Notre- Dame (Paris)

Paris Notre- Dame


6 Place du Paris-Notre-Dame

Tel. 01-42 34 56 10

Subway: Cite

Busses: 21, 38, 85, 96

Open: 7:45am-6:45pm daily (Treasury: 10am-6:45pm daily; towers: 9:30- 6:45 pm daily)


Description of Notre Dame Cathedral


 Mon-Fri                              Sat                                            Sun
8am, 9am, 12pm, 6:15         8am, 9am, 12pm, 6:30                 8:30, 10am, 11:30am, 12:45pm, 6:30


Notre Dame Cathedral is probably the most famous symbol of Paris. Situated on the Ile de la Cite it was constructed for 170 years. The first stone was laid here by pope Alexander III in 1163 who devoted the new Catholic church to Holy Virgin of God. It stands on the ruins of much older pagan Roman temple. Once this masterpiece of Gothic architecture was completed (c. 1330) it stood at a height of 430 feet (130 meters) with towers reaching 228 feet (69 meters). This church was a site of many royal marriages and burials. During the Great French Revolution it was looted and closed. The new republic called it the Temple of Reason. It did not last for long. In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte opens the church reaching agreement with Roman Catholic Church and in 1804 crowns himself as the new emperor of France. Today it houses an alleged thorn crown that was used to torture Jesus Christ during his crucifixion.


Gothic cathedrals emerge intimately linked to the idea of splendor and monumentality, to the clear effect of the needs and aspirations of the society of the time. Gothic architecture is a powerful instrument within a society that sees urban life transformed at an accelerated pace at the beginning of the 11th century. The city reappears with an extreme importance in the political field, in the economic field (mirror of the growing commercial relationships), also rising, for its part, the wealthy bourgeoisie and the influence of the urban clergy. The result of this is a substitution also for the needs of religious construction outside the cities, in the rural monarchical communities, for the new symbol of urban prosperity, the Gothic cathedral. And as a response to the search for a new and growing dignity in the heart of France, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris emerges.