Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris
Our Lady of Paris
  • Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris  (English)
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris  (French)
Notre Dame de Paris from pont de la Tournelle, Paris 22 March 2014.jpg
View of the eastern facade from the Seine
48°51′11″N 2°20′59″E / 48°51′11″N 2°20′59″E / 48.8530; 2.3498
LocationParvis Notre-Dame – place Jean-Paul-II, Paris, France
DenominationRoman Catholic
Functional statusActive
StyleFrench Gothic
Groundbreaking1163 (1163)
Completed1345 (1345)
Length128 metres (420 ft)
Width48 metres (157 ft)
Number of towers2
Tower height69 metres (226 ft)
Number of spires1
Spire height90 metres (300 ft)
ArchbishopMichel Aupetit
RectorPatrick Jacquin
DeanPatrick Chauvet
Director of musicSylvain Dieudonné[1]
Official name: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Reference no.PA00086250

Notre-Dame de Paris (French: [nɔtʁə dam də paʁi] (About this sound listen); meaning "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.[3] The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and best-known church buildings in the Catholic Church in France, and in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass serve to contrast it with earlier Romanesque architecture.

As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris, currently Michel Aupetit. The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism's most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.

In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration in the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991.


The western facade illuminated at night
The spire and east side of the cathedral
The north rose window is a fine example of Gothic Rayonnant style.

Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction began, the thinner walls grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern. The total surface area is 5,500 m² (interior surface 4,800 m²).

Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed for water run-off, and chimeras. The statues were originally colored as was most of the exterior. The paint has worn off. The cathedral was essentially complete by 1345. The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps at the top of several spiral staircases; along the climb it is possible to view its most famous bell and its gargoyles in close quarters, as well as having a spectacular view across Paris when reaching the top.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сабор Парыскай Божай Маці
dansk: Notre Dame
eesti: Notre-Dame
Bahasa Indonesia: Notre Dame de Paris
íslenska: Notre Dame
Nedersaksies: Notre-Dame van Paries
norsk: Notre-Dame
norsk nynorsk: Notre-Dame de Paris
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Notre Dame Sobori
Simple English: Notre Dame de Paris
српски / srpski: Нотр Дам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Notre Dame de Paris
Lingua Franca Nova: Notre Dame de Paris