Notre Dame: Europe’s unrivalled attraction

Notre Dame: Europe's unrivalled attraction.

Notre Dame: Europe's unrivalled attraction. Image: Beboy /

While the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, and Disneyland Paris are undoubtedly famous spots, Europe’s most visited attraction is the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

With nearly 14 million visitors yearly, the cathedral remains a magnet for tourists, even following the tragic fire of 2019, as people contribute to its ongoing restoration.

Located on the Île de la Cité in the heart of the Seine, Notre Dame’s construction began in 1163 under King Louis VII and was finished in 1345.

Its stunning medieval Gothic architecture showcases the skill and creativity of its builders.

Flying buttresses were a key part of Notre Dame’s design, added to support its slender, towering Gothic walls and prevent structural issues.

These features not only strengthen the cathedral but also enhance its distinctive Gothic look.

Despite facing neglect and damage, notably during the French Revolution in the 1790s, Notre Dame gained widespread attention thanks to Victor Hugo’s novel “Notre Dame of Paris,” also known as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Hugo’s work highlighted the cathedral’s deteriorated state, leading to extensive renovations from 1844 to 1864 by architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc.

They focused on restoring the spire and flying buttresses, preserving Notre Dame’s beauty for future generations.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.