Ever since I’d learned about Notre Dame when I was 10, I’ve wanted to see it. The thought of the poor labourer struggling to make something so big and beautiful practically from hand is fascinating to me. I wish I could travel back in time and see it being built, as well as experiencing it in it’s glory.
- When I thought of Notre Dame, I’d imagined something huge, like the Milan Cathedral. Notre Dame is big. However, when seen in comparison to the buildings surrounding it, it looks almost quaint. Don’t get me wrong, Notre Dame is stunning. It’s stained glass windows are breath taking. The flying buttresses are beautiful, and you do experience the overall feeling of awe and immensity that you’re meant to, but it didn’t measure up to my childhood imaginings.
- Things to know about Notre Dame:
- Admission to the cathedral is free– the bell tower and crypt have a charge.
- You can get there via the M4 (get off at Cite Station) or RER B or C( get off at St.Michel).
- In the 16th century, Huguenots and the French King changed a lot of the cathedral and it’s contents in the name of modernisation. Many stained glass windows were removed and features on the exterior of the building changed, because they were thought to be idolatrous.
- During the French Revolution, the cathedral was used as a storage site for food. During this time, many of the statues heads in Notre Dame were removed.
- In 1804, Napoleon’s coronation was held at Notre Dame.
- The twin towers at the front of the cathedral have 387 steps to the top.
My one regret with visiting Notre Dame is not going up in the bell tower. By the time ‘J’ and I got to the Cathedral, the line to go up was horrendously long and we didn’t want to waste our day standing in line. In the future, I would make sure to arrive early to avoid a long line.