The Notre Dame Cathedral is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité, an island in the Seine River, in the heart of Paris. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was built between 1163 and 1345, with modifications and restorations in later centuries. It has three impressive rose windows, a famous organ, and a spire that was destroyed by a fire in 2019.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is open every day from 7:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. (7:15 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays).
Notre Dame Cathedral´s admission is free, but donations are welcome.
You can also visit the towers and the crypt for a fee. The towers are open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (10 p.m. in summer), and the crypt is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can buy tickets online or at the entrance.
To get to the Notre Dame Cathedral, you can take the metro line 4 to Cité or Saint-Michel, or the RER B or C to Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame. You can also take the bus lines 21, 38, 47, 85, or 96, or walk along the banks of the Seine.
Some tips for visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral are:
- Arrive early or late to avoid the crowds.
- Dress modestly and respectfully, as it is a place of worship.
- Be quiet and turn off your phone inside the cathedral.
- Do not take photos with flash or use tripods.
- Respect the signs and barriers that indicate areas under restoration.
Some of the highlights of the Notre Dame Cathedral are:
- The three rose windows, which date from the 13th century and depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
- The organ, which has five keyboards and more than 8,000 pipes. It is played during mass and concerts.
- The treasury, which contains relics such as the Crown of Thorns, a nail from the Cross, and a piece of the Cross.
- The gargoyles and chimeras, which adorn the exterior of the cathedral and serve as water spouts and decorative elements.
- The statues of saints and kings, which decorate the portals and façades of the cathedral.