Notre Dame

The Parc Saint Séverin Hotel invites you to discover this magnificent cathedral, the emblem of Gothic art at the historic heart of Paris on the Île de la Cité.

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Celebrated in Victor Hugo's novelNotre Dame Cathedral is a major landmark of Paris because of its architectural beauty and the important events that have taken place there. 

History of the Cathedral

Begun in the early 13th century through the impetus of  Sully, the bishop of Paris, the work continued for more than two centuries to build a cathedral dedicated to the mother of Jesus, which explains the many depictions of the Virgin Mary on the stained glass windows, in the sculptures and paintings. This is one of the biggest cathedrals ever built in the period, impressing visitors with its two rose windows measuring 13 metres in diameter, its gargoyles, towers and spires, and not forgetting its gigantic bells. During the 19th century, the cathedral underwent major and controversial restoration work, supervised by the architect Viollet-le-Duc, who said that "Restoring an edifice does not mean maintaining it, repairing it or redesigning it, but rather re-establishing it in a completed state that it may never have had at a given moment". To him we owe the impressive spire of Notre Dame, as well as the many grimacing statues designed to plunge visitors into a medieval atmosphere. The highlight of the visit is the panoramic view across the city from one of the cathedral's two towers.

A major historic monument

This is one of the most visited monuments in Parisat the heart of the history of France and located close to the Parc Saint Séverin Hotel. As the historian Michelet said, "Notre Dame is a history book in itself". Major political and religious events have indeed taken place here. Here Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, and the funeral ceremonies of Saint Louis, Sadi Carnot and Mitterrand also took place in the cathedral. Here, too, Henry IV converted to Catholicism and the liberation of Paris was celebrated in 1944 with the singing of a Te Deum. Notre Dame de Paris is also the scene for Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, where the splendour of the monument is celebrated in the adventures of Quasimodo and Esmeralda.

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