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Notre Dame Cathedral facts

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Notre Dame Paris

Notre Dame facts: best time to visit

Paris Notre Dame Cathedral is open every day from 8am to 6.45pm (7.15pm on Saturdays and Sundays). The best time for a visit is early in the morning, Tuesday to Friday.

Access to the Cathedral is open and free of charge every day of the year during the opening hours. There may be a queue.

Notre Dame Cathedral is not just one of the greatest Paris monuments. It is above all a catholic church, a place of christian worship and fervor. Behave accordingly.

More top Paris churches.

More top Paris monuments.

Notre Dame cathedral: visit Towers

The twin towers culminate at 69 meters (387 steps). The south tower houses 13 tons Emmanuel bell (picture).

The towers can be visited - April 1st to September 30th, 10am to 6.30pm (June to August, on Saturday, Sunday, 10am to 11pm) - October 1st to March 31st, 10am to 5.30pm. Last access is 45 mn before closure. Closed on January 1st, in May 1st, December 25th.

Entrance on left-hand side of the facade. Long waiting time.

Notre Dame and the Crown of Thorns

In 1238, King Saint Louis (picture) bought the Christ's Crown of Thorns (picture) from Constantinople (picture), Istambul today. The King commissioned Sainte Chapelle as the crown's schrine in his Palace (picture), the Conciergerie.

In 1806, the Crown was transfered to Notre Dame. The crown is guarded in the Cathedral's treasury by the Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and can be worshipped every first friday of the month (details).

Notre Dame facts

Notre Dame is located on Ile de la Cite, the Paris island that concentrated the power of France between the 4th and the 14th century. Notre Dame is 130 meters long, 48 meters wide, 35 meters high. Its pillars have a diameter of 5 meters. The rose windows (picture) have a diameter of 10 meters.

Locate Notre Dame on Paris map. Visit Notre Dame crypt. Notre Dame detailed practical information. Paris metro: Cite station on line 4. Saint Michel station on RER B and C lines.

Notre Dame Cathedral mass schedule

Weekdays, Monday to Saturday noon
8:00 a.m. mass in the choir
9:00 a.m. mass in the choir (Except in July, August and first half of September)
12:00 p.m. mass at the main altar
5:45 p.m. Vespers service
6:15 p.m. mass at the main altar
5:45 p.m. First Sunday Vespers service
6:30 p.m. Sunday mass at the main altar
Sundays (all services held at the main altar):
8:30 a.m. Mass
9:30 a.m. Lauds service
10:00 a.m. Gregorian mass of the cathedral chapter
11:30 a.m. international mass
12:45 p.m. Mass
5:45 p.m. Vespers service
6:30 p.m. mass usually by the archbishop

Notre Dame Cathedral history

Notre Dame is Paris Catholic Cathedral since the Middle Ages. Maurice de Sully, the Paris Bishop, started its construction in 1163. The work lasted until 1270. Architects and sculptors remained anonymous.

Notre Dame witnessed many historic events, including the coronation of Napoleon (1804) and the Magnificat for Paris liberation (August 26th 1944).

Notre Dame was saved by a novel

At the end of the 1789 French revolution, Notre-Dame had suffered numberless injuries and mutilations.

In 1831, French Novelist Victor Hugo published the now famous novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".

The moving description of Notre Dame in this beautiful and successful novel stirred considerable emotion.

Intensive restoration work was started in 1845 by Architect Viollet Le Duc and completed in 1864.

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