The Chronicle of
Notre Dame

Flying buttresses, Bell Towers, Menacing Gargoyles, Soaring Spires & the Occasional Hunchback

You can explore a thousand years of history in one visit to Notre Dame — reaching back to medieval and Gothic times.

Over the centuries the Notre Dame Cathedral has pretty much seen it all.

In the 16th century puritanical Huguenots practically destroyed it. Napoleon held his coronation here. During the French Revolution many treasures were ruined and it was re-dedicated it to the "Cult of Reason".

But this Gothic masterpiece survived all that – and more – and today it is one of the most famous Roman Catholic cathedrals, able to hold a congregation of six thousand people. Notre Dame Paris is located in the center of the city on the Île de la Cité, near the Hotel-Dieu, the Préfecture de Police (police headquarters), the Palais de Justice and La Sainte Chapelle, the second most famous church in Paris.

Paris Insiders Tip

Walk around to the back side of Notre Dame Cathedral and take the pedestrian bridge to the other island, Île Saint Louis. There you'll find one of our favorite winter eateries, Brasserie de l'Île St Louis.

Paris Insiders Way to Skip the lines

Notre Dame Paris

Get an Insider's peek into the historic Cathedral – and the island it sits on – in this small-group walking tour.

You visit the interior of the church and climb the 387 steps to the bell towers for a gargoyle's view of Paris.

The tour begins in the middle of the Seine River on Île de la Cité, where you'll learn the history of Paris kings and revolutionaries, and you'll discover the real reason Victor Hugo chose the Notre Dame Cathedral as the setting for The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The walking tour is limited to 25 people.

Concerts at Notre Dame

Concerts at Notre Dame Paris

It's spine-tingling to attend a concert at Notre Dame. You're surrounded by almost a thousand years of history, with light streaming in through majestic Gothic stained glass windows.

We've found an easy way to buy tickets online, safely and securely.

There's really nothing to compare to it, but the only way to guarantee a seat is to order online in advance, otherwise, they're on a first-come first-serve basis.

Paris Insiders Tip

Entrance to the cathedral's bell towers is included as part of the Paris Pass. Mind you, you still have to climb those 387 stairs!

Notre Dame Cathedral Facts

  • Construction began in 1163 and was barely completed by 1345.
  • The use of flying buttresses (arched exterior supports) was groundbreaking.
  • In 1991, the Notre Dame Cathedral began a major restoration and cleaning project – and it's still underway today.
  • Open every day of the year from 8:00 am to 6:45 pm (7:15 pm on Saturday and Sunday).
  • Services are open to the public and free of charge, you don't need to make a reservation.
  • All services are in French, but the Sunday 11:30 am mass has readings and prayers in English.
  • Details and Booking – Skip the Lines Notre Dame Cathedral Tour »

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