The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of those places where history, art, and the spirit of Paris converge. Though temporarily closed after the 2019 fire, the cathedral is set to open in 2024.
From its magnificent gothic interior, hallowed halls, and biblical stained glass windows, to its sculptures, and historical tombs — read on to discover what all awaits you when this UNESCO World Heritage Site reopens its doors.
One of the most renowned stained glass windows in the world, these works of art date back to the 13th century. They depict scenes from the Bible and from the lives of saints and kings.
The cathedral's three rose windows are laden with intricate designs and vibrant colors. The largest rose window, located on the west facade, is over 40 feet in diameter and depicts the Last Judgment.
Notre Dame is home to a vast collection of sculptures, including the famous guardian gargoyles and statues of saints and biblical figures. The most eye-catching sculpture is the Pietà by Nicolas Coustou found by the altar.
Awe-inspiring in their size and scale, with soaring columns and high ceilings, the nave is the central part of the church where the congregation gathers for worship. Alternatively, the side aisles are often used for processions and other rituals.
One of the most sacred spaces in the cathedral. This area houses some of the more important sections, including the altar and the choir stalls.
From crosses to crowns, and reliquaries, some of the most notable items in the treasury include the Crown of Thorns, believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion, and the Sainte-Chapelle Nail, one of the nails used to crucify Jesus.
Located beneath the choir and apse, the Notre Dame crypts contain the tombs of kings, queens, archbishops, and other notable figures. Some famous people buried in the crypts include King Louis IX of France and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria.
The wooden forests of Notre Dame Cathedral are a series of scaffolding used to construct the cathedral in the 12th and 13th centuries. They are still used today for maintenance and restoration work.
Located on the upper levels of the cathedral, the galleries offer vantage views of the interior of the cathedral and of the city of Paris.
Notre Dame's Great Organ is one of the largest and most impressive organs in France. It has over 8,000 pipes and is used for concerts and other religious services.
The Labyrinth of Notre Dame is a large stone circle located in the nave of the cathedral. It was originally used as a meditation tool by pilgrims.
The Bell Tower of Notre Dame is located above the west facade of the cathedral. It contains 13 bells, the largest of which weighs over 13 tons. The most famous bell in the tower is known as Emmanuel.
Notre Dame Cathedral is home to a vast array of treasures including ancient holy relics such as the Crown of Thorns. It also has the famous Rose windows, sculptures, the nave and aisles, the choir and apse, the treasury, the crypts, the wooden forests, the galleries, paintings, the Great Organ, the Labyrinth, and the Bell Tower.
No, the cathedral is currently closed to the public due to a fire in 2019, but it is undergoing a major renovation and is scheduled to reopen in 2024.
Some of the must-see highlights inside Notre Dame include the Crown of Thorns, the crypts, the Rose windows, the Pietà, the Great Organ, and the Labyrinth.
Some of the famous artworks inside Notre Dame include Pietà by Nicolas Coustou.
Yes, it rested in the cathedral’s treasury. The Crown of Thorns is an ancient holy relic believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ during the crucifixion.
Yes, the Notre Dame crypts contain the tombs of kings, queens, archbishops, and other notable figures. Some famous people buried in the crypts include King Louis IX of France and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria.
Yes, the Great Organ is one of the largest and most impressive organs in France. It has over 8,000 pipes and is used for concerts and other religious services.