The heart of the country, both geographically and spiritually, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame (Our Lady) stands majestic on the Ile de la Cité. After Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone in 1163, an army of craftsmen toiled for 170 years to realize Bishop Maurice de Sully’s magnificent design. Almost destroyed during the Revolution, the Gothic masterpiece was restored in 1841–64 by architect Viollet-le-Duc. Some 130 m (430 ft) in length with a high-vaulted nave and double side aisles, it also contains France’s largest organ.

  • 6 Parvis Notre-Dame-Place Jean-Paul II, 75004

  • 01 53 10 07 00 (towers)

  • 01 42 34 56 10 (cathedral)

  • Open: cathedral 8am–6:45pm daily (to 7:15pm Sat–Sun); towers Apr–Sep: 10am–6:30pm daily (to 11pm Sat–Sun Jun–Aug); ...

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