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Visit Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is a novel by Victor Hugo and tells the story of a deformed bell-ringer at the Notre Dame Cathedral. In the actual Cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris, you are unlikely to find the hunchback. However, this Gothic cathedral is one of the finest attractions of Paris and merits a visit by all travelers. The Catholic place of worship has attracted visitors and worshippers from all over the world for its splendor and spiritual atmosphere.
Notre Dame de Paris is translated as ‘Our Lady of Paris’. The construction of this church began in the 12th century and ended in the 14th century. During the French Revolution, the Cathedral underwent severe destruction. In the 19th century, a restoration program restored glory to the Cathedral that is now a major tourist attraction.
Situated on Ile de la Cité, Notre Dame is an architectural wonder – its façade, spires and stained glass windows hold one’s gaze in admiration. The original spire of the Cathedral was a bell tower. However, the one built during the restoration was not one. It stands apart from the main structure of the Cathedral on an octagonal base. A rooster sits at the top of the spire, holding three relics placed there in the early 20th century.
The chiming of Notre Dame Bells rings out as a call of prayer. The great bell at the top of South Tower, Emmanuel, survived the destruction of the revolution. Four more bells were added in the North Tower in the 19th century restoration of Notre Dame. The great bell announces major occasions in the Cathedral, while the other four ring out at religious services and hours of the day.
The South Rose Window is a remarkable sight. It has 84 panes that are divided into four circles. Although, this marvelous creation has seen extensive damage over the centuries, it is still an awe-inspiring spectacle. The colorful depictions feature Christ, various prophets and angels.
Visits to the Cathedral are mostly free. There are guided tours for groups as well as individuals. You need to check the visiting hours and abide by them in order to avoid disrupting the services. In addition, one needs to observe silence inside the Cathedral and adhere to a decent dress code.
Notre Dame de Paris is a must-see for all travelers to Paris for its unique architecture and religious inspiration.