Photograph by Barnyz

A visitor’s guide to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame makes a grand first impression. From its splendid location on the Île de la Cité, the Cathedral’s towers, spire, and flying buttresses seem to magically spring forth from the Seine River and soar ambitiously towards heaven. The seventy-meter high cathedral was, for centuries, the tallest building in Paris. A masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the greatest monuments of the Middle Ages. Although it may look archaic when compared to modern landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the cathedral features a revolutionary medieval scheme. The innovative Gothic technology of “flying buttresses” (support beams) was used to reinforce the massive structure.

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