With its two majestic towers, its sky-scraping steeple and flying buttresses; the famous stained glass windows and great organ, Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most fascinating buildings in Paris.
Situated on the Ile de la Cité, the building's construction dates from the early 11th century and indeed it is a fine example of early Gothic architecture. The cathedral was restored in the 19th century, after suffering significant damage during the French Revolution.
It was at this time that Victor Hugo published his historical novel Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), featuring the famous characters of Esmerelda and Quasimodo the bell-ringer.
The cathedral rapidly became one of the most appreciated monuments in Paris, both for the French and for visitors from all over the world.
The archaeological crypt is well worth a visit, and don't forget to look out for "point zero": the point from which all distances are calculated within the French road system.
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