Notre Dame Cathedral
This construction took almost 200 years to be finished, and since 1345, is one of the oldest exhibitions of Gothic art that has been recorded. Declared a World Heritage Site, it is the most visited site in Paris par excellence, located on the Ile de la Cite (City Island), surrounded by the River Seine.
Gothic cathedrals were built in order to establish a religious symbol in the great cities, to accompany the migration from the countryside to the city. In the case of France, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, arrived to respond to the search for the new dignity of Paris.
In the place where the cathedral is located, religious cults have always been celebrated. Since the Celtic, passing through the Romanesque, to what we know today as Notre Dame. Over time, it has also undergone modifications, such as the transformation to the baroque during the reign of Louis XIV; during the French Revolution he suffered damage and theft of treasures inside; in the year 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself emperor in the cathedral; and in the year 1909 the beatification of Joan of Arc took place.
Highlights in the architecture of the cathedral are the rosettes of the transept, the two towers, the Door of the Final Judgment (central one), the Door of the Virgin and the Door of Santa Ana added to all the sculptures that surround the doors. In addition, highlights the gallery of kings, which honor the kings of Judea. The latter were destroyed in the French Revolution, when it was erroneously thought, that these kings represented the French kings.
The best experience when visiting the cathedral, is to climb the more than 400 steps of the towers to get an incredible view of the city of Paris and the Ile de la Cite. In short, you will come face to face with the famous and monstrous gargoyles. The majority that stops to appreciate it, conclude that they are ugly and that their only function is to evacuate the water from the rain, however, their particular design remains a true mystery. These gargoyles, should not be confused with the chimeras, which represent fantastic animals in a gloomy way, but unlike the former, they do not fulfill any function other than decoration. In the square, a bronze statue indicates that there begins kilometer 0 of all France and, below, an archaeological museum with medieval and Roman remains.
Around the gargoyles there is a legend, which describes that when Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, the gargoyles awoke during the night and were taken the lives of those who witnessed the death of Juana, knowing that she was innocent, but did nothing about it to avoid it. The next day, hundreds of bodies lay on the floor of the Parisian streets.
.In 1965, as a reason for the construction of an underground parking lot in the cathedral square, Roman ruins and remains of medieval houses were discovered under the cathedral.
.It is said that the crown of thorns, a nail and a piece of the cross, of the "Passion of Christ", are hidden somewhere in the cathedral, but for security reasons, it is not exposed to the public. Reason why, puts in question the veracity of the relics that this cathedral hides.
Victor Hugo wrote about the cathedral, in the romance Notre Dame de Paris, where events are related to the Middle Ages, having as a character Quasimodo. Also, it appears in the film of the hunchback of Notre Dame of Disney.
*Location: in 0 Km of France, in Ile de la Cite.
Cathedral: Monday to Friday from 8:00-18:45; Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00-19:15.
Towers: April-September from 10:00-18:30 (Saturdays and Sundays from July and August until 23:00); October-March from 10:00-17:30.
*Rates: (prices in euros).
Entrance to the cathedral...free.
Adult price towers...$8,50.
Under 18 years old...free.
EU citizens (18 to 25 years old)...free.
Adult entry to the crypt...$7.
Minor entrance (from 14 to 26 years old) to the crypt...$5.
Under 14 years old to the crypt...free.
(Free admission with Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass to the crypt and the towers of the cathedral).
*Duration: Two hours lasts the visit to the towers and the cathedral, without taking into account, the time in the row of the towers.
*Advice: Try to arrive before 10:00 in the morning, there is always a long line that is really slow, so you have to be very patient, approximately 2 hours of waiting.
*Best time: Autumn and spring.
*Website: Notre Dame