Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral

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West facade of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral , 2014
West towers from the southeast, 2015
View of the cathedral across the Seine from the southeast, 2015
Notre-Dame in November 2019 (after the fire )
The Cathedral from the Southeast, 1852
Notre-Dame and environs from the southwest, 2010

The Roman Catholic Church of Notre-Dame de Paris ("Our Lady of Paris") is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris . The Our Lady , that of the Virgin Mary , consecrated church was built in the years 1163 to 1345, making it one of the earliest Gothic church buildings of France . Her name in French is Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris , often just Notre-Dame. Its characteristic silhouette rises in the historic center of Paris on the eastern tip of the Seine island Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris .

The main axis of the church is roughly parallel to the near left bank of the right arm of the Seine, so the apse with the altar points in a direction about 30 degrees more south than east . The towers standing symmetrically on both sides of the other branch of the main axis are often referred to collectively as the west towers, on site a distinction is made between the north and south towers.

The two natural stone towers are 69 meters high. The interior of the nave is 130 meters long, 48 meters wide and 35 meters high; it offers space for up to 10,000 people. The slender wooden roof turret reached a height of 93 meters and also served as a fifth-order measurement point .

Victor Hugo's historical novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame , published in 1831 , the story of which is largely set in the building, found its way into world literature .

The cathedral suffered severe damage in a major fire on April 15, 2019 . On July 16, 2019, the French parliament decided to reconstruct Notre-Dame true to the original .


The construction of today's cathedral began at the time of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic and extended over almost 200 years. It is characterized by the fact that the choir was started in a largely Romanesque style , as the construction progressed towards the west, technical possibilities and stylistic devices of the Gothic were increasingly used, after eight and a half decades the building was as good as finished and the next century with Gothic Redesign, expansion and equipment of older components passed.

Previous buildings

The cathedral replaced a previous building, which was built under the rule of the Frankish King Childebert I (King from 511 to 558) in the years around 540/550 and was known as Cathédrale St. Etienne (Stefansdom). This makes its location - after that of the Panthéon and a burial chapel mentioned by Gregory von Tours near the Saint-Marcel necropolis at the time - one of the oldest of the known Christian places of worship within today's Paris city limits.

Four construction phases 1163–1345

The construction of the choir and its two galleries began in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and Louis VII . After completion, the choir was consecrated in 1182.

In the second phase the middle third of the nave was set to 1190, consisting of the crossing with transverse ship , the past three front yokes of the main ship and two yokes of the two northern and two southern aisles. The ship initially had no closure to the west.

With a diameter of 12 m, the rose window is one of the largest in Europe.

In the third construction phase from 1190 to 1225 the lower floors of the west facade and the front third of the nave were built, consisting of the foremost yoke of the main nave with the lower floors of the towers in front of the aisles and the second yoke of the main nave with the first two yokes of all four aisles. The first 18 years of this passed with the laying of the foundations. From 1208 the first floor of the west facade with the three large portals was built up and decorated. From 1218 the first two bays of the nave were raised, which were used to ensure the stability of the facade. From 1220 to 1225, the rose storey of the tower front with the western rose window was built . The entire length of the nave was thus built.

During the fourth construction phase from 1225 to 1250, the tower floors were built. Changes to the building plan and first conversions from this time are documented. From around 1230 the sloping roofs of the side aisles were replaced by flat terraces, which enabled larger windows in the upper aisle of the main nave. Chapels were added to the side aisles between the buttresses. After the completion of the south tower in 1240, it was decided in the same year not to add any spikes to the towers. With the completion of the north tower in 1250, the cathedral was effectively finished and functional.

Modernizations and extensions until the middle of the 14th century


In the meantime, it took offense that parts built early, such as the facades of the transept, were still built in Romanesque style and contrasted with the modern Gothic west facade. That is why the transept was partly demolished again and extended to the north by Jean de Chelles from 1250 and then to the south. He also created the new, Gothic north facade of the transept.

Meanwhile, new south facade created his successor, who also worked on the construction of the Sainte-Chapelle took Pierre de Montreuil . Then he began to replace the choir's Romanesque buttresses with Gothic ones. The next master builder, Pierre de Chelles, built the rood screen and began in 1296 to provide the double ambulatory with a wreath of chapels .

Jean Ravy was a builder from 1318 to 1344. He completed the last side chapels of the ambulatory and built the most elegant buttresses of the choir. In the interior he began designing the choir screens . His nephew Jean le Bouteiller directed the work from 1344 to 1363.

Its successor Raymond du Temple brought the construction work to a conclusion. Above all, he completed the choir screens.

Later history of the structure

In the Age of Enlightenment in 1728 the stained glass windows were replaced by white glass windows and the walls were whitewashed. In the following decades, most of the figures on the towers were removed. In 1793, the revolutionaries stormed the church and destroyed the interior, the metal objects of which were melted down in the Hôtel des Monnaies . In contrast to numerous French monasteries, the church was not demolished, but desecrated and declared a temple of the highest being , reason. Later it served as a wine depot.

After signing the Concordat in 1801 , Napoléon I allowed the cathedral to be used again for liturgical purposes in 1802, before he was crowned emperor here two years later. On February 27, 1805, Pope Pius VII made the church the first French basilica minor . But even that could not stop the decline that had begun by the revolution. In addition, during the July Revolution of 1830 insurgents devastated the archbishop's palace and the treasury adjacent to the church.

In 1905, like almost all French religious buildings, the building became state property through the law separating church and state .


Panorama: State of the church in 1909

It was not until Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame , published in 1831, that the beauty of the building was brought back into focus and contributed to the decision made in 1844 for a comprehensive restoration campaign under the direction of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc , which did not come to a conclusion until twenty years later came. Among other things, the damaged or missing sculptures were replaced and a new crossing tower made of lead-clad wood, resembling a tall roof turret, was built. In 1858, as part of the restoration of the archbishop's burial chamber, further graves were uncovered.

The westwork was cleaned in the 1990s .

Due to the recently poor condition of the cathedral, another major restoration was planned for 2019 to 2022 . The repair work began in April 2019.

Fire on April 15, 2019

Major fire in 2019

On the evening of April 15, 2019, a major fire broke out in the cathedral, which was brought under control early in the morning of the following day. Large parts of the oak roof structure burned, the wooden crossing tower collapsed and the vaults of the main aisles were broken through in at least two places. Numerous art treasures and relics could be saved.

On the same evening, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a reconstruction of the partially destroyed structure. The reconstruction should take place within five years.



The construction of the west facade began 45 years after the consecration of the choir and in a completely different style than the facade of the transept, which as a result was fundamentally modernized another 40 years later. It was completed around 1250, around the time the Gothic began in Germany. The facade of the Basilica of Saint-Denis , which was completed in 1137, and that of the Cathedral of Laon (1190) show trends that the building in Paris did not take up. It again offers the traditional box-shaped appearance with the emphasized horizontal elements, but in precisely calculated, balanced proportions.

West facade of the cathedral in 1840 ( daguerreotype )

The proportions of the facade are based on the arrangement of squares that are interwoven. This creates a rectangle with an aspect ratio of around 2: 3. In this way, the ideal of St. Augustine was to be realized: an architecture whose proportions were based on musical consonances, which in turn reflect the harmonious order of the universe. The central portal is only slightly highlighted compared to the side portals. In this respect, Notre-Dame is retrograde and is almost reminiscent of the Norman facade of the Saint-Étienne monastery church in Caen from 1060, 140 years earlier.

On the other hand, a decisive innovation in the facade design was introduced in Paris, namely the royal gallery above the portal zone as a symbol of the union of church and monarchy. The 28 figures represent the kings of Judah . As early as the 13th century, the people thought they were the kings of France. This series of larger-than-life royal statues has been adopted in some of the most important cathedrals in Paris, such as Reims and Amiens . The royal figures of the Paris cathedral are all modern interpretations. Their originals - which for the people generally represented the claim to power of the French kings - were destroyed, like many works of art in Notre-Dame, during the French Revolution . The figures were replaced by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc as part of the restoration work from 1845. Two of the royal figures have the facial features of Viollet-le-Duc and Jean-Baptiste Lassus. In 1977, 21 of the 28 original heads were rediscovered. They are exhibited today in the Musée national du Moyen Âge .

The royal gallery with 28 figures extends over the western facade
Main portal in the middle of the west facade

Notre-Dame has important figure portals on both the west facade and the transepts. The three portals on the west facade were heavily restored in the 19th century and only a small part of the original substance is still there. When Notre-Dame was consecrated into a temple of reason in the course of the French Revolution , most of the representations were destroyed or badly damaged. However, since the original program and appearance were known, the restorers largely stuck to the medieval condition.

The north of the three west portals, the Portail de la Vierge, is the oldest. It was created around 1200 and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary . In the tympanum, the pediment above the portal, the so-called Coronation of Mary is shown. The lintel below shows Mary, raised by Christ, who, in the presence of the 12 apostles, is lifted from her coffin by two angels. The bottom part shows representations of prophets.

The central west portal, the Portail du Jugement dernier, was built a little later than the Portal de la Vierge. Representations of the Last Judgment were widespread in medieval Gothic and can also be found on portals of other major cathedrals. At the top of the tympanum, Christ is depicted as the judge of the world. An angel can be seen directly below Christ with a weighing pan weighing the souls of the deceased. Immediately next to him stands a devil who argues with the angel about which dead will go to hell (to the right of the devil) and which to go to heaven (to the left of the angel).

The southern side portal, the Portail Sainte-Anne (around 1230), is the youngest of the three west portals, but has the oldest elements; they date from the 12th century and were used for the tympanum and a lintel. It is named after St. Anne and thematically corresponds to the Portail de la Vierge on the other side. In the center of the tympanum, the Virgin Mary is shown enthroned, holding the blessing Baby Jesus on her lap.


Buttresses on the south side
System of the choir, representation by August Essenwein

The buttress from 1180/1200 is considered to be a crucial invention in the history of Gothic architecture, which was initially attributed to the architects of Notre-Dame, Pierre de Montreuil and Jean de Chelles . So far it is not certain on which structure the open buttress was used for the first time. Subsequent enlargements of the window areas, structural damage or restorations have obscured the original condition of many earlier buttresses. In Paris the struts were initially built into the gallery roofs.

Between 1160 and 1180 the first buttress arches rising above the aisle roofs were built, possibly not at Notre-Dame, but a few hundred meters further at St. Germain-des-Prés . The strut system of the Notre-Dame would therefore have been enlarged and raised later. However, exact data are not available here.

It is possible that the Paris flying buttresses did not emerge until after 1200, after those of Bourges and Chartres , because Notre-Dame de Paris initially had no vaults but a wooden ceiling, which is why there were hardly any problems with the sideshift. The first architect of the Paris cathedral did not yet know how to support such a high vault and left the problem open to future generations. Only the second architect was able to build on the experience elsewhere, pulled in the vault and supported it on the outside with the open buttress. Because of the comparatively earlier start of construction on the entire cathedral in 1163, it was long believed that the buttress was invented at the Notre-Dame cathedral.

Up until then, attempts had been made in architecture to divert the vaulting via thick walls or via chapels, aisles and galleries. There were some pre-forms of the Gothic buttress, e.g. E.g. at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople in the 6th century or with common choirs from around 1160 in Normandy and Île-de-France. But in Paris around 1160/80 a completely new idea arose, namely to build a separate construction for the vaulting next to the actual church, and only this is called Gothic buttress.

With the invention of the buttress as an external support for the vault, a whole new dimension came into Gothic cathedral construction. Only now was it possible to use the combination of ribbed vaults, pointed arches and buttresses to direct, concentrate and shift the weight of the vault and the sideshift to the outside. The outer support system could hardly be suspected from the inside. Only now could the Gothic principle of dissolving the wall, the transformation of the wall into a layer of light shining through, disembodied glass, be carried out correctly, since the wall was relieved of a large part of its supporting function. Inside the cathedral there was now that much-quoted "ascending disembodiment".

This meant that you could build at completely different heights , because the problem of the arching system was largely independent of the construction of the interior. With a vaulted height in the central nave of 32.5 meters, Paris also reached a height that had previously been considered impossible. Sens , Noyon and Laon ranged between 22 and 24 meters. So Notre-Dame was ten meters higher. The height of the vaults in the Gothic cathedrals of France will increase to the absolute maximum of 48 meters in Beauvais .


Drolerie on the Notre Dame Cathedral

The famous grotesques of the "Galerie des Chimères " , which look down on the city from the upper balustrade (see also Drolerie ), have had an apotropaic meaning since ancient times , so they were supposed to ward off evil magic. The monsters of all kinds are a specialty of Romanesque art. In the 13th century, their depiction in preferred places such as the portals declined noticeably, probably due to the strong influence of the Cistercian monks . So the strange mythical creatures in Gothic times were only attached to the rainwater spouts.

The original gargoyles were removed in the 18th century when some began to crumble from the weather and fall 60 meters onto the pavement. The figures are now copies or new creations from the 19th century and influenced by the novel by Victor Hugo. You can see that up close in the concrete character of the material.

inner space

Look into the choir
Vault in the nave (slightly warped due to the slightly offset columns)
The floor plan of Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame is the last great early Gothic cathedral in France and at the same time the last and largest gallery church. The five-aisled interior measures almost 130 meters in length and offers space for around 9,000 people. The central nave reaches a height of 32.5 meters. The view to the east into the choir does not show the original picture from the 12th century, because when the original choir was completed in 1182 there was no tracery . The interior has also undergone radical changes between the initial and final completion. It didn't even have a vault to begin with.

The main nave originally had a four-storey wall elevation with a triforium as in the cathedrals of Noyon and Laon. Since the interior was too dark with the arcades of light only beginning at a great height, this was changed from 1220 to a three-storey wall structure with a tracery storey in the upper storey based on the Reims model.

At one point - around the crossing - Viollet-le-Duc reversed the change in the 19th century in order to at least document the original condition here. What appears to be a style break in today's building design can be explained by the monument preservation intentions that began at that time and that did not exist in the centuries before.

Retaining Romanesque shapes, the columns delimiting the main nave have a round cross-section and end in capitals under the arches of the aisles . In Gothic design language, however, the services on it lead into the vaults of the main nave.

The central nave and transept are 32 meters taller than the side aisles and around 12 meters wide, about twice as wide. In order to give each yoke an approximately square aspect ratio on the one hand, and to lead all services to the apex on the other hand, one main nave yoke corresponds to two aisle yokes in the longitudinal direction, rests on six columns and has six fields. The inner yokes of the transepts, separating the aisles from the ambulatory, and the two front main nave yokes of the choir are also designed. The last main bay of the choir with the polygonal apse has eight fields. The vault of the crossing has of course only four fields, as well as the outer yokes of the transepts, which deviate strongly from the square floor plan and were only built in the expansion phase.

In the rows of columns that separate the inner and outer aisles from each other, every second column has a more Gothic design, here almost the entire shaft is surrounded by services.

South transept facade


The floor plan shows the unusual shape of the Notre-Dame choir. The ambulatory and chapel wreath actually only continue the side aisles of the nave and encircle the choir with mathematical precision. In 1330 the choir chapels were added, so that the cathedral looked as if it had seven aisles and the transept in the middle was barely visible.

In order to allow the transept to protrude beyond the alignment of the chapel walls, the old transept facade was demolished as early as 1267 and this component was extended by a yoke on both sides and given a new facade, which was now so artfully and lavishly designed that it was no longer threatened to perish in the rest of the building. The new, huge windows are the finest tracery. They belong to the best and most beautiful that there is in the field.

The style level of the tracery windows is referred to in art history as "rayonnant", that is, radial. From 1270 to 1380 the tracery style prevailed in France (high Gothic). The transept facade of Notre-Dame in Paris is also one of the first and most important of this style level.


Starting the construction of churches with the chancel or choir and consecrating it, i.e. handing it over to its function long before the other parts were completed, was the usual procedure at a time when worship was primarily understood as the service of the priests to God has been. Some churches from the Middle Ages still consist of what the choir was once supposed to be. However, the fact that the modernization of older parts was started, hardly that the original plan was more or less complete, is seldom as clear as in the case of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The Gothic architectural style developed around the French royal court. Still, it is not surprising that it was not the capital's cathedral that was the first large Gothic church, but the Saint-Denis abbey church . Paris was not yet the dominant metropolis in the country. As the burial place of kings, the abbey church had a top position among the churches of the kingdom. France was not yet ruled in an absolutist way as it was under Louis XIV. The builders of the large churches were, apart from royal donors, high officials of the church. When and where architectural innovations were introduced largely depended on their ambitions. These powerful churchmen included Suger de Saint-Denis , abbot 1122–1151, and Maurice de Sully , bishop of Paris 1160–1196.

World Heritage

The cathedral is, as part of the bank of the Seine in Paris , since 1991 a World Heritage Site of UNESCO .



Folk altar, in the background the marble Pietà

Of the former high altar in the choir, which has been renewed several times - most recently by Viollet-le-Duc - only the cafeteria is preserved, above which a marble Pietà by Nicolas Coustou rises. It is flanked by two marble sculptures: on the left Louis XIV of Coysevox , on the right Louis XIII. by Guillaume Coustou , both kneeling.

Jean Touret (1916–2004) designed the current bronze folk altar in the area of ​​the crossing in 1989 on behalf of the Archbishop of Paris , Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger . On the front side, the four evangelists of the New Testament ( Mark , Matthew , Luke , John ) can be seen in a modern, abstract way , on the two short sides the four great prophets of the Old Testament ( Isaiah , Jeremiah Ezekiel , and Daniel ). Judaism and Christianity, the Old and New Testaments are put into a direct connection here. In connection with Christian prefiguration theology , the Old Testament is interpreted as a reference to Christ: It is intended to portray Jesus Christ as the fulfiller of the Old Testament Jewish promise of salvation, of which the evangelists testify:

  • According to the testimony of the Bible, Isaiah saw God in the holy of holies surrounded by six-winged seraphim , who proclaim his holiness ( Isa 6: 1-3  EU ), prophesied the promise of the virgin birth of the Messiah ( Isa 7:14  EU ) as a descendant of David and announced that Atonement of the Messiah ( Isa 52,13-15  EU to Isa 53,1-12  EU ).
  • In his message, Jeremiah emphasized the new covenant of peace and justice and announced the Messiah from the house of David ( Jer 23 : 1-8  EU ). For Christian theologians, the fate of Jesus Christ is heralded in the passion of the life of Jeremiah and his submission to the service of God.
  • Ezekiel's vision of God with the Tetramorph (four-figure) ( Hes 1.4 to 28  EU ) was the author of the New Testament apocalypse acquired and interpreted the four winged creatures of Christian iconography as evangelists symbols. Christian theologians interpret Ezekiel's announcement of the Messiah as “Good Shepherd” as referring to Jesus ( Ezek 34 : 1-31  EU ).
  • Daniel announced that the Messiah's kingdom would encompass all peoples and be without end. It is a kingdom of the saints ( Dan 7.13-18  EU , Dan 3.33  EU , Dan 4.31  EU ).

Choir screen

Detail of the northern choir screen: Mary visits Elizabeth, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi

The choir screen separates the inner choir from the ambulatory surrounding it. The sculptures attached here were created between 1300 and 1350 by Pierre de Chelles, Jean Ravy and Jean Le Bouteiller and show nine scenes with the apparitions of the risen Christ in the south, while the life of Jesus from childhood to death is depicted in the north.

Church treasure

Part of the church treasure can be viewed in an annex. In addition to historical goblets and robes, there are old crucifixes in magnificent cupboards. The two containers designed in the Napoleonic period for the crown of thorns and a cross nail are important . The relics were originally housed in the specially built Sainte-Chapelle and are now under lock and key in the cathedral.

Organs and organists

View of the main organ and the west rose window

The history of ( organ ) music in Notre-Dame goes back to the late 11th or early 12th century. The earliest concrete evidence of the existence of an organ dates back to 1357. It was a block structure, which hung as a swallow's nest organ in the main nave and was presumably built in the middle of the 13th century. Today Notre-Dame has two organs: the Great Organ , the core of which goes back to a Cavaillé-Coll organ from 1868 (using older pipes from the 17th to 19th centuries) and was extensively rebuilt several times between 1904 and 2014 and currently has 115 stops on five manuals and pedal. The two-manual choir organ was built in 1969, rebuilt and expanded repeatedly between 1970 and 2005 and has 30 registers.

There are currently three titular organists in Notre-Dame : Vincent Dubois , Olivier Latry and Philippe Lefebvre .


Bourdon Emmanuel , the cathedral's largest bell

The history of the church bells of Notre-Dame dates back to the 12th century. Immediately before the beginning of the French Revolution (as of 1769) the cathedral had a total of 20 bells. In 1791 and 1792 a large part of the bells of the two towers fell victim to the revolution.

Today 10 bells hang in the two west towers of Notre Dame. Of particular importance is the largest bell in the south tower, the Emmanuel , which is praised as the melodious bell in France. The so-called "Grand Bourdon" was cast in 1685 by the three Lorraine traveling founders and was the only bell to survive the turmoil of time.

In 2013 another Bourdon, the so-called "Petit Bourdon" Marie, was hung in the south tower . A total of eight new bells were hung in the north tower.

Three small bells from 1867 hung in the crossing tower until 2019. In addition, there were three small clock bells in the attic of Notre Dame, which could only be heard in the interior of Notre Dame.

Ownership structure, maintenance costs, visitor numbers

In 1905, like almost all French religious buildings, the building became state property through the law separating church and state . As a monument (Monument historique) , the building is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture . Of the 40 to 50 million euros that the ministry spent annually on religious buildings throughout France, the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral benefited around 2 million euros a year for maintenance and restoration before 2018. Most of the 12 to 14 million annual visitors came to see the church for free; the towers, which are chargeable to climb, were visited by 476,000 tourists in 2018.

Even before the major fire, the French state launched a program of restoration work planned over 10 years for a total of 60 million euros, for which the acquisition of extensive donations was planned, which the state promised to supplement with special contributions. In this context, the renovation of the top over the crossing, carried out before the major fire, was estimated to cost 12 million euros, of which the state raised 4 million.

The normal operating costs are borne by the Catholic Church, to which the state leaves the building for religious use. They also amount to several million euros per year (prior to the fire in 2019). In winter alone, heating cost around 1,000 euros a day. About 50 employees are employed to maintain the company; there are also dozens of volunteers. The church serves as a source of income, among other things, the souvenir and devotional items shop in the cathedral, whose income flows to it. For example, 80,000 rosaries were sold there every year up to the major fire .

Although the Church and State Separation Act of 1905 prohibits the charging of fees for visiting cathedrals in France, an exception was made in 2006 specifically for Notre-Dame de Paris. Thus (up to the major fire in 2019) the visit to the church treasury and that of the towers were paid for by the visitors, the former under the responsibility of the church-related association Association Maurice de Sully , the latter through the state monument preservation institution Center des monuments nationaux . The income went to the person responsible for the organization. In addition, an association for church music, the Association Musique sacrée à Notre-Dame , organized weekly, paid concerts and maintained church choirs for children and adults. So far (as of the fire in 2019) the clergy opposed the revocation of the free access to the nave.

Notre Dame School

The Notre Dame School , which was operated from around 1160 to 1250, is significant in terms of music history . Its name is derived from the Paris cathedral church, where the two main representatives of the school of composition, Léonin and Pérotin , worked as masters.

Special events

The history of Notre-Dames reflects the history of France.


The following were buried in the cathedral:

  • 1161: Philip of France († 1161), dean of St. Martin de Tours, archdeacon of Paris
  • 1190: Isabella von Hainaut (Isabelle de Hainaut, * 1170; † March 15, 1190), first wife of King Philippe-Auguste , died giving birth to the twins named below at the age of 20
  • 1190: Philip of France (March 15, 1190 - March 18, 1190), son of King Philippe-Auguste and his wife Isabella of Hainaut, at the age of 3 days
  • 1190: Robert of France (March 15, 1190 - March 18, 1190), twin brother of the aforementioned, at the age of 3 days
  • 1415: Ludwig von Valois, Duke of Guyenne (born January 22, 1397 in Paris, † December 18, 1415 there), son of King Charles VI. and his wife Isabeau , aged 18
  • 1531: the heart of Luise of Savoy , Countess of Angoulême (born September 11, 1476 - September 22, 1531), mother of King Francis I.
  • 1654: Jean-François de Gondi (* 1584; † March 21, 1654 in Paris), first Archbishop of Paris
  • 1643: the bowels of King Louis XIII. ; the heart was buried in the Couvent des Grands-Jésuites monastery (Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church)
  • 1643: Jean Baptiste Budes von Guébriant (* 1602 in Plessis-Budes, † November 24, 1643 in Rottweil) was a marshal of France.
  • 1715: the bowels of King Louis XIV ; the heart was buried in the church Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis of the Jesuit monastery Maison professe de Paris (also called Couvent des Grands-Jésuites ) in the Rue St. Antoine.
  • 1807: Napoléon Charles Bonaparte (born October 10, 1802 in Paris, † May 4, 1807 in The Hague) son of Hortense and Louis Bonaparte, Queen and King of Holland, nephew of Napolèon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, and grandson Josèphine de Beauharnais , Empress of the French
  • 1808: Jean-Baptiste de Belloy (born October 9, 1709 in Morangles, Dép. Oise, † June 10, 1808 in Paris), Archbishop of Paris and Cardinal
  • 1840: Hyacinthe-Louis de Quélen , Archbishop of Paris 1821–1839, tomb in the Saint-Marcel chapel


Noteworthy weddings

Other historical events

Cathedral forecourt

“Kilomètre zéro”, the fundamental point of France in front of the main entrance to the cathedral

On September 3, 2006, the square in front of the cathedral Parvis de Notre-Dame was solemnly renamed Parvis de Notre-Dame - place Jean Paul II due to the great historical contribution of Pope John Paul II . The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, had this in April 2006, despite violent protests from opposition political groups, e. B. Les Verts , which pointed to the preservation of the principle of secularity of the state, enforced in the city parliament.

France's kilomètre zéro ( kilometer zero ), the reference point for the distances z. B. the highways leading to Paris, is in the square in front of the cathedral.

The cathedral forecourt has been closed to the public since the fire in April 2019. So far it cannot be foreseen when it will be made available to the public again.

Notre-Dame de Paris in literature and film

  • Victor Hugo (1802–1885) wrote the historical novel Notre-Dame de Paris in 1831 , a German translation under the title The Hunchback of Notre-Dame . Among the numerous film adaptations, the version The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Jean Delannoy (1956) with Anthony Quinn and Gina Lollobrigida is one of the best known. Unlike other film adaptations, it was actually shot on the original location.
  • Christine Le Goff, Gary Glassman (Director): Cathedrals - marvels of the Gothic. Fri, 2010, 81 min. (Compared with Beauvais and Amiens)
  • Isabelle Julien: The organ of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral . Fri, 2015, 53 min. (Guided tour through the sections of the organ. It was largely rebuilt in the 19th century by the organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The building history is explained and made audible at the console. In the broadcast by arte france about the Organist Olivier Latry and the organ builder Philippe Guyonnet can also experience historical recordings by former organists and see many impressions of the interior.)

See also

In Paris, the parish church of Saint-Eustache (1532–1640) is often used to compare the cathedral , which was also built on a previous building at the end of the Gothic period, in the transition to the Renaissance . In addition to their special shape and size, this also applies to their main organ.


  • Flavio Conti (ed.): Monuments of mankind. Volume 2: Landmarks of Faith and Culture. Bertelsmann-Lexikon-Verlag, Gütersloh 1978, ISBN 3-570-02676-0 , pp. 41–56.
  • Alain Erlande-Brandenburg , Caroline Rose (photographs): Notre-Dame in Paris. History, architecture, sculpture. Translated from the French by Claudia Baumbusch. Herder, Freiburg 1992, ISBN 3-451-22536-0 .
  • Christian Freilang : Masterpieces of Church Construction. Reclam, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-15-018599-5 , pp. 118-119.
  • Claude Gauvard: Notre-Dame de Paris, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-8094-4176-2 .
  • Dieter Kimpel, Robert Suckale : The Gothic architecture in France 1130-1270. Hirmer Verlag, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-7774-4040-X , pp. 148-162, 410-421, 527-528.
  • Rolf Toman (Ed.): Ars Sacra. Christian art and architecture of the occident. Ullmann, Potsdam 2010, ISBN 978-3-8480-0056-2 , pp. 312-313.
  • Rolf Toman (Ed.): Gotik. Image culture of the Middle Ages 1140–1500. Ullmann, Potsdam 2012, ISBN 978-3-8480-0056-2 , pp. 76-79.
  • Rolf Toman (Ed.): Churches, monasteries, cathedrals. A journey to the most important masterpieces. Ullmann, Potsdam 2015, ISBN 978-3-8480-0688-5 , pp. 300-303.
  • Pascal Tonazzi: Florilège de Notre-Dame de Paris (anthology). Editions Arléa, Paris 2007, ISBN 2-86959-795-9 (French).
  • André Trintignac, Marie-Jeanne Coloni: Découvrir Notre-Dame de Paris. Editions du Cerf, Paris 1984, ISBN 2-204-02087-7 (French).

Web links

Commons : Notre-Dame de Paris  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. New law regarding Notre Dame says restoration must preserve its 'historic, artistic and architectural interest'. Retrieved January 4, 2020 .
  2. a b "Notre-Dame de Paris" crumbles. Deutsche Welle , February 6, 2018, accessed April 16, 2019 .
  3. ^ Knut Krohn: Spectacular work on Notre Dame in Paris. In: General-Anzeiger (Bonn) . April 11, 2019, accessed April 15, 2019 .
  4. Fire in cathedral under control, April 16, 2019 (05:36, update 08:59), accessed April 16, 2019.
  5. Which relics and works of art could not be saved by Notre-Dame - and which not. star of April 16, 2019.
  6. Notre-Dame saved from total destruction. In: FAZ.NET . April 15, 2019, accessed April 16, 2019 .
  7. After a fire disaster - Macron announces the repair of Notre-Dames within five years. In: Spiegel online. Spiegel online, April 16, 2019, accessed April 17, 2019 .
  8. ^ Nussbaum, Norbert / Sabine Lepsky: The Gothic vault. The history of its shape and construction. Munich 1999 and Darmstadt. Scientific Book Society 1999, p. 77.
  9. ^ Koch, Wilfried: architectural style. The great standard work on European architecture from antiquity to the present. Munich 1994, p. 47.
  10. ^ Binding, Günther: What is Gothic? An analysis of the Gothic churches in France, England and Germany 1140–1350. Darmstadt. Scientific Book Society 2000, p. 107.
  11. Brooke, Christopher: The Cathedral in Medieval Society. In: Swaan, Wim: The great cathedrals. Cologne 1969, p. 61.
  12. Entry on the website of the UNESCO World Heritage Center ( English and French ).
  13. ^ Jean Touret - Sculpteur - Biography courte . In: . Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  14. Information on the history of bells ( Memento from July 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (French)
  15. a b c d Martine Robert: Notre-Dame de Paris: entretien, rénovation, fonctionnement, qui paie quoi? In: . April 18, 2019, accessed January 4, 2020 (French).
  16. Renaissance et Réforme: 24 août 1572: Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy à Paris
  17. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  18. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  19. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  20. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  21. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  22. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  23. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  24. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  25. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  26. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  27. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  28. Waltraud Hahn: Article “Paris”, Marienlexikon, ed. on behalf of the Institutum Marianum Regensburg eV by Remigius Bäumer and Leo Scheffczyk, Volume 5, St. Ottilien 1993, pp. 91-96.
  29. Vehicle with gas bottles discovered near Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral on, accessed on April 15, 2019.
  30. French 'jihadist' jailed 8 years at, accessed April 15, 2019.
  31. Trump publishes list of allegedly ignored attacks - but some things do not fit with, accessed on April 15, 2019.
  32. How the "Welt" reported on Trump's "under-reported" terrorist attacks ( memento of the original from April 25, 2019 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice., accessed on April 15, 2019. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  33. Documentary film ( Memento of the original from February 13, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. by Arte @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  34. Documentary film ( Memento of the original from February 13, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. by Arte @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Coordinates: 48 ° 51 ′ 10 ″  N , 2 ° 21 ′ 0 ″  E