Notre-Dame (Paris) – Icon of Parisian Gothic Architecture

Notre-Dame(Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris – Our Lady of Paris) is a Gothic, a must see attraction on every Paris goers itinerary.

Easily, it is one of the most popular Cathedrals in the entire world with over 13million visitors per year.

This grandiose Cathedral is not only a popular monument but also a place of pilgrimage. It is conveniently located beside the Seine river which sets up an additional bonus of a fantastic view while cruising.

Notre Dame houses the most important relics including the reputed crown of thorn, a fragment of the true cross and one of the holy nails, Napoleon’s coronation robes and other precious monstrance, manuscripts, chalices etc.

Some of the Notre Dame’s stained glass windows are the beautiful collection of the 13th-century Gothic art.

Set of three beautiful rose windows that shine like jewels over the west door, north and south transept are the greatest survival of original glass from various alterations, vandalism, demolitions including French revolution.

Notre Dame is famous for its use of the revolutionary essential yet beautifying flying buttresses. These flying buttresses support the walls of the formidable building. In addition, external statues and gargoyles are arranged around the outside to serve as extra column supports and drainage pipes. Gargoyles of Notre Dame looming over Paris reminds you of Gothic Grandeur.

As Gothic architects anticipated, the extra strengthening provided by the piers, buttresses and additional supports enabled the primary walls of the building to become non-structural. As a result, the cathedral could be illuminated by far more stained glass windows.

For centuries the 70m tall towers of Notre Dame was the tallest building in Paris. The great organ is a 9m enormous rare pipe organ that can be used to play many different repertories in France.

The incredible story of the hunchback of Notre Dame led to the revival of the Gothic period structure which is now in pristine condition for the world to wonder its extraordinary architecture.

The Gothic endeavour took 182 years to complete and stands almost 90m of spire height. It certainly deserves all the praise it receives.

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  • The Notre Dame's gothic endeavour took 182 years to complete and stands almost 90m of spire height
  • This grandiose Cathedral is not only a popular monument but also a place of pilgrimage
  • Notre dame houses the most important relics including the reputed crown of thorn, a fragment of the true cross and one of the holy nails, Napoleon’s coronation robes and others
  • Notre Dame is famous for its use of the revolutionary essential yet beautifying flying buttresses
  • Survival of original glass from various alterations, vandalism, demolitions including French revolution
  • The incredible story of the hunchback of Notre dame led to the revival of the Gothic period structure which is now in pristine condition for the world to wonder its extraordinary architecture
  • Some of the Notre Dame's stained glass windows are the beautiful collection of the 13th-century Gothic art
  • For centuries the 70m tall towers of Notre dame was the tallest building in Paris
  • Notre dame certainly deserves all the praise it receives
  • As per the Gothic architects, flying buttresses and gargoyles support the walls of the formidable structure of Notre dame

Category

Cathedral

 

Transport from Paris city centre

Closest RER station is St-Michel-Notre-Dame RER station on RER B(blue) and RER C(yellow) and closest Metro is ‘Cite’ line4.

It’s located in the fourth arrondissement of Paris.  It has its main entrance to the west. The island where Notre Dame is on is connected by bridges; the Cathedral is on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité.

Planning to drive? You can instantly rent a car suited to your personal needs filtered by price, availability, time and pickup/dropoff locations, by major car service providers.

Car Park

The Notre-Dame car park is open 24 hours a day. Although parking isn’t cheap, the closest car park is just right next door to the Cathedral. The address is Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

Address  

6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

Phone no.

+33 1 42 34 56 10

Website

www.notredamedeparis.fr

Opening Times

General Opening times are daily 7.45am to 6.45pm and close 7.15pm on weekends.

Towers, Crypt, Treasury and reception, are open at different times during the opening times. Opening times during summer and summer weekends are longer. For more information on the schedule as it changes from time to time.

Closed on 1st of Jan, 1st of May and on the 25th Dec.

Remember the bell tower closes for lunch, avoid such time for any disappointments.

 

Admission 

Free entry for Cathedral; there is an entry fee for the towers, the crypt and the treasury.

Guided tours are available for 90min on Wednesday noon, Thursday 2pm and Saturday 2.30pm.

Depending on the number of people on that day, the last admission for tours is 45min before closing time.

Age group

This attraction is more suited to mature adults. Need to climb 387 steep steps on the stairs that are spiral to climb to view the bell and gargoyles.

Activities

Participating in Mass, meditation and prayer are the main activities in the Cathedral.

Visit duration

What it takes is only 30min to visit the Cathedral but given the number of people visit per day is so high, it might take a lot more time. These depend on the time of the day and season. To see the Tower, Crypt and Treasury takes longer as groups of visitors are allowed at once. Skip the line tickets will do.

 

Best time to visit

All year activity, but go early or in the evening well before closing time to beat the long queues.

Services & Retail

Inside the Cathedral close to the exit, you will find souvenirs, books, medallions and others for purchase.

Outside the Cathedral there is a paid toilet.

Nearby sites

Attractions nearby to Notre Dame Cathedral are Sainte-Chapelle, Hotel de Ville, Chatelet Theatre, Pompidou centre, Saint-Jacques Tower and much more.

Things to note and safety tips

  • Don’t forget to check out the small but beautiful back garden.
  • No Flash photography is allowed inside the Cathedral.
  • No luggage is allowed inside the Cathedral.
  • The audio guide is accessible at the reception desk.
  • Most part of the Cathedral on the ground is accessible to disable tourists.
  • It is not advisable to climb to the tower or crypt for anyone with a mobility issue and/or Need a good pair of flat shoes to handle the worn out steep stairs in the not brightly lit area.
  • Beware, the place is not short of scammers, pickpockets and beggars, don’t fall for the request for fake petition signing.
  • Most of the sign posts are in French.
  • Exceptionally long queues can be expected but it moves faster to enter Cathedral, it slows down much when you are to go up the tower.
  • At times, it appears more commercial vibe
  • The lighting inside is a little less.

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