Notre Dame De Paris, a 13th century Cathedral, sits upon a petite island in the Seine River and is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Attracting some 13 million tourists a year, it is one of the most visited tourist sight in Paris; it can be seen that Roman Catholics aren’t the only ones flocking to this shrine. Admirers of medieval architecture as well as people who seek merely a peaceful atmosphere will no doubt turn up here at some point of their lives. Here are some enjoyable activities to treat yourself to when visiting Notre Dame Cathedral:
- Notre Dame Climb the towers
After climbing around 400 steps of spiral staircase, brace yourself for a spectacular panoramic view of the city as well as the Notre Dame Cathedral. Apart from this breathtaking sight, you will also get a close up view of the ancient gargoyles which originally served the purpose of water spouts. Children in particular, will enjoy this activity.
- Attend Services and Worship
Take any seat a few minutes before the services commence, especially before Sunday and holiday services, which are open and free to all at Notre Dame De Paris. All services are in French, however the Sunday 11:30 am mass is international and partially in English. As a church, Notre Dame is fully dedicated to worship and extensively encourages pilgrims and tourists to pray and reflect. Masses are held 3 times a day and are so an additional attraction to devout Christians all over the world.
- Observe and admire the architecture at Notre Dame
The flying buttresses, the rose windows sit invitingly at the cathedral while the West Façade greets you up front. A massive solitary rose adorns the center of the façade while below it 3 portals, namely the Portal of Saint Anne, the Portal of the Last Judgment and the Portal of the Virgin, beckoning you through their massive wooden doors into a world of worship and spirituality. The original church spire of Notre Dame, which served as a bell tower as well, was taken down but a second one was restored in its place which is beautified by copper statues of the Twelve Apostles.
Apart from the above, the Notre Dame De Paris has a rich history. The tour guide, of course, will explain it in vivid detail, particularly with regards to the Portal of Last Judgment, as well as the efforts made to construct the “Our Lady of Paris” Cathedral. In short, it wouldn’t do to miss out the setting of Victor Hugo’s novel “the Hunchback of Notre Dame.”