Notre Dame is re-opening after devastating fire of 2019.
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A Te Deum (Latin for 'Thee, God, we praise') is planned for 15th April 2024.
The Parvis of Notre Dame and the Archaeological Crypt are now re-open to the public, as is the Pont au Double for easy pedestrian access.
The archbishop of Paris placed relics of Saint Denis, Saint Genevieve and a fragment of the Crown of the Thorns in the cockerel, and after it was blessed in the ceremony on 16th December 2023 it was placed on top of the spire, which can now be seen again, since the removal of the scaffolding surrounding it.
CASA Association volunteers offer a welcoming mission with an artistic and spiritual guide of Notre Dame conducted at 14:30pm with different languages accommodated on various days, and the meeting point is the Statue of the Virgin on the square.
Mass is still being conducted at Saint-Germain L'Auxerrois, located opposite The Louvre.
European Heritage Days of 21st and 22nd September 2024 will welcome visitors at the Parvis to see and hear lectures, demonstrations etc from various people working on the restoration such as project management and archaeologists.
The full re-opening of Notre Dame Cathedral to the public is planned for 8th December 2024.
It is with deep regret and sadness to say that Notre Dame Cathedral will not be accessible to tourists, pilgrims and worshipers for several years after the devastating fire that occurred on the evening of 15th April 2019. Therefore, the guided tours mentioned below will not be functioning at present, yet will resume in the future.
Guided Tours of Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame de Paris organises guided tours throughout the year in different languages and these are available completely free of charge to anyone on holiday in Paris. They present the spiritual message of the Cathedral through its architecture, history, the sculptures, the famous stained glass windows and much more and they start from under the Great Organ.
Guided tours in French are conducted on a Monday to Friday at 2pm or 3pm and on a Sunday at 2.30pm, however these are not possible on the first Friday of the month or during Lent on a Friday.
When it comes to different language tours, these are on specific days, with English tours being on a Wednesday and Thursday at 2pm and on a Saturday at 2.30pm. German tours take place on a Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm, Spanish is on a Saturday at 2.30pm and Italian is on a Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 11am.
The Notre dame de Paris also conducts guided tours in Russian, which are conducted on a Wednesday at 2pm and a Saturday at 2.30pm, Japanese tours are available on the first Friday of the month at 2pm and Chinese guided tours are of the first and third Wednesday of each month.
However, during the summer months there are volunteer students from all over the world that conduct extra guided tours of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and this does mean that sometimes there are additional language tours available to people such as Polish, Dutch, depending on the volunteers.
Yet a certain times of the year, like at Easter, Christmas or special occasions, etc sometimes the tours are cancelled or they are conducted at different times.
Because people come to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to worship and attend a Mass service, you must be quiet throughout your visit to respect those praying, plus suitable dress is also required to pay respect. And these conditions also mean that the running of the church is kept to a minimum of disturbance, the services can run smoothly and people can meditate in peace and harmony.
Tours of the Notre Dame de Paris Towers
For breath-taking views of Paris then choosing a visit to the Towers of Notre Dame Cathedral is a must, where you can get to see the historical centre of Paris and a fabulous panorama that can take your breath away.
The Notre Dame Cathedral tower visit is unfortunately not accessible for the disabled as there is no lift, but for those fit enough to climb the 380 steps, experiencing the upper parts of the western facade that date from the 13th century is an unforgettable experience.
You can go up the South Tower that is home to the Emmanual Bell that was saved from being melted down and dates from the 15th century, and incredibly it used to take over twenty people to ring the bell due to its sheer size and weight of 13 tons. Tuned to F sharp, this is now done electronically and only sounds for Sunday Mass and on special occasions.
Another major plus to climbing the spiral staircase of the bell tower to the belfry at the Notre Dame de Paris, is the fantastic close up views you will get of the gargoyles and chimera that you cannot see very well from ground level, plus you can see the flying buttress architecture in all its glory.
There is also the North Tower with its four bells and you can gain access to what are known as the North Tower upper room, the Great Gallery, the Belfry and the South Tower terrace, for what can only be described as an unforgettable experience. But if you go at certain times, then you can also get to see views of Paris and its lights, as the tower can be visited until late of an evening.
Access to the Towers of Notre Dame Cathedral
Made famous by the novel called The Hunchback of Notre Dame written by Victor Hugo, the entrance for the tower visit is located on the outside of the Notre Dame Cathedral and as you look at the entrance, it is on the left-hand side of the facade, on Rue du Cloitre Notre-Dame.
The Tower Visit is managed by the National Monuments Centre and is open every day of the year except for French National Holidays, such as 1s January and 1s May and opens at 10am.
From the start of October through to the end of March it closes at 5.30pm and for the rest of the year it closes at 6.30pm. But during the months of July and August, on a Friday and Saturday the Tower visit of Notre Dame de Paris is open until 11pm, however, we would like to point out that the last admission time is no less that 45 minutes before closing.
As of 2012, the cost is €8.50, however, it is free to those under the age of eighteen that are accompanied by an adult, yet there are reduced rates available for groups and it is also free for any person under the age of 25 that is an EU citizen or has residency within France.
You can choose what is classed as an unaccompanied visit and you will get a booklet that provides details about the architecture and history of the Notre Dame de Paris and these are available in several different languages including English, Spanish, German, Japanese, etc.
Lecture visits are also organised and can be conducted in French, English and Spanish, however you would have to make a reservation in advance for these by telephone or fax, which is the same for groups, and normally at least one month in advance is required.
You can of course access the Notre Dame de Paris itself with its rich history, the magnificent architecture, the treasury and the incredible organs along with enjoying Mass or meeting a priest if on a pilgrimage.
However, it is still one of the most popular monuments in Paris even for those that are not religious, and if are able to, or have the time whilst you are on holiday in Paris, then a tower visit is something that everyone including children will enjoy.
Access to Notre Dame Cathedral
When it comes to reaching the Notre Dame Cathedral to access the guided tours, you will find that the nearest Metro station is the Cite stop on the Ile de la Cite that serves line 4. Yet there are also other Metro stations located on each bank of the River Seine such as the Hotel de Ville stop serving lines 1 and 11 and the Pont Marie stop serving line 7, which is located opposite the Ile Saint Louis island.
Other means of public transport you can utilise within walking distance include the RER trains with the Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame stop serving the RER B and RER C lines, plus there is the Batobus Water Bus, that has a stop on the left bank of the River Seine opposite the Notre Dame Cathedral.
You could also utilise the buses, with the closest bus stop being on the Ile de la Cite island right by the Parvis de Notre Dame that serves line 47 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Lines N15 and N22. However, the bus lines 24, 27, 38, 67, 69, 70, 75, 76 and 96 will also get you close by.