Day One in Paris: Notre Dame Cathedral

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After a casual, unintended but very helpful pitstop at the Shakespeare & Company, it's time to cross La Seine to get over to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is only a short 5 minutes walk away. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a Catholic French gothic cathedral with amazing architectural details and I would definitely recommend visiting this attraction. Perched right at the edge of the La Seine river, it towers over most of the other buildings and is quite distinctive to spot.
Itinerary for Day One in Paris
1. Pantheon
2. Luxembourg Palace & Gardens
3. Restaurant La Bucherie + Shakespeare & Company
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
5. The Louvre Museum
6. Champ Elysees & Arc de Triomphe OR Jardin des Tuileries

Want an alternative one day itinerary in Paris?
>>> Itinerary for Day Two in Paris
>>> Itinerary for Day Three in Paris





There are a lot of tourists in the vicinity heading straight for the cathedral's amazing sights, but the large spaces still ensured a certain degree of comfort and freedom. The best part is there are no entrance fees, though you have to queue to get in. We arrived at the cathedral at around five in the afternoon. That was a fantastic timing because the sun rays were not as glaring anymore. The queue lasted for not more than ten minutes.
Important notes for the travelers
- Entrance fees to Notre Dame Cathedral: Free
- Queue waiting time: Varies, but we queued for 10 minutes
- Opening hours: 8am - 6.45pm (7.15pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
- Allocate 1 hour for the casual travellers, 2.5 hours if you intend to pore through details
- Best times to visit: Early morning on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays


Here are some of the architectural details. When I was there observing the cathedral and the surrounding buildings have to offer, there were so much details that the naked eye could hardly process it all. The cathedral's facade shows the Portal of the Last Judgment (read more of it here). If you looked closely, it is really quite gothic and graphic with their depiction.




These are the 28 statues that represent the Kings of Judah and of Israel, the ancestors of Christ. The first three kings of Israel were Saul, David and then Solomon. Above these figures, on either side of the façade, there are statues of Adam and Eve. In the centre, a large rose measuring almost 10 metres in diameter forms a halo above the statue of the Virgin Mary, who is flanked by two angels and presents us her Child, Jesus, the Son of God (read more of it here).



Visitors need to maintain silence and respect to those who are praying within the space.







There are many statues and depictions of different Biblical stories, along with short descriptions. It would be helpful to read up on some of the stories to appreciate them better.


Alternatively, the stained glass windows are too, a sight to behold. The South Rose Window (first) was a gift from the king Saint Louis and dedicated to the New Testament. It reached 12.90 metres in diameter and, if you include its bay, a total height of nearly 19 metres. It has eighty-four panes divided into four circles. The first one has twelve medallions and the second has twenty-four. A third circle is made up of quadrilobes, and the fourth circle has twenty-four trilobes medallions. The details are extremely complicated to be seen one by one - but to marvel at its entirety is a really humbling experience.




Such an astounding sight that met our eyes the moment we stepped out of the cathedral - with the sun rays pouring through the cloud openings. It felt like such a positive and extraordinary sign.
 


We had to cross the La Seine river again over to the other side (link to Google Maps directions) to reach our next destination - the Louvre museum. It is pretty crazy to walk this distance (1.7km), but we've already walked so much that day, it didn't make sense to start buying the day pass. Moral of the story: buy the metro day pass!!!

Important notes for the travelers
-  Metro directions from Notre Dame Cathedral to Louvre Museum: Cite> Chatelet > Rivoli











Well then again, if you are feeling really athletic, go ahead for the walk because you will definitely be rewarded with more sights like flower markets and strange Chinese restaurants. Till the next time when I'll be back with pictures from the Louvre!
Itinerary for Day One in Paris
1. Pantheon
2. Luxembourg Palace & Gardens
3. Restaurant La Bucherie + Shakespeare & Company
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
5. The Louvre Museum
6. Champ Elysees & Arc de Triomphe OR Jardin des Tuileries

Want an alternative one day itinerary in Paris?
>>> Itinerary for Day Two in Paris

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I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @spherepiece and Facebook page!

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