The Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most famous Cathedrals in the world. Being the seat of the French Archbishop, it is the focal point of France's Roman Catholic Church. As well as being a busy practising religious edifice, it is France's most popular tourist destination with some 10 million tourists visiting the Île de la Cité annually.
The Cathedral is a fine example of an Gothic architecture and this means that there are a great deal of fine detail everywhere you look from carved faces in obscure corners to beautiful stained glass and the infamous gargoyles. Here are some interesting points of note:
The cathedral's construction began in 1163 after the previous Paris Cathedral was demolished to make way. The Gothic style that the Cathedral was going to be built in included a number of very intricate designs which meant that construction was slow and was done in stages. It took almost 200 years to finish off the Cathedrals as designs had to change over time as the original walls were not thick enough to support the structure.
French Kings had a passion for alteration of Cathedrals to suit their tastes and the fashions of the time which meant the Cathedral was continuously changing during the reghns of Louix XIV and Louis XV.
Unfortunately, the cathedral was ransacked during the French Revolution and most of its possessions and interior decorations were stolen or destroyed. It was not until 1845 that the cathedral's reconstruction began and was completed some 20 years later. The tall spire towards the back of the cathedral was added at this time as well as some chimeras in addition to the pre-existing gargoyles (one of these can be seen from the North Tower).
Throughout the Year
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
6 Place du Parvis Notre-Dame