The Cathédrale Notre-Dame makes a énormément first impression. Native its splendid lare on auto Île-de-la-Cité, thé cathedral"s towers et flying buttresses seem venir magically spring forth native the seine River and soar ambitiously in the direction of heaven. At nearly 70 meters high, auto cathedral was pour centuries the tallest structure in Paris.

Vous lisez ce: Notre dame de paris tour

A masterpiece of français Gothic architecture, auto Notre-Dame is one of the greatest reliques of thé Middle Ages. Although it may look archaic when compared with contemporary landmarks like thé Eiffel Tower, thé cathedral attributes a revolutionary middle ages design. The innovative Gothic technology de "flying buttresses" (support beams) to be used venir reinforce the massive structure.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame ns Paris (Photo taken former to auto April 2019 fire)

The Notre-Dame Cathedral was established in 1163 by King luigi IX (Saint Louis) and Bishop Maurice aux Sully, that wanted to build a church that rivaled auto Basilique Saint-Denis. Cette took nearly 200 years et countless architects, carpenters, et stonecutters venir construct the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Auto result is a perfection ns Gothic design.

Visitors marvel over auto fabulously thorough facade et are awestruck passant par the substantial nave. Auto serene sanctuary is a soul-inspiring space. Ethereal light filters through magnificent stained-glass windows, et in the evening, thé illuminated votive candles add to auto spiritual ambience.

Note: A large feu in April de 2019 caused significant damage to auto cathedral: thé medieval roof and the 19th-century spire collapsed. The extent de the damages to auto interior is encore being assessed. At this time, the interior is closed to auto public.

A project venir contain the damage et stabilize the structure is underway. The city plans à rebuild auto cathedral and restore ce to its previous state, including année exact replica ns the 96-meter-high spire created par Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1860. Occupational is ongoing.

See also: Where to Stay near auto Cathédrale Notre-Dame aux Paris

Note: some businesses pouvez be in the interim closed périmé to recent global health et safety issues.

Revolutionary Gothic imeuble – flying Buttresses

Notre-Dame"s flying Buttresses (Photo taken former to thé April 2019 fire)

In the 13th century, paris buttresses were a revolutionary nouveau technology ns Gothic architecture, année innovative solution to provide reinforcement à la heavy cathedral walls. Thé flying buttresses appui the structure and prevent cette from collapsing regardless of its enormous weight.

On the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the flying buttresses space seen nous the east facade (rear) ns the building. These 15-meter arched pillars resemble long, spindly araignée legs bending at the knee, surrounding thé building prefer scaffolding.

Notre-Dame was one de the tons medieval cathedrals built with this special imeuble technique. The cathedral was not initially designed through flying buttresses when cette was built in auto 12th century. However, souligner fractures in thé walls called for an architectural equipment in the late 13th century.

The architect blue jeans Ravy designed thé flying buttresses to appui the building from auto outside, without obstructing any du the stained-glass windows. Return they space a purely practical structural feature and were not designed to beautify auto building, they oui a avec certitude harmonious quality.

The le meilleur spot to admirable the paris buttresses is from the viewpoint de the Square jean XXIII behind thé cathedral.

The west Facade – Kings and Christian Icons

The west Facade - Kings et Christian symbols

The monumentale west front ns Notre-Dame Cathedral reveals the painstaking work du medieval rock cutters, that crafted finely detailed sculptures in auto High Gothic saint around 1210 to 1230. The elaborate facade provides visuel lessons in history and biblical stories.

The longue row of figures above auto doorways is thé Gallery ns Kings, which includes 28 la honte of français Kings, from Childebert je (511-588) à Philippe août (1180-1223). Thé heads to be struck éteindre during the Revolution et are now nous display in the Musée ns Cluny.

Visitors are awed by année entourage du biblical les données in the portals above auto doorways. Auto Portail ns Sainte-Anne above the right-hand doorway depicts thé story du the Virgin"s parents, auto Annunciation, et Nativity du Christ.

The Portail du Jugement Dernier over the centre doorway illustrates Christ the Judge et Archangel michael directing the righteous à heaven and the damned à hell.

Above auto left-hand doorway, the Portail de la Vierge spectacles the Assumption du the Virgin and Ark du the Covenant. Thé archivolts attribute angels, patriarchs, et prophets. On the page walls space apostles and the compte of heilig Dionysius (Denis), john the Baptist, heilig Stephen, et Saint Genevieve.

Cathedral Towers

Cathedral Towers

The cathedral"s twin towers appear to ont been spared damage from the 2019 fire. Presiding end the seine River and Île de la Cité, the 69-meter-high towers space among thé most iconic sights in Paris.

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The well known Bell Tower that gagnant Hugo"s Quasimodo sounded is auto North Tower. The South Tower houses the cathedral"s largest bell, auto Emmanuel Bell that weighs end 13 tons.



Gargoyles room fearsome sculptures typically found on medieval cathedrals, frequently designed à la use oui rainwater spouts. Some believe that the grotesque figures were created à scare off evil spirits.

Several de the gargoyles (called "chimères" in French) on Paris" Notre-Dame Cathedral served oui rainwater drains. During rainy weather, auto monsters act like funnels, their mouths become thé spouts ns mini-waterfalls. Différent Notre-Dame gargoyles are simply decorative.

There is a melange of les données on auto Galerie des Chimères (balcony du gargoyles between the twin towers), native frightening devilish characters to a graceful stork et charming winged creatures.

Stained-Glass Windows

Stained-Glass windows | MJM la photographie / d’image modified

Notre-Dame has actually a distinct celestial je vais lavoir thanks à its splendid stained-glass windows. Auto colorful windows filter jewel-toned light into the otherwise somber space.

Many ns the windows cétait une date to thé 13th century and their intricacy exemplifies auto finest middle ages craftsmanship. Thé most glorious are auto three stunning climbed Windows, considered among the greatest masterpieces of chrétien art. The West Front climbed Window (created in 1255) represents auto story of the Virgin mary in 80 spectacular Old testimony scenes.

The southern Transept increased Window (created in 1260) depicts jésus Christ surrounded by apostles, martyrs, et wise virgins as well as the story of heilig Matthew. An ext than 12 meters in diameter, thé South Rose window includes 84 panes du exquisitely detailed et beautifully calculation scenes.

On the south side de the choir are thé neo-Gothic Cloister Windows. Developed in auto 19th century, this gorgeous series de 18 home windows illustrates thé Legend of heilig Genevieve, who was thé patron terne of Paris. The cathedral also features contemporary stained-glass windows created passant par Malraux in the 1960s.

The calm Sanctuary

The peaceful Sanctuary

The slim immensity ns the sanctuary, through its overwhelming sense de spaciousness, leaves plenty of visitors awestruck. Thé inspiring high-vaulted nave will 35 meters and is 130 meters in size (longer than a feat field).

Typical du Gothic architecture, the nave has 5 aisles v chapels along the sides et a choir behind auto transept. The choir attributes ornately carved wooden stalls et capitals decorated v Romanesque acanthus et leaf ornamentation.

In the nave, 75 massive round pillars offer a sense ns the grandiose space that uses seating parce que le 9,000 people. Because du its size et importance, throughout its long history Notre-Dame has actually been auto setting de official occasions, consisting of Napoleon"s coronation as Emperor.

Fortunately, année important series of 13 paintings, known oui "Les Mays de Notre-Dame," survived auto 2019 fire. The series includes masterpieces passant par Charles le Brun, Sébastien Bourdon, Jacques Blanchard, et other 17th-century artists. Shown in auto chapels around thé nave, these paintings were produced to honor the Virgin Mary, and feature themes from terne Luke"s Acts de the Apostles.

The Treasury is situated in the cathedral"s Sacristy in thé choir nous the right. There are numerous precious relics, consisting of one du Christ"s nails et a coupable of thé True Cross. Many of the liturgical objects are fabriquer of gold and exemplify exquisite craftsmanship.

The many precious item in auto Treasury is the gilded bronze and gemstone reliquary designed passant par Viollet-le-Duc in 1862. This shrine holds auto Holy couronner of Thorns, which has actually been an object de devotion parce que le more than 1,600 year since cette was eliminated from the Basilica de Zion in Jerusalem.

Also conditions météorologiques display in auto Treasury are beneficial medieval manuscripts, crosses, chalices, et Napoleon"s coronation robes.

Crypte archéologique (Archaeological Museum)

Crypte archéologie (Archaeological Museum) | Jean-Pierre Dalbra / la peinture modified

Located underneath thé cathedral, thé crypt currently houses année archaeological excavation site (and museum), where auto foundations de Roman-era structures were found. During roman times, the city was known oui Lutetium.

The museum displays ancient ruins, archaeological findings, maps, drawings, et historical information, which raconter the story ns the ville from classical times through auto medieval era. Venir access the musée (there is an entrance fee), take the stairs opposite the cathedral"s facade.

Address: Parvis Notre-Dame, 7 place Jean-Paul II, paris (Métro et sortie : cité ou Saint-Michel)

Official site:

Excavations under Parvis Map (Historical)

One de the meilleur views of Notre-Dame Cathedral is from thé Pont Saint-Louis on the Île Saint-Louis. This vantage mission provides a great perspective ns the paris buttresses at auto cathedral"s eastern end (rear).

The east end de the cathedral is also visible from auto Pont aux la Tournelle (bridge) or the Quai aux la Tournelle. Tourists have the right to take this approach via boulevard Saint-Germain et Rue de Cardinal Lemoine in the Latin Quarter.

The ideal view of Notre-Dame"s former is from thé Petit Pont, a petit bridge v a pedestrian sidewalk. Arrive here indigenous Saint-Michel metro station, walk along the poison Saint-Michel, et cross the dil Pont bridge to auto Rue de la Cité.

Another possibility is to venir from Maubert-Mutualité gare in the Latin Quarter, walk down the poison Montebello via rue principale Frédéric Sauton, et cross the Pont venir Double, année elegant pedestrian leg that connects à the rue d"Arcole, which operation into auto Place du Parvis Notre-Dame, the esplanade in front de the cathedral"s facade.

Also easy à reach from thé Latin Quarter, the Quai aux Marché Neuf supplies a scenic stroll along thé Seine rer leading increase to auto cathedral. When in this area, it is in sure to visit thé Sainte-Chapelle, one du the most dazzling of Paris" churches.

To see Notre-Dame from thé Seine, take it a Batobus boat ride or a Bateaux-Mouches lunch or dinner cruise departing from Pont aux l"Alma near auto Eiffel Tower. Consider an evening cruise, as the Notre-Dame looks particularly romantic as soon as it"s illuminated at night.

We recommend this charming many hotels in le Marais, thé Latin Quarter, and Tuileries neighborhoods. Tous are within easy walking distance of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Dine v a View ns Notre-Dame: take time parce que le a leisurely meal at one du the péniches (restaurant bateaux docked conditions météorologiques the banks ns the seine River) jaune splurge conditions météorologiques a gastronomic meal at auto renowned la tour d"Argent restaurant nous the quai de ns Tournelle (the dining room overlooks the Île Saint-Louis, seine River, et Notre-Dame Cathedral).

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Getting à Notre-Dame: take the métro to Cité, Saint-Michel, Hôtel aux Ville, Maubert-Mutualité, Cluny-La Sorbonne, or Châtelet station. The river stops at Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame station. Take autobus 21 to auto Cité-Palais de Justice or Saint-Michel-Saint-Germain stop or take bus 24 to petit Pont, Saint-Michel, or Notre-Dame-Quai du Montebello stop. The Batobus drops passengers éteindre at the quai de Montebello, around 100 meter from thé cathedral.