The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic Architecture and among the largest and most well-known Church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. The cathedral's immense interior, a marvel of medieval engineering, holds over 6,000 people and has spectacular rose windows.
As famous for its reputed hunchback as it is for it's stunning architecture the Notre Dame Cathedral is incredible in its grandeur and its truly spectacular design. Construction began in the mid-12th century and it took almost 200 years to complete the 'initial' design. However work continued in the ensuing centuries with further elements added for both aesthetic and structural reasons - most notably the amazing flying buttresses added to stop the outer walls from collapsing as the building grew in size. Every part of Notre Dame is amazing and it's not until you witness it in person that you can truly grasp its vast dimensions and intricate detail.
Notre Dame is located on the Ile de la Cité, an island in the middle of the Seine River. It is close to many of the main attractions of Paris and is easily reached by foot. It's well worth the effort of climbing the 387 steps of the north tower. This will bring you to the top of the west facade and face to face with many of the cathedral's most frightening gargoyles, which enjoy a spectacular view of Paris. For six centuries, this masterpiece of the Middle Ages has endured wars, bombings, revolutions and revolts.Today it's one of the most visited cathedrals in the world. In fact, although the Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in world history, last year Notre Dame surpassed it for visitors.
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 to the cathedral is open and free of charge every day of the year, during the opening hours.