Cost: FREE for entry to the church; Audio guides are 5 Euro per person; Entry into the treasury is 3 Euro for adults, 1 Euro for children ages 6-12 and FREE for children under 5; to walk up the towers is 8 Euro for adults and FREE for anyone under 18.
Hours: 9:30 am – 6 pm; Sundays from 1:00 pm – 6 pm
Notre-Dame de Paris or “Our Lady of Paris” is a French Gothic Cathedral that sits on an island known as Ile de la Cite in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. Construction of this church began in 1163 with the remaining elements completed in 1345. During the French Revolution in 1793, the cathedral was taken and rededicated to “The Cult of Reason” and many artifacts and treasures of the church were destroyed as well as the building itself being widely damaged. In 1845, a 25 year long restoration occurred only to be damaged again during World War II and finally in 1991 another restoration began and lasted until 2010.Today I imagine it is as beautiful as it has ever been.
Below the Square in front of the church lies The Crypt. It was discovered during the excavations in 1965 and holds the remains of buildings erected on the site during ancient times through the classical era. Move on to the church itself and you will be amazed by the experiences that lie ahead. If you are up for the 387 stair climb of the bell towers you will come face to face with the famous gargoyles and some breath taking views of Paris. For an additional fee you can visit The Treasury where holy objects are housed. The Treasury is interesting but it seemed poorly labeled to me as most times we didn’t know what we were looking at. A little research prior to going would help out a great deal. Some of the precious relics include one of Christ’s original nails and a fragment of the true cross. It is said that a portion of the original crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus at his crucifixion is kept at Notre Dame and is put on display the first Friday of each month. For more info click here.
Overall I say that to miss out on Notre Dame Cathedral would be to miss out on Paris. This is where the city of Paris literally began, it is the heart and soul of this vibrant, unique and romantic city. The beauty you see here will last a lifetime in your heart.
The church still regularly holds services for times and dates click here.