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Notre Dame Cathedral - Facade Lighting

Notre Dame Cathedral


More than 850 years old

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Who is it for?

Paris for you
Paris for you
Paris for you

Why you will love it?

Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is the most visited monument in Paris, and for a good reason. The 850 year old cathedral's architecture, history and treasure are a must see during a first trip to Paris. Visiting the cathedral is free, but it is also recommended to visit the towers (rub shoulders with the famous gargoyles) and the treasure, featuring sacred relics such as the authentic Holy Crown of Thorns.

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About this place

6 Parvis Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris
Line 4 - Cité or Saint Michel Line 1 / 11 - Hôtel de Ville
Line B / C - Saint Michel or Notre Dame

Thursday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm
more less
Monday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm Tuesday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm Wednesday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm Thursday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm Friday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm Saturday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm Sunday : 8:00 am - 18:45 pm

Our Insiders' Article

An iconic Parisian monument

Notre Dame Cathedral is the most visited monument in France, with an average of 30,000 people per day.
Its construction started in 1163. While the façade is clearly one of the many highlights of Notre Dame Cathedral, it would be a shame not to go inside.
Its beautiful gothic architecture will leave you speechless. Other curiosities include the towers and bells (€8.5 / open daily 10AM-5:30PM), the archeological crypt (6€, 10AM-6PM, closed on Monday) and the treasure (4€ / 9:30AM-6PM, closed on Sunday morning).

Our insider's tip: go there in the morning

Before 9:30AM – visit Notre Dame Cathedral’s interior (entrance is free).

9:30AM – Start lining up outside for the towers and bells (opens at 10AM).

If you are interested to see the relics and ruins of medieval Paris, visit the Treasure and Crypt after the towers.

If you can’t make it in the morning, don’t be intimidated by the long lines to enter Notre Dame Cathedral as they tend to move quickly.
But unless you are very patient, you can forget about the towers (access is limited to 20 people every 10 minutes)!

Fun Facts

The most famous part of Notre Dame Cathedral is the façade. Take a close look at it and you’ll notice it’s not symmetrical! The middle entrance, with carvings representing Judgment Day is also a highlight as it was created in the year 1210.
Inside, make sure you admire the stained-glass windows. The big lateral roses are some of the largest in Europe.
Notre Dame’s paintings (called Silversmiths of May) and wood carvings such as the ones found in the choir are unique and worth a closer look.

Tower & Treasure

Climb up the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral and you will have a beautiful view of Paris, the 750 ton spire, the 13.2 ton bell and the iconic gargoyles and chimaeras.
In the Treasure of Notre Dame, you will find sacred objects that have belonged to notorious historical figures such as French King Saint Louis (Louis IX), architect Viollet-Le-Duc, or Pope John Paul II.
The most precious treasure, the Crown of Thorns, is shown every Friday after the 6:15PM mass or every first Friday of the month at 3PM.

A glimpse of medieval Paris

Outside the entrance is the Parvis de Notre Dame, also called John Paul II Square. Many buildings were destroyed in order to build the square in the 19th century, but traces of the old streets are still marked by different colored stones.
At the other end of the square is the archeological Crypt of Notre Dame, where ruins of ancient houses, streets, and docks prior to the construction of the cathedral are visible.
3D animated videos will take you step by step through the construction of the cathedral.

History: Quasimodo saves Notre Dame

In 1163, Maurice de Sully started the construction of Notre Dame. It was completed in 1345, almost 2 centuries later.
During the French Revolution (1789-1799), Notre Dame Cathedral was sacked by the people and became a warehouse. Although Napoleon chose it for his coronation ceremony in 1804, the cathedral was abandoned after the festivities.
Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” saved it from destruction in 1831. As a result, architect Viollet-Le-Duc was called in to restore the cathedral,from 1845 to1864.

Conclusion: 850 years old, yet very modern

Notre Dame Cathedral has celebrated her 850th birthday in 2013. For this occasion, modernizations were added (new fire prevention system, new lighting inside and outside, thin electrical wires on the outside structure to scare off the pigeons that were degrading the stones...).
The cathedral that Joan of Arc, Mary Stuart, Philip II of Spain, Napoleon, and Napoleon III, once admired still stands proud. For its incomparable beauty and history, Notre Dame Cathedral is well worth a visit.

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