Notre-Dame de Paris also was known as Notre-Dame Cathedral. It’s deified to the Virgin Mary. It is one of the most well-known Paris landmarks which symbolized the city.
The Notre-dame cathedral sits on a small island called the Ile de la Cite in the middle of river Seine, one of the most ancient sacred places in Paris whereby the French history started.
It is also one of the largest and one of the most famous Cathedrals of the world.
The total surface area is 5,500 m² (interior surface 4,800 m²) big enough to accommodate 9000 thousand people.
The construction was started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was finally completed in 1345. As of this year 2017, Notre-Dame de Paris was celebrating it’s 854 years.
Stepping inside the beautiful Gothic church of Notre Dame Cathedral doesn’t have fees to access but I suggest to go early if possible to be able to move around the church without bumping into someone every time you turn.
Once you get in, you will see the church’s magnificent sculptures, a stained glass window and don’t miss the Rose Window which particularly reflected of Gothic architecture and may be seen in all the major Gothic Cathedrals of Northern France and Christian churches all over the world.
The church has 10 bells with different sizes and names: Marie, Gabriel, Anne Geneviève, Denis, Marcel, Étienne, Benoît-Joseph, Maurice, Jean-Marie and the largest name to Emmanuel. Emmanuel bell is always rung first at least 5 seconds before the others.
The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps of spiral staircases to access the bell tower. It’s a separate visit and there will be a charge of 8.50 euros for the adult.
The entrance to the stairs is located outside the church. I see people are queuing up early to access the bell tower from the outside of the church. Please take note, there is a limit number of people admitted daily so try to get in the queue early as possible.
The Cathedral is open daily from 8:00am to 6:45pm with a 7:15pm closing time on Saturdays & Sundays.
The number of statues which overlook the city from the balcony of the South Tower is absolutely breathtaking. There will be Gargoyle (a statue with wings and horns), Wyvern (a two-footed dragon) and a kind of goat demon looking over the balcony and you wouldn’t miss the spectacular view of the entire city of Paris.
You should probably hear about the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. There are cartoons and movies inspired by. However, It’s still the French Gothic Architecture that remains to be the most attractive to all the visitors across the globe, until today.
Beware of pickpockets. There will be a lot of people in this place and you would not know who are the pickpockets one.
Stay away from a group of child scammers too, they will be asking for ‘donations’ which some kind of petition and would not leave you alone.
Like in any other places with lots of people around, there are no guarantees so it’s best to be careful and keep an eye on your surroundings.
My final thoughts:
It’s very impressive, inside and outside. It’s absolutely worth a visit.