecourt, opposite the cathedral. You will discover the result of excavations carried out in the mid-sixties and which are witnesses to the evolution of Paris and the Ile de la Cité over the centuries.
The fire of the Notre-Dame cathedral
The fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris occurred on April 15, 2019. The fire started in the attic of the cathedral and quickly spread to the wooden frame, destroying the spire and severely damaging the roof and vault of the cathedral.
The fire was brought under control after several hours of effort by firefighters, but the damage was extensive. France and the whole world were shocked by the loss of such an important historical and cultural monument.
Since the fire, extensive restoration work has been undertaken to repair the damage to the cathedral. The work includes consolidation of the cathedral’s structure, reconstruction of the spire, restoration of the stained glass windows and reconstruction of the roof.
A date for the reopening of the cathedral has not yet been set, but the restoration work is expected to take several years. However, a mass was celebrated in the Cathedral for the first time since the fire in June 2020, with a limited number of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to get to the Cathedral
Address: Cloister Street Notre-Dame 75004 PARIS
Metro: Line 4 – Cité Station
Bus: 21, 24, 27, 38, 47, 85, 96