Notre Dame Cathedral

History of Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris) is one of the masterpieces of the Gothic architecture. It is located on the Île de la Cité in Paris. The construction of the cathedral began in 1163 on the site of an old Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter. It took a long time (almost 200 years) this masterpiece to be completely finished in 1345.

In 1793, during the French Revolution, many of the treasures of the cathedral were destroyed. The building itself was used as a warehouse for food storage. The Second World War caused even more damage and several of the stained glass windows were demolished. Many restoration programs took place during the centuries to preserve and enlarge the beauty of the cathedral.

Some of the treasures of the Notre Dame Cathedral are the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross and one of the Holy Nails. The cathedral is known for its gargoyles, which were designed for water run-off.  A stunning view of Paris and the gargoyles is revealed if you climb the South Tower (69 meter tall). The tower also houses the largest bell named Emmanuel, which weighs over 13 tons and dates from 1681.

Tips for visiting Notre Dame Cathedral

Concerts are regularly organized in the cathedral. More information you can find here. There is a free night show every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 09:30 PM (more info).

If you want to visit the South Tower go before its opening time, because the waiting line will be huge later. The entrance to the tower is located outside of the cathedral on Rue du Cloître Notre-Dame.

Useful information
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
Access: Metro station Cité – line 4
Opening hours: Every day: 08:00 AM – 06:45 PM (07:15 PM on Saturdays and Sundays)
Cathedral: Free
Towers: More information
Web site:

Notre Dame Cathedral

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

View of the cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral


Notre Dame Cathedral

mass in the church

Inside the church


stained glass window

stained glass window

stained glass windows

Notre Dame Cathedral at night

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