, Paris:  Notre Dame Cathedral

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Cathedral of Notre Dame Paris, France


About Notre Dame Cathedral:

, Paris:  Notre Dame Cathedral
The Famous “Rose Window” in Notre Dame de Paris

Certainly the most well-known Church in Paris, some 13 million people visit this famous landmark every year.It took 182 years to build before the church was finally consecrated in 1345, with the work being carried out under a succession of bishops and master builders.

And just outside the Cathedral is a point called “Paris Point Zero”. It is a small plaque located outside the Cathedral, and often overlooked by visitors. All other locations are thought to be measured as a distance radiating from this point.

Structurally the use of flying buttresses, which gave the necessary structural support building, was one of its most important features.  It’s also famous for its 8,000-pipe organ.

England’s King Henry VI was crowned King of France in the cathedral in 1431, and Napoleon I had his coronation as Emperor there in 1804 (he crowned himself). Notre Dame was badly damaged during the French Revolution, when it became the “temple of reason”,but then restored in the late 18th century.

The Cathedral has survived wars and revolutions and represents an outstanding example of Gothic architecture.  The Cathedral can hold almost 6,000 people, and the artwork inside and outside is an outstanding example of religious art, with thousands of images in its stained glass windows, sculptures and gargoyles.

Notre Dame Cathedral also houses two relics: the Crown of Thorns (brought to Paris by King Louis IX in the 13th century) and a fragment of the True Cross. These were originally in Saint Chapelle, but later moved to Notre Dame. They are displayed once a year on Good Friday.

In addition, it houses the tunic which to belonged to King Louis IX ( Saint Louis).

The exterior was cleaned in preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000 and now looks much like it did many centuries ago.

Tragically, on April 15, 2019, a fire broke out that destroyed the roof and much of the interior.  This loss of this landmark…both religious and secular…will be felt for many years, although rebuilding will probably start soon. Funds have poured in but the overall process will take years. 

For this reason, most of what you read below is no longer relevant (for now).

If you are with a previously scheduled group traveling with a priest then it is possible to have your own Mass providing you make arrangements in advance. Weekday Masses for groups traveling with a priest are reserved for 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The public schedule is as follows:

Mass at Notre Dame (Paris) Monday to Saturday morning is as follows:

8:00 am mass in the choir
9:00 am Pilgrims’ mass in the choir
12:00 pm mass at the great altar
5:45 pm Vesper service
6:15 pm Pilgrims’ mass at the great altar

5:45 pm Vesper service
6:30 pm Pilgrims’ Vigil Mass at the great altar

Sunday  (every office is at the great altar)
8:00 am mass
9:30 am Lauds service
10:00 am Gregorian mass of the cathedral chapter
11:30 am International pilgrims’ mass
12:45 pm Mass
5:45 pm Vesper service
6:30 pm Pilgrim mass

Admission to Notre Dame is free, but there is a charge to climb the towers. Some 387 steps lead to the top of the towers and offer one of the best views of Paris as well as the gargoyles perched on the ledge. As of this time, only the North Tower is open to visitors. Well worth the price for those interested.

Finding Notre Dame Cathedral:

We recommend “Little Black Book of Paris” and “Streetwise Maps” to help you find your way.

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004

GPS coordinates: 48° 51′ 9.6120” N, 2° 20′ 57.4512” E

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 34 56 10

Click here for the official Notre Dame (Paris) website Be sure to check this out before your visit. Lots of really great information!

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