If you asked most people what they thought was the most visited places in Paris, they would answer the Eiffel Tower. Some may even say the Louvre Museum. However, they would all be wrong. As the title of this article states, the most visited place in Paris turns out to be the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Why would a cathedral be more popular in Paris than the Eiffel Tower? We thought about that question while we toured Paris. We also asked a few people we met at the Notre-Dame Cathedral if they found it the most enriching attraction in Paris. Here’s what we found out.
The easiest answer as to why the Notre-Dame Cathedral is the most popular attraction in Paris is simple; it’s free. There is no cost to walk into a Cathedral in Europe. The Notre Dame Cathedral is still a functioning church. Can you imagine if people had to pay to attend a religious mass. Well, I guess there are some religions that make people pay to attend services, but as far as the Catholic Church goes, mass is still free. While the free entry to the Notre Dame Cathedral probably plays a role in its popularity, we doubt it’s the main reason why people visit the Cathedral. Furthermore, there are fees to enter certain sections of the Notre-Cathedral. However, the main floor of the Cathedral which contains the alter and pews is free to visit.
The next reason the Notre Dame Cathedral may be so popular is its easy access. The Notre-Dame Cathedral is easily accessible by train. There is a Notre-Dame subway stop right at the Cathedral. There are also major roadways leading up to the Cathedral. One of the major ports of entry into Paris is the Paris-Gare-de-Lyon train station which is only about fifteen minutes away. The beautiful river Seine also flows freely past the Notre-Dame Cathedral catching the eyes of millions of tourists who take boat rides across the Seine in full view of the Notre Dame Cathedral. It’s that first hand view of the Notre-Dame Cathedral that defines why it is the most visited tourist attraction. In full first hand view, it is simply breathtaking!
Standing in front of a Cathedral that had begun to be built back in 1163 is a spiritual experience. The Notre-Dame Cathedral may not be as large as the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne ,Germany, but its stature and history is just as mesmerizing. The Notre-Dame Cathedral stands within the shadows of history. During the French Revolution the Notre-Dame Cathedral was horribly damaged and yet still stands among it’s past own ruins The Notre-Dame Cathedral was rebuilt in the 19th Century and stands in the present as a reminder of France’s tumultuous past.
People who visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral on a daily basis are awestruck by the Cathedral’s stained glass, Gothic architecture, and gargoyles. It’s difficult to express the beauty of such a Cathedral in writing. The beauty of the outside of the Notre-Dame Cathedral is matched by its beautiful interior. Those who have the strength to climb the stairs to the towers, are able to celebrate the beautiful views of the Latin Quarter and Seine river from the top of the Cathedral.
We asked a few people what they thought of the Notre-Dame Cathedral and why they came to the place. They all responded the same way simply pointing to it’s beauty. One person said it was a symbol of the power of God. Another stated that the Cathedral watches over France.
The Eiffel Tower may be a symbol of Paris but the Notre-Dame Cathedral is a symbol of Paris and beyond. It is a reminder to people of what’s important in life. You can not help but be affected by it’s symbolism that reaches beyond earthly borders. It’e beauty, spirit and history is why people visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral more than any other place in Paris.
We recommend that once you visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral, your next stop should be the Paris Pantheon. We did a review on the Pantheon if you would like more information click on the link.