Paris Travel Planner   Cathedral Notre-Dame, Paris, France
For all its history, it is the art and architecture of Notre-Dame that will awe & delight you—but so will Paris's many other churches, which you can still enter.



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For more than eight centuries, the Gothic majesty of Paris's Cathédral Notre-Dame de Paris has dominated the Seine from its perch on the Île de la Cité.

Damaged by Fire

On April 15, 2019, during extensive renovations, a disastrous fire broke out in the forest of ancient oaken timbers supporting the cathedral's roof. Within a few hours, the roof and the spire were completely destroyed, some parts of the walls were weakend, and elements of the interior damaged or destroyed.

Stabilization and restoration work started within days, and was completed in September 2021, so the structure is no longer in danger of collapse. Note the red circle in the photo below, enlarged in the second photo:

Notre-Dame de Paris after the fire of April 2019

Notre-Dame de Paris under restoration, April 2019
Both photos taken April 26, 2019.

Restoration of the historic structure will take years, perhaps almost a decade, to complete, during which time we recommend you consider visits to Paris's many other grand churches. More...

A Bit of History

Begun in 1160 and finished a century and a half later, Notre Dame also dominates the ecclesiastical history of Paris.

The kings of France sat in splendor here to be crowned by the bishop of Paris in this hallowed sanctuary.

Napoleon was different: he seized the crown from the bishop's hands and placed it on his own head, symbolizing his self-reliant achievement.

Built in an age of illiteracy, Bible stories are everywhere, carved into the portals, painted on the altars, and emblazoned in the glorious stained glass windows.

Before the fire, you could climb up into the Towers for the view, but it will be years before this is again possible. More...

Needless to say, it will also be years before you will be able to visit the interior of the great church, though the exterior is still visible, if from a distance. But Paris has many other glorious churches: look here.

Métro: Cité or St-Michel
RER: St-Michel Notre-Dame

La Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Paris

Towers of Notre-Dame

Île de la Cité

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Cathedrale de Notre-Dame, Paris, France

Above: An unmistakable landmark: La Cathédrale de Notre-Dame, Paris, before the disastrous fire of April 15, 2019.


Notre Dame seen from the Left Bank
View of Notre-Dame from the Left Bank, before the fire (above), and after the fire (below).

Catledrale Notre-Dame de Paris after fire of 15 April 2019

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