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The Notre-Dame Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cathedral became legendary when Victor Hugo's novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, was published in 1831.
The belfry houses Notre-Dame’s largest bell, known as Emmanuel. The bourdon, or tenor bell, weighs 13 tons, and visitors can view it before entering the panoramic terrace that affords a 360-degree view of Paris.
Between the 11th and 12th centuries, Paris become the centre of French power intellectually, economically and politically. Maurice de Sully, Bishop of Paris, had the intention, in 1160, to build a monument for the Virgin Mary. Three years later, the first stone was laid in the presence of King Louis VII, the Young, and Pope Alexander III. The construction of the cathedral lasted for almost 200 years, with contributions from numerous architects such as Jean de Chelles, Pierre de Montreuil, Pierre de Chelles, Jean Ravy and Jean le Bouteiller. The cathedral was finally completed in 1345.
Notre-Dame Cathedral has suffered deterioration and damage through the centuries. During the French Revolution the cathedral was rescued by Napoleon I, who saved it from destruction and was crowned Emperor there in December 1804. Further much-needed restoration took place between 1845 and 1870 under the government of King Louis Philippe I. The architects Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and Jean-Baptiste Lassus oversaw the work.
Inside the cathedral there are many beautiful stained glass windows and one of the most impressive organs in France.
Monday - Friday: 8am - 6:45pm
Weekends: 8am - 7:45pm