Notre Dame Cathedral 3.5 rating

  Cultural Attractions

The majestic Cathédrale de Notre Dame (Cathedral of Our Lady) is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris, and one of the most famous churches in the entire world. The pinnacle of French Gothic architecture, it is a magnificent sight to behold with its stained glass windows and dreamy spire.

The early Gothic Cathedral has a 12th century design but wasn't completed until the 14th century. The main west façade has 3 breathtaking portals – Portal of the Last Judgement in the centre, Portal of the Virgin, and Sainte-Anne Portal. The 3 portals are marked by 4 allegorical statues representing the Church, Synagogue, and the Cathedrals of Reims and Strasbourg. Above the portals at a height of 20 metres from the ground is the Gallery of Kings, featuring a series of 28 kings of Judea who preceded Christ. Each statue is more than 3 metres high, and features heads from the 19th century as the original heads were decapitated during the French Revolution, mistakenly thought of as French kings. Above the gallery is a balustrade, behind which is the rose window with the statue of Virgin with Child. The Galerie des Chimères or Grand Gallery above the colonnade features the cathedral's famous chimeras, which are decorative gargoyles.

The façade is flanked by 69 metre high towers which house the set of 10 bells. The largest bell, Emmanuel, weighs over 13 tons and can be found in the south tower. The south tower is open to public and offers stunning views of Paris if you are willing to climb the stairway of 387 steps to the top. You can also see the flying buttresses, which the Cathedral was one of the first buildings to use.

The grand interiors perfectly complement the awe-inspiring limestone façade. Like most French cathedrals, the Notre-Dame has a Latin Cross plan with a semicircular apse. The nave has 10 spans while the choir has 5, with a total of 29 lateral chapels all around with remarkable works of art. The 2 Gothic Rayonnant rose windows in the arms of the transept have a diameter of 13.1 metres, and are among the largest in Europe. The stained glass works is exquisite and one of the highlights of the church. The north rosette features a medallion with Virgin and Child in the center, surrounded by kings, judges, priests and prophets of the Old Testament. The south rosette has Christ at the center, surrounded by saints, angels, apostles, and Wise Virgins.

The 19th century Neo-Gothic Sacristy of the Chapter houses the rich treasures of the Notre-Dame de Paris, which include important relics and reliquaries. The piece-de-resistance is the reliquary of the Holy Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross of Christ with a Holy Nail. The treasury also contains relics of King of France Saint Louis comprising clothes, a fragment of his jaw and a rib. The ecclesiastical collection includes monstrances, sacerdotal ornaments including the Grand Lectern of Notre Dame, works in gold, baptismal font, and other objects.

The Archaeological Crypt of the Notre-Dame Paris displays archaeological remains from antiquity to the 19th century, such as a quay wall from Lutetia, Gallo-Roman bath, basement of the old chapel in Hotel-Dieu, foundation of the Hospice des Enfants-Trouves, and layout of the Haussmann sewers.

About Notre Dame Cathedral

 Ile de la Cité 6, Place du Parvis Notre Dame F-75004 Paris

 Nearest Transit: Cité (Line No. 4)

 +33 1 42 34 56

Notre Dame Cathedral and Nearby Attractions on Map

Nearby Attractions km / mile
Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum(1.3 km)
Housing one of the world's great museums since 1793, the Louvre Palace offers some dazzling architecture, wide public spaces and the glass pyramid of I M Pei.

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries(1.9 km)
Originally adjoining the now-disappeared royal palace of the Tuileries, these gardens lying immediately west of the Louvre offer a central open space for Parisians and visitors with semi-formal gardens (an outdoor gallery for modern sculpture), various cafés, ice-cream and crépe stalls and a summer fun fair.

La Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Richelieu

La Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Richelieu(1.8 km)
The National Library, intended to be the repository of all that is published in France, preserves collections of historic documents of both French and international origin.

Atelier Brancusi

Atelier Brancusi(0.9 km)
Atelier Brancusi is a recreation of sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s studio, displaying his works in the same layout in which he had bequeathed his 15th arrondissement apartment at 11 impasse Ronsin to the French government.

Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens(1.2 km)
The Jardin du Luxembourg is a formal French garden with lush lawns, tree-lined promenades, terraces, chestnut groves, and ponds over an area of 23 hectares.

St. Etienne du Mont

St. Etienne du Mont(0.7 km)

Eglise Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet

Eglise Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet(0.5 km)
A controversial church serving as de facto headquarters of the arch-traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X, who occupied the church in 1977 and have ignored subsequent eviction orders.

Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-Mont

Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-Mont(0.7 km)

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