The city of Paris has two cathedrals and many churches. It’s easily argued that the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, or Notre-Dame for short, French for “Our Lady of Paris”, is the most famous. On any given day, be it a regular weekday or a Catholic holiday (especially a Catholic holiday), there is a long snaking entrance across the square that the cathedral looks onto, the Parvis Notre Dame – Place Jean-Paul II. After the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Paris. In the last few weeks before I left Paris, I had the (kind of) pleasure of visiting it twice. (I’ll explain that “kind of” a little later.)
With construction starting in 1163 and ending in 1345, the Notre Dame is 670 years old. It’s a prime example of French Gothic architecture, and is one of the biggest and most famous church buildings in the world.
I’m not really the kind of person who enjoys being in churches. While I have a lot of respect for people who follow a faith (as long as they have respect for those who do, I’m not a religious person, and being in churches and cathedrals makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I visit for the architecture and, while it’s very beautiful, Notre Dame is quite dark. The stone is dark and it feels quite cold inside, so I don’t really feel comfortable physically and morally while I’m inside it. (I also didn’t enjoy Notre Dame so much, but there is another reason involved in that and I will explain that in a soon-to-come rant about tourists.)
Despite my feeling uncomfortable while in churches/cathedrals, I can’t deny that Notre Dame is a stunning piece of work. The stained-glass windows were my favourite part!
I will leave you for now with some of the photos I took when I bothered to take my nice fancy-pants camera along with me on my third and final visit to the religious site.
Until next time,