Aside from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” movie made popular by Disney, I really don’t have much knowledge about the Notre Dame Cathedral. What is its significance? Why do millions of tourists visit it each year? But from what I could gather, the cathedral was home to many famous historical Parisian events. While I could not understand the magnitude of those events as a true Parisian would, I could still admire its fine French Gothic architecture and beautiful stained glass along with the rest of the world.
A glimpse of the famous gargoyles:
I knew that it was possible to climb to the top, but I didn’t do it this trip because of time limitations (the line to the top was LONG). However, that is something that I’d like to do at least once – to see the gargoyles up close and catch a spectacular view of Paris!
In contrast to my last visit to Paris 8 years ago, this time I was able to see what laid inside:
It never occurred to me that there was more to the cathedral than this western facade:
That’s what I always saw in pictures, so that’s what I thought the entire cathedral looked like! But after touring the inside and wandering around its perimeter outside, I got a better grasp of the cathedral’s layout.
I enjoyed discovering the cathedral from all sides. For example, here is its “back,” the eastern facade, which had a lovely little park/garden where I relaxed for a quick lunch:
And here it is from the side, adjacent to the Seine River (see views of the cathedral from the river in this post).
Afterwards, I felt inspired to go read & watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame, especially since it was written by Victor Hugo who also wrote one of my favorite stories, Les Miserables. Perhaps that’ll add more context to help me understand the significance of this historic cathedral.
Have you ever visited the Notre Dame Cathedral? Climbed to the top? What was your experience like?
Thanks for reading!