Notre Dame Cathedral

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The Devil in Notre Dame's details

This Gothic masterpiece took almost 200 years to build, surviving the French Revolution, Huguenots, and World War II. While the cathedral has undergone continuous restoration over the years, a fire in April of 2019 burned down significant portions of the building. While the cathedral’s famous facade remains, many of its iconic features were lost in the blaze. Here are some of the structural details that made Notre Dame a symbol of France around the world.

  • Gargoyles

    1. Gargoyles

    Placed all around the facade of the building, the phenomenal attention to detail in each of these statues has long caught the eye of visitors from around the world. Unfortunately, the fate of the gargoyles is unclear after the fire.

  • Rose window

    2. Rose window

    One of the iconic features of the cathedral, Notre Dame’s rose windows managed to escape the fire relatively unscathed. While previous fires had caused damage, most historians agree that these stained glass windows are salvageable.

  • Great organ

    3. Great organ

    Among the most intricate features of the cathedral, Notre Dame’s pipe organs are incredible constructions themselves. The church’s main organ has five keyboards and is one of the most famous musical instruments in the world. Untouched by the 2019 fire, the pipe organs will continue to play music for years to come.

  • Relics

    4. Relics

    As the home to some of the Catholic church’s most famous and important relics, Notre Dame has become a place of pilgrimage for people of the religion. From the piece of the cross from the crucifixion of Jesus to a gilded crown of thorns, these relics managed to survive the fire.

  • Belltowers

    5. Belltowers

    Made famous in literature by Victor Hugo, the cathedral’s stunning belltowers are some of its most iconic features. While the belltowers are considered to be safe, the fate of the bells themselves is unclear.

Planning Your Visit

  • How much does it cost?

    Admission to Notre Dame is free, but visitors will need tickets to enter the tower (€8.50) and the crypt (€6). Access to both is included in the price of the Paris Pass.

  • How to get there?

    The closest Metro stop is Cité on the Metro 4 line.

  • How many steps is it to the top of the tower?

    There are 387 steps to reach the panaromas over Paris and see the gargoyles up close, so it's best to know your physical limits.

  • Mass times

    "On Sundays, all masses are held at the main altar. Arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time to get a seat.
    8:30AM - Mass
    9:30AM - Lauds service
    10:00AM - Gregorian mass of the cathedral chapter
    11:30AM - International mass
    12:45PM - Mass
    5:45PM - Vespers service
    6:30PM - Mass
    All services are held in French. Masses are also held throughout the week. More details are available at the Notre Dame de Paris official website."

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    8:00AM to 6:45PM on weekdays - open until 7:15PM at weekends.
  • Is it expensive?
    Access itself is free of charge, although it's a good idea to invest in a tour to get the most out of your visit.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It's worth checking out these best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    There are several metro stations in the vicinity of Notre Dame - on lines 1, 4, 7, 10, 11, and 14. The most immediate is Cité on the 4 line.
  • Additional information
    *Be prepared to wait in a line outside, especially on weekends.
    *Dress modestly - you are in a church, after all.

Other Sightseeing Options in Notre Dame Cathedral

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What people are saying about Notre Dame Cathedral

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 6,660 reviews

Easy access to this beautiful church. Be advised, the stunning walls of stained glass are on a second level reachable by a narrow spiral stone staircase. The upper level is open and the glass is the main draw. Going downstairs are a few exhibits and gift shop with some very nice items. There is an audio guide for an e tra 3€ which we passed on but was probably a good idea.

It was a great experience. Our guide was very enthusiastic asking lots of questions and keeping the kids engaged throughout. She speaks in French but made the extra effort to say a few things in English to our son who doesn’t understand French. We also learned a few things and got to see all the attractions.

Amazing photos..my photographer was Alain and i can’t thank him enough, he took wonderful photos of my children. Amazing memories. Ask for Alain and you won’t regret :)

It was great and convenient. The ability to hop on and off at any of the various sites made touring the Seine very easy.

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