Cathédrale Notre-Dame

Monument & Heritage Check location

A treasure of Paris, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The use of the rib vault and a flying buttress, the giant colourful rose windows and the abundance of sculptural decoration all set it apart from the earlier Romanesque architecture.

The most visited monument in France was built in the Middle Ages, between the 12th and 14th centuries, at the far end of the Ile de la Cité. Known for the towers, the steeples and the gargoyles, it was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc and the road distances from Paris are calculated from point 0 on the cathedral’s forecourt.

This gothic cathedral is covered with sculptures illustrating biblical stories, for those who were illiterate: the tympanum over the central port represents the Last Judgment, while the sculpture of the right portal illustrates the coronation of the Virgin Mary.

Among those religious figures, there’s also frightening monsters such as the gargoyles and the chimaera, with the head of a goat and the body of a lion. The cathedral and especially these grotesque sculptures became even more popular after the publication of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831.

Contacts & Details

6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II 75004 Paris