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Notre Dame Cathedral

Updated on February 29, 2020

Pictures of Notre Dame Cathedral

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A visit to Paris holds many wonders for the modern tourist. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, countless artistic and architectural wonders, but these are all trumped by the magnificent and stately Cathedral called Our Lady, or in French -- Notre Dame. Envisioned in 1160, this building stands as a testiment to history, entertainment, artistic dedication and Gothic architecture.

Features of Note

Steeped in history, lovingly restored after the French Revolution, there are so many aspects of this Cathedral which draw the eye, the admiration and the respect of the common viewer. From the standpoint of a tourist, Notre Dame is where all Parisian vacations should begin. Outside the cathedral is a marker denoting the 'zero mile,' the point from which other landmarks and destinations' distances are measured. This isn't the only interesting feature to the cathedral.

  • Admission to enter the cathedral's ground floor is free. One of the only free entry locations to view the heart and soul of Paris' history, viewing of the higher levels of Notre Dame is not free, but worth every penny spent.
  • There are five bells in the towers of Notre Dame. The bell which is rung to mark time and alert the people of services within the Cathedral is located in the southern tower. This bell, called Emmanuel, weighs over thirteen tons and is the only bell tolled so frequently. The other bells are used for special occasions.
  • The gargoyles of Notre Dame are beastly creatures of stone which loom over the Cathedral's gutters. These stonework monsters are literal drainage points for the Cathedral's roof. Lucky tourists who visit Notre Dame on a rainy day may get a view of water pouring from the mouths of gargoyles, which is a sight to behold against the masonry of the Cathedral.
  • The stone marking point zero within Paris is set just outside the Cathedral, and it is from this point that all distances in Paris, including highway and city points, are measured.

Hunchback of Notre Dame Video

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Possibly the most popular reference to this amazing Cathedral is the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

This story, originally written in 1831 by Victor Hugo, takes us back to a time when the bells of Notre Dame were not rung electronically as they are today. It is the tale of a disfigured man who tends the bells, and was a protest by the author in favor of retaining the original glory of the Cathedral in the wake of attempts to modernize it.

A powerful story about love, intrigue and the despair, the story has been used in over a half a dozen films and adaptations for television. Despite these themes, the central focus of the book surrounds the Cathedral of Notre Dame through various metaphors and events.


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