Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

The historical symbol of Paris, a must!
With the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris is definitly the most famous monument of the French Capital . Furthermore, Notre Dame is definitly the one which is the most …More
With the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris is definitly the most famous monument of the French Capital . Furthermore, Notre Dame is definitly the one which is the most associated to the city's history, and holds a special place in the heart of the Parisians. You should not miss visiting it and the neighborhood around when you're visiting the City of Light!

The first stone was laid in 1163 by Pope Alexander III, and its construction was pursued during 170 years. You can still find to its left the "Old Cloister" quarter, which is the only medieval part that survived Haussman modifications of the island, which destroyed many of the old buildings around. The Mansions in Rue des Chantres and Rue des Ursins are particularly charming with their gardens.

One of the most important emblemas of the French and European Gothic Architecture, and one of the most famous churches ever built. Notre Dame is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris. Notre Dame's treasury is notable for its reliquary, which houses the purported Crown of Thorns warn by Jesus Christ, a fragment of the True Cross and one of the Holy Nails – all instruments of the Passion and a few of the most important first-class relics.

In front of the Cathedral, you will find the Archaeological Crypt of the Parvis Notre-Dame which includes a range of historical ruins, discovered during construction work and spanning from the earliest settlement in Paris to the modern day. The crypts contain a large exhibit, combining detailed models of the arcitecture of different periods, and how they can be viewed within the ruins. The main feature still visible is the under-floor heating installed during the Roman occupation.

The Relics of the Passion:
The relics of the Passion presented at Notre-Dame de Paris include a piece of the Cross, which had been kept in Rome and delivered by Saint Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine, a nail of the Passion and the Holy Crown of Thorns.

These relics are presented to the believers for veneration on the first Friday of each month and every Friday during Lent at 3 pm. On Good (Holy) Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm.

During the impressive presentation on Holy Friday, the Holy Crown is presented by the Knight of Jerusalem in their white coats. It is possible to touch or kiss the glass crown covering the Holy Thorns, and this experience is probably the strongest a Christian believer can have. I strongly recommend to any Believer in Paris on the first Friday of each month and more importantly on Holy Friday, to visit the Cathedral and have the chance to touch these Holy Relics.
One important Tip for Holy Friday visit: usualyy you have a huge line in front of the Cathedral on this day, which is usually for the Cathedral's Touristic visit. Another entrance with just a few persons (or even nobody) in it is reserved for the prayers. This is the one you should take and it will avoid you a long waiting time.

Cathedral Opening Hours:
Every day of the year, the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris and the C.A.S.A. (Communauté d'Accueil dans les Sites Artistiques) Association organise visits in various languages. These free of charge tours present the spiritual message of this great Christian site, through its History, its architecture, its sculptures, its windows, and more.

Visits leave at the following times, from under the great organ:
- In French: Monday to Friday at 2 and 3 pm (except the first Friday of the month and every Friday during Lent); Saturday & Sunday at 2:30 pm
- In English: Wednesday 2 pm; Thursday 2 pm; Saturday 2:30 pm

The cathedral Treasury is open every day, see hours below :

Monday to Friday: from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday: from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
Sundays: from 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm
These hours may vary according to exceptional celebrations.

Towers visit:
April to Sept.: 10:00 am to 6:30 pm (on WE of July and August until 11:00 pm)
Oct. to Mar.: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

For more information, you can visit the Cathedral's website and the Wikipedia Page:
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