This is the heart of Paris – so much so that distances from Paris to every part of metropolitan France are measured from place du Parvis Notre Dame, the square in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris. A bronze star across the street from the cathedral’s main entrance marks the exact location of point zéro des routes de France.
Notre Dame, the most visited unticketed site in Paris, with upwards of 14 million people crossing its threshold a year, is not just a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture; it was also the focus of Catholic Paris for seven centuries.
Built on a site occupied by earlier churches and, a millennium before that, a Gallo-Roman temple, it was begun in 1163 according to the design of Bishop Maurice de Sully and largely completed by the early 14th century. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Revolution; architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc carried out extensive renovations between 1845 and 1864. The cathedral is on a very grand scale; the interior alone is 130m long, 48m wide and 35m high and can accommodate more than 6000 worshippers.
This card came from my friend Maya and on the back it simply says “I will take you there”. Well, I’m still waiting! 😀 It’s like a dream of mine to get to the top of the cathedral and take a picture with the Gargoyles. 😀