The Gothic cathedral Notre Dame is certainly one of the most famous churches of Paris. The cathedral is also the archiepiscopal see of Paris. Notre Dame gained special fame thankes to Victor Hugo's novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'. The cathedral is closed for visitors since spring 2019.
Large Fire in April 2019
The cathedral was severely damaged during a fire disaster on 15th April 2019. The fire started at the roof truss, and did great damage to the historic construction's nave, the central tower collapsed. However, the two famous twin towers at the main entrance remain unscathed, and the structure itself was also spared by the destructive flames. With the help of generous donations, the church is supposed to be rebuilt entirely within the next six years.
The cathedral's special feature is it mix of different architec tural styles, which are explained by its long construction period of around 200 years. The choir was started in Romanesque style. Shortly after, circumstances changed, and the massive construction was continued in Gothic style.
The cathedral is currently closed to visitors. Before the fire, around 12 million people came to see the church every year. Admission is free of charge. The cathedral fits up to 10,000 people at once.
The cathedral was built in a long construction period between 1163 and 1345. In times of French monarchy, Notre Dame was used as coronation church. It has thus been venue for the coronation of Henry VI and Napoleon Bonaparte.
It is known today, that the first church was built at this place under the rule of the Franconian King Childebert I around 540. This makes it the oldest location for ecclesiastical buildings within Paris.
How to get there
- The cathedral is easily accessible with bus lines 21, 24, 27, 38, 47, 85 and 96.
- You can also get there by metro, RER or taxi.
- There is also the option of renting a bicycle, offered by the rental service Velib, and explore Paris by bike.