Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

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.

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

A glimpse of the famous gargoyles:

Notre Dame Cathedral 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:

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Cross Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral Candles

Notre Dame Cathedral Stained Glass

Notre Dame Cathedral Candles

Notre Dame Cathedral Statues

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral Model
A model of the entire cathedral

It never occurred to me that there was more to the cathedral than this western facade:

Notre Dame Cathedral

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:

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

And here it is from the side, adjacent to the Seine River (see views of the cathedral from the river in this post).

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

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!

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  • Justine

    Awesome! I got to visit a few years ago and it was beautiful! I didn’t take any photos inside, however, because there was a religious ceremony going on and it just felt disrespectful to do that while they were worshiping. It was so weird because as that was happening, hundreds of people were walking about talking and taking photos haha. Btw, I’ve been seeing all of your posts and see that it looks like you’re having a great time! I hope that all is well. Safe travels! 😉

    • Ah, lucky for me nothing major was going on while I visited. Perhaps you’ll get to go again 😉 Thanks for the lovely comment!

  • Kim

    I wanted to read Les Mis, but it was just so long hehe. I did rewatch Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame after coming back from my trip, but I never really got attached with that one like some of the other Disney movies (like the Lion King). It does make me curious as to what the original book is like.

    • Oh, I definitely read the abridged version 😉 And I’m so behind on my summer reading goals that I think the Hunchback will have to wait until the fall…

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