Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame is one of the most eminent churches in the world, and the symbol of the city of Paris. It has become the theatre to some of the most notorious novels in literature, celebrated by writers and artists including Victor Hugo. The cathedral was built by the meanderings of the river Seine- in the Île de la Cité- in the early days of the gothic era. Although the monument is a great example of early gothic style, the influence of the Romanesque school is still visible. In 2019, the church was badly damaged by a fire.

About this building

6th century: construction of the old cathedral during the episcopate of Germain (558-576), and perhaps at the initiative of King Childebert I (511-558).
1160: Maurice de Sully appointed Bishop of Paris launched the project to rebuild a new cathedral to the east of the old one, in order to free up a large area that would form a huge square.
1163-1220: Construction of the Gothic cathedral.
1210-1220: construction of the new facade (including the three gates).
1220-1230 : enlargement of high windows, modifications to roofs and buttresses)
1250: extension of the transept arms and construction of their facades
1250-1350: construction of the side chapels.
In the 14th century, the monument acquired its definitive appearance.
1844: restoration work on the sculptures of Notre-Dame entrusted to Viollet-le-Duc (and Lassus). The company lasted more than 20 years.

Key Features

  • Architecture
  • Stained glass
  • Monuments
  • Interior features
  • Atmosphere / quiet space
  • Social heritage
  • Links to national heritage
  • Famous people or stories

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Parking within 250m

Other nearby buildings

Wikimedia Commons/Pierre Poschadel

Church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre

The church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre is a medieval church built in the 12th century on the site of a primitive basilica destroyed by the Vikings. The priory to which the church was attached has long been prosperous, and the church has even hosted courses from the University of Paris. In the 17th century, the priory fell into decay and the church fell into disrepair. In the middle of the 17th century, the church and priory were given to the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris, which turned the church into a chapel. The French Revolution led to its transformation into a warehouse, a situation that lasted until 1826. Then Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre became a hospital chapel again until 1873. Since 1888, the Greek-Catholic Melkite community made the church its parish church. It remains the centre of the life of the Greek-Catholic Melkite parish in Paris.

Wikimedia Commons/Benchaum

Église Saint-Séverin

The church of St. Severin has been a parish church since the 9th century. The Gothic building dates mainly from the 15th century when the church had to be rebuilt after the previous one burnt down. However, the bell tower, the three western bays and parts of the façade have been preserved from the 13th-century building. The ambulatory, which is doubled in size due to the five naves, is considered to be the most architecturally valuable part of the church, while the modern stained glass windows are certainly one of the church's attractions.

Wikimedia Commons/John Gillespie

Church of Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais

Saint-Gervais is considered one of the first parishes on the right bank. The remains of an ancient cemetery and a vast Merovingian necropolis discovered around Saint-Gervais would explain the age of the foundation. The church was consecrated in 1420, then enlarged from 1494 until about 1620. The facade is the first of a church to use the classical vocabulary of orders in a monumental way, in accordance with the ancient fashion that prevailed in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was closed in 1793 and reopened in 1795 and shared between Catholics and theophilanthropists until the Concordat. On Good Friday, March 29, 1918, a German shell destroyed part of the nave in the middle of the mass, killing about a hundred people.