Cathedral of Notre Dame, real masterpiece
of Gothic architecture, has inspired poets,
artists, musicians and writers like François
Villon, Victor Hugo and Paul Claudel.
The recent successful musical Notre Dame
de Paris directed by Luc Plamandon
and Riccardo Cocciante has confirmed
its splendor and glory.
The Cathedral, known all over the world,
has played an important role in the political
and religious life of France.
Notre Dame is, with 12 millions of tourists
every year, the most visited French monument
after the Eiffel Tower.
It represents without any doubts an emblematic
monument of the history of the country:
for its architecture and the masterpieces
that it keeps, for its central position
in the Ile de la Cité and for the role that
it has played in the history of France.
Notre-Dame de Paris, commonly called Notre-Dame,
is not the biggest French cathedral but
it's one of the most beautiful and fascinating
of the whole country.
The West face overtops the square of Notre
Dame called place Jean-Paul II.
A bronze plaque, embedded on the floor,
represents the point zero of all distances,
towards all distances from Paris.
Given that the construction of the cathedral
has taken several decades, its style is
quite heterogeneous and lacks of uniformity.
Primitive gothic and radiant gothic are
mixed up and the West face represents a
real example of architectural balance.
The construction of the cathedral began
under the episcopacy of Maurice de Sully,
during the XII century, and continued for
200 years until 1345.
Napoleon was crowned king, in Notre-Dame,
in presence of the Pope Pio VII on 2 December
After the violent and bloody revolutionary
period, the cathedral was seriously undamaged
and important works of reconstruction had
been started, in 1844, by the architects,
Lassus and Viollet-le-Duc.
The second renovation of the religious building
began in 1994 and lasted 10 years.
The rose window of the South side of the
cathedral is one of the biggest of Europe
and measures 12 meters.
The visit of the towers, about 70 meters
high, is possible by passing through the
"gallerie des Chimeres" and it
offers one of the most beautiful panoramic
views of Paris.
After having climbed 387 steps and arrived
at the top of the tower, you will admire
the upper part of the facade that dates
back to the XIII century and that is characterized
by a great number of decorations and gargoyles.
The access to the Towers is located outside
the cathedral in the rue du cloitre Notre-Dame.
The archaeological crypt situated under
the square of Notre Dame has opened to public
6, Place du Parvis de Notre-Dame
Everyday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Free. A ticket is needed to acces the Towers.