The Cathedral of Notre Dame Paris is one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris. Lined with pink cherry blossoms in Spring, and situated along the River Seine, tourists crowd to get their chance to photograph the beauty.
We love Notre Dame so we opted to stay nearby in a stunning hotel, the Hotel Belloy. Our stay was prior to the terrible fires that happened in Notre Dame. However, we are confident that Notre Dame will soon be restored to its former glory!
Cathedral of Notre Dame History
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is over 800 years old and certainly one of the most iconic monuments of Paris.
The building is very precious to French people because it took over 200 years to build!
The building of the Cathedral first started in 1163 and was only completed in 1345.
Interestingly, Notre Dame is significant to both the French AND the English. The famous English King Henry VI of England was crowed in the cathedral in 1431.
The recent fire of Notre Dame was not the first time the Notre Dame cathedral was in trouble. It was in a state of total disrepair in the 1800’s only to be saved and restored by Napoleon.
The Notre Dame Cathedral also has connections with a hero of France, Joan of Arc, who assisted France to win many successful battles against the English. Sadly she was burnt at the stake. Her connection to the Cathedral is that in 1909, Pope Pius X beatified her in Notre Dame cathedral.
The Cathedral is still used in preset times for Sunday mass.
Sadly in April 2019, a fire broke out in the Notre Dame Cathedral, damaging the roof and completely destroyed a tower of the cathedral.
The French have dedicated a determination to restore Notre Dame to its former glory.
Despite the fire of 2019, tourists still appear in the masses to visit the Cathedral and take pictures with it and next to the beautiful River Seine.
10 Interesting Notre Dame Cathedral Facts
So now you have learnt a brief history of Notre Dame, here is a recap including 10 Notre Dame Cathedral Facts:
- During WW2, it was believed that German soldiers wished to destroy the stained glass. For its protection it was taken down and put back up after the war had ended.
- The Notre Dame Cathedral is also referred to as Our Lady
- It is 140 steps to see the Notre Dame Cathedral bell
- The Notre Dame Cathedral bell is now programmed to ring automatically.
- The Notre Dame Cathedral 17th century was still used up to the April 2019 fire
- There are many interesting drawings and engravings around the Cathedral with significance
- The towers are not identical twins in fact the North is a bit bigger than the South
- The gargoyles on the Cathedral were modern additions to the church
- The organ is the largest in France
- Bees live on the Notre Dame roof
Cathedral of Notre Dame Architecture
Another Notre Dame Cathedral fact is that the Cathedral is built in French Gothic architecture. This is a style of building that started in France in 1140. It continued to be popular until mid 16th century.
Other examples of French Gothic architecture are Chartres Cathedral and Amiens Cathedral.
Notre Dame Cathedral Hours
The Cathedral’s opening hours are as follows:
- Monday to Friday from 8AM to 6:45PM
- Saturday and Sunday from 8AM to 7:45PM
Notre Dame has however remained closed since the April 2019 fire. We would recommend viewing it from a distance.
Notre Dame Cathedral Tickets
The cost of entry is €10 for adults. Children are free to enter Notre Dame.
With the Paris Pass, admission is free.
Around the Notre Dame Cathedral are great places to stroll along the River Seine. There are many benches to sit as well as vendors selling painting and old books!
Notre Dame Cathedral Restaurants
If you are looking for a traditional place to eat near Notre Dame Paris, you can’t go past Au Bougnat.
The restaurant is located just a hop, skip and a jump away from Notre Dame.
The cost is around 18 Euros for a main. Here you can eat delicious French meals such as snails.
Best Hotel Near Notre Dame Cathedral
We wanted to stay near the Notre Dame during our Paris trip. We choose to stay at the Hotel Belloy as it is in very close proximity and is an absolutely beautiful hotel.
The hotel is very modern and chic with a beautiful lobby bar area. There is no way you will ever feel uncomfortable staying at the Hotel Belloy – something that is very important when going on vacation.
The hotel was designed by a very talented interior designer Sandra Benhamou. She designed the hotel to have an evocative feeling of French elegance with nods to literature.
The hotel and the staff provide a very relaxed and serene vibe so it is a perfect spot for some much needed R&R.
In our opinion, Hotel Belloy is also is the best hotel near the Notre Dame to stay in Paris.
Hotel Belloy has a total of 50 absolutely stunning rooms at the hotel. These include a variety of rooms and suites to meet different budgets.
We were stayed in a beautiful suite room with a large lounge suite, a plush double bed and two balconies overlooking the quaint streets of Saint Germain.
We would highly recommend staying in Saint Germain, it is without doubt one of the best areas to stay in Paris.
The suite rooms include a plush, comfortable bed, lounge chairs, a large floor to wall mirror, a coffee making machine and an old fashioned telephone – something we thought was a very cool touch!
Interestingly, on one side of the room you will find the toilet and the other side of the room you will find the bathroom. It is always nice to discover something new and different on vacation!
Our favourite part of the room however were the stunning twin balconies.
Paris balconies are one of our favourite parts of hotels in Paris because they are just so romantic. Don’t you agree?
The hotel is located in the Saint Germain district of Paris.
As we mentioned it is a stones throw away from Notre Dame as well as the Pantheon Paris and the Luxembourg Gardens. The hotel is just 450 metres from the Jardin du Luxembourg .
Here you will see locals relaxing in one of the best parks in Paris and children sailing their electric boats in the foundation in the middle of the garden.
We adored the cozy neighbourhood of Saint Germain. Every corner provided a quaint cafe or restaurant to explore. Saint Germain is one of the wealthier neighbourhoods in Paris and also a popular filming spot for movies in Paris!
We loved the breakfast at Hotel Belloy.
It was plentiful and included boiled eggs, meat, yogurt, cereals and mini pancakes with a wildberry coulis. Very delicious and highly recommended!
Interestingly, the breakfast is served in the basement of the hotel. This is very typical for Paris and we found it to be a great use of space! We love the warm, cozy stone breakfast room of Hotel Belloy!
Other Interesting things to do in Paris
Exploring Paris by scooter is so much fun. We would recommend Freescoot Paris which you can access by foot from Hotel Belloy
We felt like a scooter is also a perfect addition to create beautiful instagrammable images of Paris. You can ask the owner for the best places!
We also experienced the best lunch in Paris with a view! Believe me, once you see this view you will just have to visit!
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Disclaimer: We stayed at Hotel Belloy as guests. However, all opinions are our own.