The pride of Paris, standing tall and proud over the city. Read about my experience here pre-fire!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase from my blog. While clicking these links won’t cost you anything, they will help me to keep The Travel Vine up and running! Click here to read my full disclosure policy. Thanks so much!
On the very last day of our honeymoon, my husband Zac and I were nearly the end of what had been a wonderful day in Paris. We were pretty tired by this point, low on cash, and we still wanted to tick off Notre Dame Cathedral off our bucket list. After all, no trip Paris would be complete without making a trip here. We walked almost an hour from our location at the Hotel Des Invalides, and just as the sun was setting, we stopped at a bridge crossing the River Seine, and it was here that we first spotted the famous structure. I was so amazed to be looking at one of the world’s most beautiful and well-known cathedrals. I looked at it in awe as Zac remarked, “come on, let’s head to Notre Dame,” as he had no idea that we were already looking at it. I headed towards it while Zac protested that I was leading him the wrong way. He took out his phone, checked Google Maps, and then insisted he was joking when he realised just how wrong he was. Classic Zac!
By this point, I’d travelled all over Europe, and if there is one thing that this continent does well, it’s cathedrals. While Notre Dame is indeed beautiful, I would still say that it’s not the most beautiful you will ever see. In my opinion, that accolade has to go to St. Peters Basilica in Rome [>>>>> Click Here For Full Article <<<<<].
The front façade truly is beautiful, comprising of two towers with a round window in the centre. There is a row of sculptures in the middle consisting of King-like men wearing robes. I say King-like as they are all wearing crowns. The end result is pretty cool, as they look down on you just like you would expect ancient royalty to have looked down on its lowly commoners!
Inside the cathedral, you have an enormous hall, which is lined down the sides with impressive Greek-inspired columns. Like most cathedrals, it has tall vaulted ceilings, but these ones are more special than most, as they were the first of their kind to be built in this fashion. They were started in the year 1163 and took over 200 years to complete.
The cathedral had stood uncompromised until the devastating fire in 2019, which caused much damage and destroyed the medieval tower that had stood tall and proud over Paris for centuries. Construction has started on the rebuild, so we might see Notre Dame fully restored by the time we can fully travel again.
One of the cathedral’s main features is the magnificent rose window, which is almost ten meters in diameter and adorned with biblical images of Adam and Eve. At the time of its construction, it was the largest rose window ever created. It truly is stunning.
Suppose you need to burn off some calories after overindulging on too many Parisian treats (like me at breakfast). In that case, you might be interested in climbing the 400 steps up to the cathedral towers to visit the home of Quasimodo, who was made famous in the book “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo. Once you reach the top, not only will you see the demons and gargoyles which adorn the upper part of the church, but you will also be rewarded with some of the most spectacular views of Paris. Since we’d done so much walking around already that day, I’m sure you will be able to forgive Zac and I for not doing the tower climb! No matter what you decide, make sure to stop in at the Treasury, where you will be able to see a fragment from the crown of thorns that was supposedly worn by Jesus!
As we left, I looked back and stood there for a few minutes, just admiring the stone figurines around the door. The entrance to the church is one of the most magnificent I’ve ever seen. Massive arches embedded with stone-carved heads are surrounded by statues of gargoyles and an ancient style leaf motif. Right in the center stands the impressive thick wooden door, which looks more than capable of withstanding an onslaught from either battering rams or angry mobs.
6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France | www.tripadvisor.com.au
Thanks for reading my post on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Despite the terrible fire that tore through this landmark church in April 2019, it would still be worth a visit. I’ve recently seen new photo’s of the rebuilt church and it doesn’t look as though the well known spire that collapsed in the fire is going to be rebuilt which is a shame. Are you planning on visiting Paris in the future? Where would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments section below!
Like what you read today? Click on the link below and subscribe to my blog for more of my travel adventures, freebies, and inspiration for your next trip.
Ready to start booking your trip to Paris?
Check out my recommended friends here The Tour Guy for fantastic, small group tours of the city and seeing all of the main monuments of Paris, as well as day trips to Versailles, the Champagne region, Normandy, and more! CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW
Also, discover a wider range of Parisian tours from Viator (A Trip Advisor Company). Book ahead and save yourself time and money! Click Here.
Check out my other blog posts on Paris: