Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral, also known as Notre-Dame de Paris (“Our Lady of Paris”) or simply Notre Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral located on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité (island in the Seine River) in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, France. It is one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the city, and it is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. Notre Dame Cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The cathedral was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, and it has survived numerous wars, revolutions, and other historical events. It is famous for its impressive stained glass windows, its intricate stone carvings, and its towering spires, which reach a height of over 100 meters.

Notre-Dame is also home to many important religious and historical artifacts, including the Crown of Thorns, which is said to have been worn by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion. The cathedral is a popular tourist attraction, and it is visited by millions of people from all over the world each year.

In April 2019, Notre-Dame was the site of a devastating fire that destroyed much of the building, including its roof and its iconic spire. The fire caused widespread shock and grief, and it prompted an outpouring of support and donations from around the world. Since then, efforts have been underway to restore the cathedral to its former glory.

Despite the challenges it has faced, Notre-Dame remains an enduring symbol of the city of Paris, and it continues to inspire awe and reverence in all who see it.

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Notre Dame Cathedral Fast Facts

Notre Dame de Paris dates back to the 12th century. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site with Paris Banks of the Seine, it is one of the most beloved monuments in the world, visited by more than 12 million people every year before the fire.

  • Length: 420 feet (128 meters)
  • Width: 157 feet (48 meters)
  • Nave roof height: 115 feet (35 meters)
  • Tower height: 226 feet (69 meters)
  • Spire height: 315 feet (96 meters)
  • Only one of the cathedral’s three great rose windows retains its original 13th century glass

What year was Notre Dame Cathedral built?

Construction began in 1163 on Île de la Cité, under the reign of King Louis VII, and the cathedral was largely completed by 1345, although many modifications and additions were made over the following centuries. It is one of the oldest and most well-known cathedrals in the world.

Is the cathedral open?

No, it remains closed to the public until further notice. Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is scheduled to reopen to the public by 2024.

Notre Dame is still under restoration and reconstruction from the fire. No interior visits are possible at this time. In the meantime, you can explore Notre-Dame virtually.

The cathedral’s “parvis” (an enclosed area in front of a cathedral or church) is accessible to the public since May 2020.

Where is Notre Dame Cathedral?

The Cathedral is a medieval Catholic cathedral located on the eastern end of Île de la Cité (small island in the Seine River). According to historians, Notre Dame de Paris was built on the ruins of earlier religious sites: a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter and an early Christian Romanesque basilica.

Which arrondissement is Notre Dame in?

Notre Dame is  located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.

Notre Dame de Paris address

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

Notre Dame Cathedral’s Architecture

Notre Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture in France. Its construction spanned two hundred years, beginning in the middle of the 12th century, with modifications made in the 18th century and a major restoration project carried out in the 19th century.

Notre Dame Cathedral went through 5 major phases of construction:

  1. Initial Construction
  2. Modifications and Adornments
  3. Ongoing Modifications and Improvements
  4. Major Restoration
  5. Rebuild and Restore


Construction of Notre-Dame Cathedral Through Time

The cathedral has gone through many changes in the past centuries. Have you ever wondered how Notre-Dame de Paris came to be the iconic building it is today? Watch below to discover the different phases of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s construction, from the 12th century through today!

Discover related Architecture pages

The Architects
Cathedral Layout

Notre Dame’s History

This is a drawing of Notre-Dame Cathedral. It is used to illustrate the History section on the Notre-Dame Cathedral page The cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris has gone through many changes in the past centuries.

By the 19th century, Notre Dame de Paris had fallen into disrepair and was in dire need of major restoration. Victor Hugo sounded the alarm in his novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, which brought renewed interest in the cathedral and its fate.

Apart from cleaning the cathedral’s western façade in the 1990s, Notre Dame Cathedral did not have any significant restoration work in over 150 years. As a result of time, weather, pollution and the inferior quality of stone used in the 19th century restoration, the cathedral was again in dire need of repair. To address these critical conditions, a second major renovation project was launched by the French government in 2018.

On April 15, 2019, the entire scope of the project changed when a devastating fire broke out under Notre Dame Cathedral’s roof. The fire destroyed the spire and caused extensive damage to the roofvaults and interior of the cathedral.

Now, the mission is to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral. French President Emmanuel Macron has declared a deadline of opening the cathedral to the public by 2024, with renovation and restoration efforts continuing in the years beyond.

Discover related History pages

Progression through time
Saint Louis and the relics of passion
The builders

Explore Notre Dame virtually through its artifacts

Today, Notre Dame consists of a choir, apse, transept and a nave flanked by double aisles and square chapels. The central spire that was destroyed in the 2019 fire was added during restoration in the 19th century, replacing the original, which had been completely removed in the 18th century because of instability.

Sort by restoration or reconstruction status:
Statue of Saint Bartholomew
The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew
Saint Peter Healing the Sick with his Shadow
Sacristy & Treasury

Help rebuild, restore and protect Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral is not just a Parisian or a French monument. She belongs to the world, and she needs our help. Donate to Notre-Dame today!

Your donation to Notre-Dame Cathedral is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by US tax law.