And just the Ile de la Cite island is a must see place to visit when you are on holiday in Paris, even if you are not religious, due to its rich history and the architecture that you will be able to discover at these fabulous monuments in Paris.
The Ile de la Cite has been occupied for many, many centuries and the original name was called Lutitia, even before the city of Paris was even evolving and therefore this is why it is classed as the historical part of Paris.
Also be able to see a large square in front of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral where there are now plaques commemorating the brave French resistance fighters that fought off the German attack for over four days during World War II.
Also, the founder of the Michelin tyre business, called Andre Michelin, placed a plaque in the square, and it is from this very plaque that all distances in France are measured, as this spot is classed as point zero, which is quite fitting considering the rich history of this island.
About the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris
Now getting back to the Notre Dame de Paris, this was one of the very first Gothic Cathedrals and is classified as one of the most impressive and finest examples of Gothic architecture in France.
In addition to this, it was one of the very first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress system, and even though this was not in the original design, the flying buttresses can be seen around the choir and the nave and the history of the building of the Notre Dame de Paris spans many decade.
The Notre Dame Cathedral was actually the largest religious building in the West until the Amiens Cathedral was built in the 13th century and can still be seen today within the Picardy region of France.
Also the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris contains impressive stained glass and sculptures that have a heavier influence on naturalism rather than the earlier Romanesque style of architecture and it is actually the largest church in Paris.
It was in the 1200s that work began on the Western facade of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, but over its history there has been many different architects that have worked on this cathedral, purely because it took so long to build, and even the history of the West facade of Notre Dame is fascinating in itself. But because of this, you will see today that the three large portals are actually slightly different in their styles and even their height.
And when you visit this Cathedral you can still admire the gargoyles, statues such as that of Saint Denis along with the stained glass windows, like the famous Rose Window, and some of these date back to Medieval times, plus the building of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, along with the restoration works conducted by Viollet-Le-Duc is fascinating in itself, and provides a greater insight as to how it has become such a famous tourist attraction in Paris.
But there is still far more to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that can be discovered, especially when you enter inside, just like the impressive Great Organ and the Choir Organ, the crown of light located above the main alter, the 15th century Bell called the Emmanuel Bell, paintings within the Nave that date from the 1600s are over thirty different sculptures.
In addition to these, you have the treasury that holds religious objects, many of which are used in specific services or ceremonies. And the holiest possessions of the Notre Dame de Paris are the Holy Relics of the Passion of the Christ that were acquired by Saint Louis, like The Crown of Thorns and these were originally held at the Sainte Chapelle chapel by La Conciergerie up until the French Revolution.
Also, the Te Deum Mass has been sung at the Notre Dame de Paris ever since the middle of the 1400s, plus there was always a major funeral service conducted at this cathedral that preceded the burials of the Kings of France, where they were laid to rest in the Saint Denis Basilica on the outskirts of Paris.
Visiting the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral
Incredibly, there are around 13 million people from around the world that visit the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris every year, whether it be as a tourist on holiday in Paris or people on a pilgrimage and in fact, this church has more visitors than even the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre Museum!
One of the reasons it has become so famous is due to the novel called the Hunchback of Notre Dame that was produced in the 1830s by Victor Hugo, however, the other reason is of course through the history of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral and the building itself.
The Notre Dame de Paris is open every day of the year and is still a major place of worship that conducts five services every day of the week, bar on a Sunday when there are seven. Yet with this in mind, all visitors that enter the church must remain silent so that mass and the services at the Notre Dame Cathedral can proceed without disturbance.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is open every day of the year from 8am through to 6.45pm, however, on a Saturday and Sunday it remains open until 7.15pm and it is free to enter for everyone.
Also there is a boutique and religious articles sales counter that is located on the side of the nave, and this is open every day from 9.30am through to 6.30pm where you can purchase many different items such as charms, necklaces, books, postcards, rosaries and much more.
You can meet with a priest for spiritual counselling or for a sacrament of pardon and this available every day from 10am through to 12.30 pm and from 3pm up until at least 6pm, plus this service is available in French, German, English, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese.
The cathedral Treasury is also open every day and on a Monday to Friday it opens from 9.30am through to 6pm, but on a Saturday it opens for half an hour longer, however on a Sunday, the treasury is only open from 1.30pm through to 6.30pm. But we would like to point out that there is a charge to enter the treasury.
Yet, during the year, there are also night shows conducted at the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral that are literally like an opera held within the cathedral, which is projected on to an extremely large transparent fabric screen. They normally start at around 9pm, are held on set days and last around one hour and these are also free, but a donation to supporting the maintenance of the cathedral is welcomed.
Plus there is a 35 minute audio guide available in eight different languages that you can obtain from the reception, but there are also free guided tours of Notre Dame Cathedral along with Tours of the Towers, which are run by the National Monuments Centre in Paris.
You can also visit the Archaeological Crypt that is located underneath the Parvis of the Cathedral, which is linked with the Musee Carnavalet and shows the ruins of ancient Paris that were discovered during excavations.
Open all year round, the Notre Dame de Paris is one of the must see places to visit when you are on holiday in Paris, whether it is for pilgrimage or just as a tourist, and this has become one of the most famous landmarks in Paris that has so much to offer, even if you are not religious.
Access to Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris
Parts of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral are accessible to reduced-mobility individuals, which amount to around two thirds of the entire historical monument in Paris and these include the nave, side aisles and transept.
However, there three steps to access the choir and the Treasury and there is also a small step at the entrance portals in which to gain access to the main floor, yet the tower visit is only accessible to those that are able bodied, as you have to negotiate over 200 steps.
The Notre Dame Cathedral can be reached via many different means of transport in Paris such as the Metro on on line 4 that stops at the Cite station or the Saint-Michel station. The Hotel de Ville stop is the next nearest Metro station on either Line 1 or line 11.
If you are arriving in Paris via the RER, then you would need the Saint-Michel - Notre Dame stop on lines B or C.
There are several different bus stops located near to the cathedral including Cite - Parvis Notre Dame stop on line 47, which is also serviced by the Balabus or the stop called Cite - Palais de Justice on line 21, 38, 85 and 96.
In addition to these, you have the Car Rouges tour buses that stops opposite 19 Rue d’Arcole, the Batobus Water bus that stops on the quay opposite the Ile de la Cite island and the L’Open Tour Buses, which stop at the Prefecture de Police at 6 Rue de la Cite and also at 4 Rue du Petit-Pont.
More information on Notre Dame Cathedral
- Mass and Services at Notre Dame Cathedral
- Guided Tours of Notre Dame Cathedral
- The Bells at Notre Dame Cathedral
- Musee de Notre Dame de Paris Museum
- The Crown of Thorns at Notre Dame Cathedral
- Crypte Archeologique of Notre Dame Cathedral
- History of Notre Dame Cathedral
- Facts about Notre Dame Cathedral
- Square Jean XXIII
- Place Jean-Paul II
Related photo images
- Photos of Notre Dame Cathedral
- Photos of Square Jean XXIII
- Photos of Gargoyles on Notre Dame
Address and Contact Details:
Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris
6 Parvis Notre Dame
Place Jean-Paul II
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 34 56 10
GPS details: Latitude 48.853 Longitude 2.35
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The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris
The Ile de la Cite is the very heart of Paris and is an island that lies in the middle of the River Seine where people have resided for centuries, and it is here that you will find the famous cathedral in Paris called the Notre Dame de Paris.
This impressive religious building in Paris is often just referred to as Notre Dame Cathedral, even though there are many churches called Notre Dame through all of France and this is because they are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the name translates to Our Lady.
This Cathedral is located close to the Hotel Dieu and the Police headquarters or in French, the Prefecture de Police, plus is within walking distance of the La Conciergerie which was originally a royal Palace that turned into a prison and it is here that you can have tours and get to see a reconstruction of where Marie Antoinette was held during the French Revolution prior to being send to her death via the guillotine. This building is also linked with the Sainte Chapelle chapel that you can also visit on the island very close to Notre Dame Cathedral.