Facts About The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
1) Notre Dame is 130 meters long, 48 meters wide, 35 meters high. The rose windows have a diameter of 10 meters. The cathedrals pillars have a diameter of 5 meters.
2) Notre Dame is located on the Paris Island called Ile de la Cite, which concentrated the power attributes of France between the 4th and the 14th century.
3) The world famous cathedral is referred to as: Notre Dame de Paris (“Our Lady of Paris” in French), The Notre Dame Cathedral or sometimes just simple “Notre Dame”. (1)
4) If you want to visit Notre Dame via the Paris metro: Cite station on line 4. Saint Michel station on RER B and C lines.
5) The towers can be visited – April 1st to September 30th, 10am to 6.30pm (June to August, on Saturday, Sunday, 10am to 11pm) – October 1st to March 31st, 10am to 5.30pm. Last access is 45 mn before closure. Closed on January 1st, in May 1st, December 25th.
6) The twin towers go as high as 69 meters (387 steps). The south tower houses the 13 ton Emmanuel bell.
7) The best time to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral is early in the morning, between Tuesday and Friday.
8) Access to the cathedral is open and free of charge every day of the year, during the opening hours.
Facts About The Cathedral’s Damage and Restoration:
In its history, Notre Dame has endured destruction and subsequent restoration in many periods. However, much of the facade and interior still are true to the original designs. In the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed a lot of the cathedral’s contents. A lot of the features on the cathedral’s exterior were removed because they were considered to be idolatrous, and tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed in the name of modernization. The cathedral was converted into a storage warehouse for food, during the French Revolution, and the heads of many of Notre Dame’s statues were removed. (2)
Between 1845 and 1870, a first attempt at restoration took place. A good portion of the previous century’s damage done to the cathedral was repaired, and new additions were built. Most recently, a new restoration program was started in 1991 and has gone on for 20 years with a focus on cleaning up facade’s and sculptures.
Facts About Notre Dame’s Organs and Bells:
The many organs which were installed over the years after Notre Dame’s construction are a centerpeice of the cathedral and themselves worthy of a visit. And the cathedral’s bells are also some of the most famous in all of Europe. Of the five large bells that can be seen at Notre Dame, the one that is located in the South Tower, known as the bourdon bell Emmanuel, is the most prominent. It weighs over 13 tons. The other four bells are located in the North Tower. The cathedral’s bells were traditionally rung by hand, in the 20th century, electric motors were installed.
Respecting This Attraction:
The Notre Dame Catheral is not just one of the greatest Paris monuments. It is above all a catholic church, which is to say, it is a place of christian worship and fervor and therefore it should be respected and when visiting, tourists should behave accordingly.