The Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Cathedral also named in french as "Notre Dame de Paris" ("Our Lady of Paris") is the main church of Paris. Housing the official chair of the Archbishop of Paris, it is regarded the spiritual center of Paris and of France. The Cathedral is one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in Europe making it a landmark visibly standing out to the visitor. During the history many well known events has taken place in the church. In 1455 Jeanne d'Arc was prosecuted here and in 1804 Napoleon was crowned Emperor at Notre Dame. In 1831 author Victor Hugo wrote the famous novel "The Hunckback of Notre-Dame" and was a key figure in the efforts to preserve the church after many years of decay during the french revolution.

Visiting the Notre Dame

Located on the small island Ile de la Cité in the Seine river in the center of Paris, the church should by accessed by foot to experience its unique location. Start by walking around the church to view the towers and special gothic details in the architecture, like the arched exterior supports called the "flying buttress". Between the towers take notice of the socalled Galerie des Chimeres depicting monsters to protect the church. The main entrance is on the west side consisting of 3 impressive portals with many decorations of the Virgin Maria. Inside you will find the main chapel towering 35 meters to the roof. Take notice of the stained glass windows dating back from the 13th century, especially the 3 rose windows in the middle of the church. The stairs to the towers is located outside on the left side of the main entrance. You can walk the 387 stairs to the top of the 69 meter North Tower. Also outside you will find the entrance to the crypt below.

Opening hours

 • The cathedral is open every day of the year from 8.00 am to 6.45 pm (7.15 pm on saturdays and sundays)
    - Access i free of charge
 • The cathedral towers is open every day of the year:
    - from April 1st till September 30th, 10 am at 6:30 pm (in June, July and August : on Saturday, Sunday, 10 am at 11 pm)
    - from October 1st to March 31st, 10 am to 5:30 pm
    - Closed on January 1st, in May 1st, December 25th


Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
6, Parvis Notre-Dame
Place Jean-Paul II
75004 Paris

Getting there

By metro
Line no. 4, metro station "Cité" or "Saint-Michel"
Line no. 1 and 11, metro station "Hotel de Ville"
Line no. 10, metro station "Maubert-Mutualité" or "Cluny – La Sorbonne"
Line no. 7, 11 and 14, metro station "Châtelet"

By citybus RATP
Line 21, 38, 47, 85 and 96 stops at "Cité - Palais de Justice"

By car
Nearest parking is at "Notre-Dame Car Park", Place du Parvis Notre-Dame


In 1163 pope Alexander 3'th initiated the building of the church, but it was not finished until 1334. During the french revolution the church was in decay and was almost abandonned. Led by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc the church was restored in 1841-64. Again in 1991 a major maintenance program began and is still going on as of today.