Here are some photos of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
I didn’t see Quasimodo inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He is, of course – along with Esmeralda – fictional. But this Catholic cathedral seems to be tied to his name or the other way around. Thanks to Victor Hugo who made this church the setting of his well-known novel,For literary fans, you can’t talk about Notre Dame without mentioning the Romantic-Gothic affair of Quasimodo and Esmeralda.
Inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
The Queue. It’s looooong. So be prepared when it’s hot in the summer. Unless, of course, if you’re there as soon as it opens.
The Icons at the Entrance / West Gate. Notre Dame was built in the 12th century. It is one of the most revered Gothic churches in France. Before you step into the entrance door, look up and see the details of the sculptures above you. They’re pretty amazing Christian icons.
The Holy Crown of Thorn. Inside, there’s a separate room (for an extra fee) where you can see the Holy Crown of Thorn. It is said that this is the same thorny crown that was placed on Jesus’ head while he was carrying the cross. A Passion relic, they say. I didn’t go inside but my friend did. She said, she didn’t see it there. 😀
The Stained Glass. They’re beautiful and head-turners. It’s hard not to appreciate them. The craftsmanship of these stained glass windows is lit! They’re not just decorations. If you look through your camera by zooming it in, you’ll find that those tiny figures actually tell a story. Take for example the rose-patterned window that shows the 80 scenes of the Virgin Mary from the Old Testament.
The Crypt. Sounds creepy, right? But, if architecture, archaeology, and history are your cup of tea, go down and see them for yourself.
Gargoyles. They’re creepy and they’re everywhere in the building.
To the Tower. I didn’t have the chance to get up there because I thought that the entrance to get to the tower was inside. Of course, I was so wrong and so I had to exit and turn right. When I arrived at the gate at 4:03, the lady guard said that no more visitors were allowed. Apparently, the last visitors get in is at 4:00 p.m.
Around the Cathedral. Do what I did. Sit outside in one of the cafes that surround the Cathedral. Get some cheese and wine. 😀 Well, I got a cheesecake and a glass of wine though. 😀 A walk from here, you’ll find Shakespeare and Company, a cafe and Paris’ favorite bookstore.
Sculptures. There are a lot of carved statues, big and small, inside Notre Dame. There’s this one that seems so weird to me. See the photo below. Is this the Gothic version of Michelangelo’s “Pieta?”
How to get to Notre Dame. Get on the subway line 4 and get off at Cite.
Where to Stay in Paris
This is a medium-priced hostel that’s a few steps from the Gare Du Nord metro stop. The hostel is reachable to a lot of cafes, restaurants, and grocery shops. The hostel itself has a fantastic bar with bulging security guards. 😉 The rooms are sizeable, clean, and well-ventilated. The bunk beds are comfy with electrical pugs and lamps.
How to Save Time and Money in Paris
Paris has an excellent transport system. There’s nothing to worry about getting from one tourist attraction to another. If you have more time in Paris, then, you can do it all on your own. And it would be cheaper and less time-consuming if you are on the Hop-On and Hop-Off Bus. However, if you only have a short time staying in the city and you want hassle-free preparation (especially avoiding long queues), then joining a Paris Tour is always a good idea!