Notre-Dame Cathedral also known as Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the main attractions of Paris. It is in the heart of Cité where was founded this wonderful city. It is just on the cathedral square that the kilometer zero of all national highways is located.
Both specialists and tourists are unanimous in opinion that the cathedral by its beauty, proportions and harmony is an exclusive sample of Gothic style in architecture. It was laid down by Archbishop Maurice de Sully in 1160 and finished only 170 years later.
Facade of the Cathedral is richly decorated. It has three portals: on the central one you can see the scenes of the Last Judgment. Left portal is dedicated to Virgin Mary, and right portal – to her mother St. Anne. Above the doors (portals) there is the famous Gallery of kings of Israel.
During French Revolution it was completely destroyed as the people thought them to be sculptures of French kings. A bit higher there is the rose window with original stained glass. In the right-side tower there hanged the famous six-ton bell having a peculiar sounding. Today it is rarely used though Quasimodo had often to toll it (or maybe it was just imagination of V. Hugo).
Observation Deck of the Cathedral located at the foot of towers is considered the most impressive in Paris. Apart from magnificent views of central Paris you can have from there, chimeras of Notre-Dame de Paris are undoubtedly its main attraction. Original sculptures were ruined. They were restored in the middle of XIX century. These chimeras are mentioned in world famous musical ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’. When looking at them you at once recall the novel of Victor Hugo, who shrouded the Cathedral with a mystic atmosphere.
The Cathedral accommodates about nine thousand people. As any other Gothic temple, it has no wall paintings, but it has many coloured stained glass windows, including three rose windows on the front and side walls. The chapel near altar houses the Christian relics – the Crucifixion Thorn of Jesus Christ, which was brought there in XIII century after crusaders plundered Constantinople during the fourth crusade.
The Cathedral is surrounded by a beautiful garden (or park) reaching the northern tip of the island. Both Parisians and tourists like to have promenades there. Low embankments look especially romantic in the district and are frequented by sweet couples.