Even before the cathedral was built, other sacred buildings occupied this site. Work on the cathedral started in about 1150, culminating in the construction of one of the earliest gothic naves and the first portal depicting the triumph of the Virgin Mary.
The edifice of Notre-Dame de Senlis cathedral was remodelled in the 13th century: a two-storey high spire was added to the bell tower and the transept opened, shortening the nave.
In the early 16th century, the cathedral's timber rafters were destroyed in a fire and the vaults crumbled. The upper sections were rebuilt some 6 metres higher and the side façades exuberantly decorated.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Notre-Dame de Senlis cathedral, which was hardly damaged during the Revolution, was subject to successive restoration work. It perfectly illustrates the wide variety of Gothic styles.