Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame Cathedral is a historical Catholic church on Paris’ Île de la Cité that dates back to the laying of its first stone in 1163. Three years earlier, Bishop Maruice de Sully ordered the construction of Notre Dame because the church that stood on the same location was deemed to be unworthy. Construction continued through the 14th century, and modern refurbishments have allowed visitors to continue admiring its medieval splendor.
People visit this cathedral from all over the world to see one of the most beautiful and well-preserved examples of French Gothic architecture. Some of the highlights of the Notre Dame de Paris are the stained-glass windows, organ, furniture, bells, clock, paintings, and cathedral figures. Francois-Henri Clicquot built the first fully-integrated organ in the church in the 18th century, and it was rebuilt and renovated again several times. Notre Dame’s bells are among the most famous ones in Europe, and one particular bell, called Emmanuel, weighs more than 13 tons. Visitors are welcome to attend mass at the main altar at several times during weekends and weekdays.
Visitors can get a sense of the site’s history, architecture, and artwork by simply spending time inside this beautiful church. Visitors can also climb 387 steps to the top of the cathedral’s south tower, where panoramic views of the city can be seen on our Skip the Line Notre Dame Towers & Sainte-Chapelle Tour. We are happy to showcase the grandeur of Notre Dame to our guests in a number of different ways. No matter which tour you choose, be sure to not miss one of Paris’ most visited sites.
A message from the Fat Tire Tours Paris team:
As you are most likely aware of, the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire on April 15th 2019. We are shocked and devastated at the damage of one of France’s most reverent symbols, which is so very special to us. While we mourn what was lost, we are grateful that the worst was avoided and that the cathedral still stands with beauty, thanks to the efforts of the pompiers and Cathedral workers. We feel that now, more than ever, it is important for our guests to visit Notre Dame and see that despite the fire, she is still standing beautiful and strong.
Due to the fire damage, however, we will not be able to enter the cathedral nor the towers for the foreseeable future. Our Paris Night Bike Tour still visits the front of the cathedral which is still surrounded by a protective barrier but has a rendering of the beautiful portals of the main three doors that we can see up close. We’ll also have a chance to explore the aftermath of the fire and learn how the city is slowly rebuilding thanks to photos and information available for all to see surrounding the church. We feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to introduce many of our guests throughout the years to the Notre Dame Cathedral, and we look forward to continuing to share her history and beauty in the months and years to come.