Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (must see)

Notre Dame Cathedral is a major Catholic temple and remarkable architectural, historic and religious monument. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris and is a functional Roman Catholic church. It sits on a small island, Île de la Cité, in the middle of the river Seine, and has been in its place for over 800 years. Its foundation stone was laid in 1163, in the presence of Pope Alexander III. The cathedral took 200 years to build and was completed in 1345. Several architects were employed on the project, which is evident in the mixture of styles on the facade. The most significant change in the design occurred in the mid 13th century. Notre Dame was among the first buildings in the world to rely on arched exterior supports.

Many glorious, as well as tragic events, have been associated with the cathedral. In the midst of World War II, after the Cathedral had been restored to its full splendor, there were fears that the German invaders might destroy the newly renovated stained glass. To prevent that, a lion's portion of the glass, called the Rose Window (the biggest known glass window in the world, made in the 13th century), was removed, hidden and reinstalled only after the war was over.

The history of Notre Dame, of course, is incomplete without the famous Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc), a peasant girl whose extreme bravery and spiritual richness led the army of France to victory in many battles against the English during the Hundred Years War. Aged only 19, she was captured by the enemy and executed. 25 years after her death, on July 7, 1456, Joan of Arc was declared a martyr by the Catholic Church. In 1909, Pope Pius X beatified her at Notre Dame Cathedral.

Inside the cathedral is a 17th-century organ which is fully operational. Another distinct historic feature of the site is the famous bell which has recently been redesigned to toll automatically. Visitors to the bell tower must prepare to climb 140 steps in order to hear the incredible sound of the bell and also to enjoy the bird's eye view of the city of Paris.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the few places in Paris that are free!
Beautiful and significant while also being in active use – the iconic design ensures it stands out from all the rest.

Tip:
It costs to climb the towers (book early!) unless you have the Paris Museum Pass, in which case there is no additional charge.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-6:45pm; Sat-Sun: 8am-7:45pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in Paris, France, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed.

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Sight Map

Sight Name: Notre Dame Cathedral
Sight Location: Paris, France
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Hotel-de-Ville Walking Tour   Religious Sights Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Bourse-Opera Attractions Walking Tour

Located on the right bank of the River Seine, the 2nd arrondissement, together with the adjacent 8th and 9th arrondissements, hosts an important business district, centred on the Paris Opéra. The area contains the former Paris Bourse (stock exchange), the Garnier Opera House and the famous Fragonard Perfume Museum.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour II

Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour II

This is the 2nd part of the 8th arrondissement tour of Paris, exploring one of the busiest districts of the French capital. Among the tourist highlights visited on this walk is the famous Arc de Triomphe, plus a number of museums and historic monuments.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
City Center Nightlife

City Center Nightlife

A haven for the arts in Europe, with its influence felt worldwide, Paris boasts a steady stream of visitors to its fine city. After dark, guests to the City of Light can enjoy a multitude of great nightlife establishments that is sure to appeal to anyone looking for a hot night on the town. Whether its live DJs spinning intense electronic beats or a live acoustic jazz band you’re looking for Paris has it all. Take this City Center Nightlife Tour and explore the heart of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements at night.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Pantheon (5th Arr) Walking Tour

Pantheon (5th Arr) Walking Tour

The city of Paris is divided into twenty "arrondissements municipaux", administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements. The twenty arrondissements are arranged in the form of a clockwise spiral, starting from the middle of the city, with the first on the Right Bank (north bank) of the Seine. The 5th arrondissement of Paris (also known as "arrondissement du Panthéon") is the oldest arrondissement in Paris, and was first built by the Roman. Take this tour to visit Musée de Cluny, Panthéon, St-Séverin Church and many others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Opera-Elysees Souvenir Shops

Opera-Elysees Souvenir Shops

It would be a pity to leave Paris without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Paris, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour I

Elysee (8th Arr) Walking Tour I

On this tour you will explore the 8th arrondissement of the French capital, one of its busiest and chic neighborhoods, thanks to the presence of Avenue des Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. If shine and glamour are up to your liking, we invite you to take this walk in a mixed crowd of fashionistas, tourists and local workers, and see some of Paris's most prominent attractions, such as as Le Grand Palais, Palais de L'Élysée, and more.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km

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