top of page
La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

Notre Dame

12th century

Notre Dame is one of the most famous monuments in the world, attracting 12 million visitors per year.

She's considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture - and is protected as a world heritage site.

Her construction began in the 12th century and took 200 years to complete.

In the 12th century, medieval Paris was growing in size and importance.

A new and ambitious bishop, Maurice de Sully, wanted to build a cathedral to host his rapidly growing congregation and compete with other influential cities and abbeys.

He chose the flamboyant Gothic style - a new architectural style recently tested at the royal abbey of Saint-Denis, just outside of Paris.

It's hard to overstate how impressive Notre Dame would have been at the time.

She was the largest religious building in the Western world - measuring a massive 120 x 40 x 70m.

She towered above Parisian buildings - and remained the highest building in Paris until the construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1889!