Things Not to miss on Your Tour of Notre Dame
At the front of the cathedral, in the square separating Notre Dame from Haussmann's police Headquarters, is the entrance to the crypt archeologique museum, where can be viewed the remains of the church which predated the cathedral, as well as streets and houses of the Cite dating as far back as the Roman era. Also visit the public garden at the east end for a view of the flying buttresses supporting the choir, and then along the riverside under the south transept, where in springtime you may enjoy the cherry blossoms. If you are physically fit, don't miss climbing the stairs up to the Bell Tower. To make the climb you will need tickets or a Paris Pass. At the top you can view all of Paris perched alongside hideous gargoyles, and can crawl into the amazing Bell Tower. The views alone are amazing, something you will never forget!
In 1160, having become the "parish church of the kings of Europe", Bishop Maurice de Sully deemed the current Parisian cathedral unworthy of its lofty role, and had it demolished shortly after he assumed the title of Bishop of Paris. According to legend, de Sully had a vision of a glorious new cathedral for Paris, and sketched it in the dirt outside of the original church. To begin the construction, the bishop had several houses demolished and had a new road built in order to transport materials for the new church.
Construction began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, and opinion differs as to whether Bishop Maurice de Sully or Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone of the cathedral. However, both were at the ceremony in question. Bishop de Sully went on to devote most of his life and wealth to the cathedral's construction.
Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began circa 1200, before the nave had been completed. Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers. Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers. The towers were completed around 1245, and the cathedral was completed around 1345. During the construction in 1297, King Louis IX was canonized as St. Louis.
Time line of construction:
* 1160 Maurice de Sully (named Bishop of Paris), orders the original cathedral to be demolished.
* 1163 Cornerstone laid for Notre Dame de Paris — construction begins
* 1182 Apse and choir completed.
* 1196 Nave completed. Bishop de Sully dies.
* 1200 Work begins on western facade.
* 1225 Western facade completed.
* 1250 Western towers and north rose window completed
* 1250 – 1345 Remaining elements completed
Alterations, vandalism, and restorations
In 1548, rioting Huguenots damaged features of the cathedral following the Council of Trent. During the reign of Louis XIV and Louis XV, at the end of the 17th century, the cathedral underwent major alterations as part of an ongoing attempt to modernize cathedrals throughout Europe. Tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed.
In 1793 during the French Revolution, the cathedral was turned into a "Temple to Reason" and many of its treasures were destroyed or stolen. Several sculptures were smashed and destroyed, and for a time Lady Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars. The cathedral's great bells managed to avoid being melted down, but the cathedral was used as a warehouse for the storage of food.
In 1802, when Napoleon ruled France that he reintroduced Catholicism with a solemn ceremony in the newly rechristened cathedral. Napoleon proceeded to crown himself Emperor on 2 December 1804 at Notre Dame de Paris. Claims that he seized the crown out of the hands of Pope Pius VII during the ceremony in order to avoid subjecting himself to the authority of the pontiff are apocryphal; in fact, the coronation procedure had been agreed upon in advance. After the Imperial regalia had been blessed by the Pope, Napoleon crowned himself before crowning his wife Josephine as Empress.
A restoration program was initiated in 1845, overseen by architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. The restoration lasted 25 years and included the construction of a flèche (a type of spire) as well as the addition of the chimeras on the Galerie des Chimères. Viollet le Duc always signed his work with a bat, the wing structure of which most resembles the Gothic vault (see Roquetaillade castle).
In 1871, a civil uprising leading to the establishment of the short-lived Paris Commune nearly set fire to the cathedral. In 1939, It was feared that German bombers could destroy the windows and scatter glass fragments all around making the area unsafe. As a result, on September 11, 1939, they were removed. They were restored at the end of the war. In 1991, a major program of maintenance and restoration was initiated, including the cleaning and restoration of old sculptures, an exceedingly delicate matter.
CATHEDRAL NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS
6, place du Parvis Notre-Dame 75004
Bus : 21, 24, 27, 38, 47, 85, 96
Metro line 4 : Cité, St-Michel
RER B or C : St-Michel
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|NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL PARIS
Jump start your vacation tour with
a visit to the spectacular 12 Century Cathedral on
the Ile de la Cite in the Heart of Paris.
is the world's largest palace and
museum and a triumph of French architecture.
|SAINT CHAPELLE PARIS
Built in 1246 by Crusader King
Louis IX (Saint Louis) on the Ile de la Cite, in the
middle of Paris' Seine river, to house the relics of
the Crusades, including the Crown of Thorns.
|EIFFEL TOWER PARIS
Built for the 1889 Paris Exhibition;
the Eiffel Tower is the largest and most
recognizable landmarks in the world. Take the
elevator or climb to the 2nd level to take the
scary ride straight up its narrow neck in a glass
|OPERA GARNIER PARIS
Its underground waterway the
fabled setting for the Leroux's "Phantom of the
Opera" its a classy place to see French Ballet and
Opera. Its facade is adorned with marble and
|ARC DE TRIOMPHE PARIS
Suggestive of an ancient
Roman arch its the biggest triumphal arch in the
world commissioned by Napoleon in 1806.
|MOULIN ROUGE CABARET PARIS
Evocative of wild
Paris between WW I and II, the place and
Parisian shows were immortalized by painter
|SACRE COEUR PARIS
(Sacred Heart): glows
like a white cake atop the nearby hill of
Montmartre overlooking Paris.
|HOTEL DE VILLE PARIS
One of the most
stunningly beautiful buildings you will see in
Paris. Parisians and even some Tourists seem to
pay little attention to it since it stunning interior is
|NAPOLEAN'S TOMB PARIS
Prepare to be amazed, a
gargantuan sarcophagus on a granite base sunk in
a huge circular basin under a magnificent dome
in the center of a Parisian Cathedral.
|MUSEE ORSAY PARIS
in a splendid former Paris
railway station built in 1900, is the Musée
d'Orsay offering a wealth of artistic treasures
produced between 1848 and 1914.
Chenonceau, Cheverny, Amboise and more.
01 Paris: Louvre Museum - Notre dame Cathedral - Banks of the River Seine - Chatelet Tower - Place Vendome - Le Palais Royal - Le Louvre - L'orangerie - Pont Neuf - Pont de La Concorde - Le quartier Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois - Pont-Neuf aux Tuileries
02 Paris: Paris Stock Exchange - Textile district - L'Opera Garnier - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - Bourse - La Tour Jean-sans-Peur
03 Paris: Picasso museum - Centre Georges Pompidou - Republique - Conservatoire des Arts et Metier
04 Paris: Old Marais district - Modern Art museum - City Hall - Ile de La Cite; - La place des Vosges - L'Hotel de Ville - Notre Dame de Paris - La Conciergerie - La crypte archeologique - La Maison de Victor Hugo - La Sainte Chapelle - Pont de Sully
05 Paris: Pantheon - Botanical Gardens - Saint-Germain-des-Pres - Notre dame de Paris - Eglise de Saint Germain - Saint Michel - La mosquee de Paris - L'ile de la Cite; - L'Ile Saint-Louis - Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve - La crypte archeologique - La Sainte Chapelle - La Conciergerie - Les Arenes Lutece - Jardin des Plantes - Pont Neuf - Pont d'Austerlitz - Pont de Sully
06 Paris: Saint Germain des Pres - Latin Quarter - Luxembourg Gardens - La Tour Montparnasse - Musee d'Orsay - Palais / Jardin du Luxembourg - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Observatoir de Paris
07 Paris: Eiffel Tower - Marais - Orsay Museum - Invalides (Napoleon's resting place) - Champs de Mars - L'UNESCO - Ecole Militaire - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides - Pont de L'Alma
08 Paris: Champs Elysees - Arc of Triumph - Elysees Palace - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - L'Opera Garnier - Le quartier de la defense - L'eglise Russe - L'orangerie - Place de La Madeleine - Boulevard Haussmann - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides
09 Paris: Opera House - Saint Lazare Train Station La butte Montmartre - Moulin Rouge - Galeries Lafayette - Musee de la Vie Romantique - Le quartier de la Nouvelle Athenes - Gare Saint Lazare
10 Paris: Est Train Station - Nord Train Station - Saint Martin canal - Place de la Republique
11 Paris: Republique Plaza - Leather district - La place des Vosges - Bastille - Cimetiere Pere Lachaise - Boulevard Belleville
12 Paris: New Opera House - Nation Plaza - Vincennes Park - Gare de Lyon - Le Viaduc des Arts - Le Parc de Bercy - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Pont d'Austerlitz
13 Paris: French National Library - Chinatown - Croulebarbe aux Gobelins - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Orly - Le quartier de la Butte-aux-Cailles - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Parc de Montsouris - Observatoire de Paris
14 Paris: Montparnasse Train Station - Observatory - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Parc de Montsouris
15 Paris: Vaugirard Street - Beaugrenelle Antiques Area - La Tour Montparnasse - Paris Expo / Porte de Versailles - Ecole Militaire - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetierre de Grenelle - Cimetiere du Montparnasse
16 Paris: Trocadero Plaza - Boulogne Park - Parc des Princes - Stade Roland Garros - Champs de Mars - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot - Promenade Hector Guimard et l'Art Nouveau - Le quartier de la defense - Auteuil - Musee d'art Moderne - Palais Chaillot - Bois de Boulogne - Pont de L'Alma - Pont de Grenelle - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetiere de Grenelle
17 Paris: Wagram - Ternes - Jacquemin Museum - Le quartier de la Defense - Sacre-Coeur - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot
18 Paris: Montmartre Hill (home of Amelie Poulain) - Church of the Sacred Heart - Moulin Rouge - Stade de France - La Basilique Saint-Denis - Gare du Nord - Roissy Charle de Gaulle
19 Paris: Villette Techno Park - Buttes Chaumont Park - Geode - Zenith - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville
20 Paris: Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Jim Morrison's resting place) - Place de La Nation - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville
92 Paris: Parc des Expositions - Parc de Sceaux - Issy-les-Moulineaux - Roland Garros - La Defense
93 Paris: Eurodisney Park