Though this structure isn’t the largest cathedral in the world, it is perhaps the most famous. Notre Dame was one of the first Gothic cathedrals ever built, and stands proudly on the Ile de la Cité, close to Sainte-Chapelle and Hôtel de Ville. This is the site upon which the Romans built a temple dedicated to Jupiter, and to which the Celts before them allocated sacred importance. The construction of Notre Dame was begun in 1163 and was finally completed almost two centuries later, in 1345.
Amongst its many attractive features, Cathédral de Notre Dame is noted for its splendid views over Paris. Though not a match for those enjoyed from the top of the Eiffel Tower, the views from Notre Dame look over both Seine islands and reach beyond the nearby Louvre, Hôtel de Ville and Palais de Justice, covering much of the city’s popular areas. 387 steps lead up to the pinnacle of the cathedral, each tower is 69 m high and the spire reaches an even taller 90 m. The decoration of the cathedral suffered a lot of damage during the French revolution. Following the publication of Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris in 1831, which features the infamous Hunchback of Notre Dame, Parisian attitude toward the cathedral changed and large-scale restoration efforts began.
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
Open hours: 7:45 am - 6:45 pm
Phone: +33 1 53 41 89 00
Architects: Peter of Montereau, Jean de Chelles, Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus
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