Paris Sunrise at Notre Dame

posted by Sharon April 7, 2019 40 Comments
Notre Dame Paris

Notre Dame stands in the middle of the city on the island where Paris was born. It’s seen centuries of sunrises and sunsets and generations of people have walked in its shadow. On a recent trip, I decided to get up early and see the day begin in this iconic place, just as it had through history. This proved to be an unforgettable experience. Notre Dame ParisIt’s remarkable to see this “tourist attraction” without crowds milling around. It was almost deserted except for the little birds in the front courtyard.Notre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisThe side of the building was still in shadow.Notre Dame Paris 

And then we rounded the corner to the back of the grand cathedral and the famous flying buttresses. And here is where the sun lit up the iconic Paris landmark with glorious beams of light. Notre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame Paris

Notre Dame Paris 

We paused to enjoy the Seine bathed in a yellow glow.Notre Dame Paris

I recommend a visit to Notre Dame at sunrise, sunset, or any time of day. It’s a breathtaking French Gothic cathedral built between 1160 and 1260. The two towers give Notre Dame its recognizable look. They were the tallest structures in the city until the arrival in 1889 of the Eiffel Tower. 

Notre Dame fell victim to the French Revolution in the 1790s. Its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. The French, inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, later decided to restore the grand building. More recently, in the 1960s, the facade of the building was cleaned. Centuries of grime and soot came off, revealing the original color. Further restoration took place at the end of the 1900s to ready the cathedral for the new millennium. Be sure to look up as you enter. The sculptures of the last judgment and the 12 apostles will amaze you. Notre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisThe inside of Notre Dame is spacious and filled with art. The three Rose Windows are famous. If you arrive when a service is being held, you can still go in. But you will be asked to be quiet and respectful. Notre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisYou may have heard of the flying buttresses that help support the walls and prevent the roof from causing collapse. These are visible from the back of Notre Dame. No one knows for sure when the original flying buttresses were first added, but they were in place by the end of the 13th century. By carrying so much weight, they allow for higher walls and more windows. Notre Dame ParisThe main spire weights 750 tons. It’s good to know it’s been restored through the years and stands firm. Notre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisNotre Dame ParisAs you walk around Notre Dame, you’ll find so many details to enjoy. I love looking up at all the gargoyles pointing into space. I learned recently that they are actually rainwater spouts. And here’s a sculpture that caught my eye. Notre Dame ParisAfter taking in the sunrise on Notre Dame, we crossed the Seine and found a cozy cafe for lattes and croissants — a perfect way to start a day in Paris. Notre Dame Paris

How about you? Have you been to Notre Dame Paris? Or do you have another favorite cathedral?

Notre Dame opens at 8:00 a.m. every day and closes at 6:45 on weekdays and 7:45 on weekends. Entry is free; there is a small fee to climb the dome. The line was too long and I’ve never been up in this dome. So I must return! Notre Dame Paris

Linking up with Image-in-ing, Monday Murals, Pictorial Tuesday, Wednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Photo Friday, Weekend Wanderlust, Faraway Files, Wanderful Wednesday, Feet Do Travel, Weekend Wanderlust, Nanahood, My Corner of the World, and Weekend Travel Inspiration.

Weekend Wanderlust - Travel Community

FeetDoTravel

Suitcases and Sandcastles

PIN IT FOR LATER! Notre Dame Paris Sunrise - Exploringrworld.com

 

You may also like

40 Comments

avatar
William Kendall April 7, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Exquisitely beautiful!

Reply
avatar
Julie April 7, 2019 at 3:28 pm

What beautiful “sun” pictures of Notre Dame! I absolutely loved all the different sites of the sunrise in Paris. The stain glass was my favorite. I can’t wait to visit Paris again, and this time look at it through the eyes of the sunshine 🙂 . Cheers!!

Reply
avatar
Kelly April 7, 2019 at 5:04 pm

The architecture of this church is spectacular. I agree so much to look at. It would take all day to see it all inside and outside. I agree it would be so much better without the crowds. It’s beautiful

Reply
avatar
Kelly April 7, 2019 at 6:07 pm

The architecture is stunning. It would take days to notice all of the intricacies. I’m sure it was so much better without all of the tourists around.

Reply
avatar
Tamar A Strauss-Benjamin April 8, 2019 at 12:38 am

Oh my goodness, these are breathtakingly beautiful!

Reply
avatar
Jenny - TraveLynn Family April 8, 2019 at 1:14 am

Early bird catches the worm, and the gorgeous light! #MondayEscapes

Reply
avatar
Hayley April 8, 2019 at 1:16 am

Your photos are just stunning- you’ve captured the beauty of Notre Dame so well! #MondayEscapes

Reply
avatar
Carol Kubicki April 8, 2019 at 2:01 am

This is a beautiful post. What a good idea to get up early and visit without the crowds. Thank you for sharing.

Reply
avatar
Katelyn April 8, 2019 at 2:19 am

As if the architecture wasn’t beautiful enough, the sunset is the cherry on top!

Reply
avatar
Sandra April 8, 2019 at 5:57 am

The pictures are more than beautiful! I love to have all the ” tourist attractions ” for myself and that’s why I also like to wake up early and take picture without crowds.
#MondayEscapes

Reply
avatar
Carol April 8, 2019 at 10:04 am

A magnificent structure – as usual a superb post!!

Reply
avatar
Joyful April 8, 2019 at 10:55 am

Beautiful shots of Paris and the cathedral.

Reply
avatar
Ankita April 8, 2019 at 10:58 am

Such lovely sun-soaked pictures! I visited Paris and Notre Dame in 2015 but it looks exactly the same in your photos

Reply
avatar
Fun60 April 8, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Beautiful photos of an iconic building

Reply
avatar
Mother of 3 April 8, 2019 at 12:37 pm

How beautiful! I did get to see Notre Dame at sunset when we took a cruise along the Seine and we spent another day/time exploring the cathedral in it’s own right. It’s just too bad photography then is nothing like it is now as my photos did not do this beautiful place justice. Those stained glass windows are just breathtaking.

Reply
avatar
Photo Cache April 8, 2019 at 1:17 pm

I’ve been aching for a Paris visit for like forever!

Reply
avatar
Lauren (Where the Wild Kids Wander) April 8, 2019 at 1:49 pm

I love Paris and the Notre Dame! What a great time of day to visit. #Mondayescapes

Reply
avatar
KVVS MURTHY April 8, 2019 at 5:30 pm

Great architecture.

Reply
avatar
Lady Fi April 8, 2019 at 7:55 pm

Tres belle! Beautiful shots.

Reply
avatar
Jim, Sydney, Australia April 9, 2019 at 12:15 am

Wonderful shots.

Reply
avatar
arv April 9, 2019 at 5:39 am

I have heard of Notre Dame but never knew that many people visit this place as this is a popular tourist attraction. When I was planning my Paris trip, I planned only for two days and this never figures in the list given there are other places like Eiffel tower, Seine river cruise, Louvre museum, Champs Elysee and so on.

Reply
avatar
Nitin Singhal April 9, 2019 at 6:23 am

Your pictures are absolutely stunning. The architecture of Notre Dame is amazing and the small statues carved on the arch are marvellous.

Reply
avatar
image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup April 9, 2019 at 7:26 am Reply
avatar
Clare (The Travelling Wilbennetts) April 9, 2019 at 10:57 am

Your photographs are stunning and really capture the different lights. You must love looking back at these #MondayEscapes

Reply
avatar
Lydia C. Lee April 9, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Beautiful shots – I love the outside but prefer the inside to St Ettienne Du Mont or Sainte Chappelle (if the light is right). I LOVE, however, the island, but the other side where the houses and shops are. Next time we go to Paris (if there is a next time) that’s where I want to stay….Such a different vibe. #MondayEscapes

Reply
avatar
Junieper2 April 9, 2019 at 10:17 pm

Was here before, but linked with the Ipad – I don’t see my comment, so I assume it didn’t go through…
Ah the Notre Dame, I remember feeling guilty saying “No” to my son when he was 14, when he wanted to visit this church right after the Louvre, we were so tired out visiting the latter. But later son went 3 times with friends to Paris – I have to ask him if he made it on one those occasions. A stunning church it is, Sharon! Many thanks for sharing this jewel with All Seasons! Have a beautiful week:)

Reply
avatar
Rose April 10, 2019 at 7:26 am

Beautiful beyond words…and so worth getting up to see it lit with the morning sun!

Reply
avatar
Mandy April 10, 2019 at 8:49 am

Gorgeous Sharon! I’ve never managed to wake up in time to see sunrise in Paris. Maybe one day. 🙂

Reply
avatar
Mary April 11, 2019 at 2:18 am

Sharon thank you for that wonderful photo essay. We have all seen the facade of this magnificent cathedral many times but the back with its flying buttresses was quite the revelation. There is so much to see and you are right that the best time is in the morning without the crowds. I especially enjoyed your photos of the sun hitting the church.

Reply
avatar
Emese April 11, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Those photos are gorgeous! And I can’t believe you’ve seen it almost deserted. Sometimes it is worth getting up so early; you saw the cathedral at the perfect time.

Reply
avatar
Shona Grant April 11, 2019 at 11:46 pm

Your pics are absolutely gorgeous, Sharon and even more so with the golden glow from the sunrise. I love an early start when a city is waking up. I remember Notre Dame knocked me for a six when I went. So humbling. The intricate detail and amazing craftsmanship. You’ve made me want to return at sunrise now. LOL.

Reply
avatar
My Corner of the World April 12, 2019 at 2:56 pm

I am just gobsmacked at your photos! I had no idea there was such wondrous beauty on the inside as well as the outside. I appreciate you linking up to make My Corner of the World a success!

Reply
avatar
California Globetrotter April 14, 2019 at 2:35 am

Well I certainly know where I’ll begin a new day while in Paris! Nothing like the glory of the morning sunrise on a beautiful building! #FeetDoTravel

Reply
avatar
Lisa | Handmade in Israel April 14, 2019 at 4:10 am

Such beautiful photos! How early was this exactly?? I have visited Notre Dam but have learned so much from this post. Your photo of the Seine in the morning sunlight is gorgeous too. #FeetDoTravel

Reply
avatar
Jill April 14, 2019 at 4:19 am

Oh how I love Paris! And you’ve taken such beautiful photos. And such beautiful light. Love it!

Reply
avatar
Anna April 14, 2019 at 6:54 am

Beautiful photos! I´ve been to Notre Dame de Paris years ago, but never really climbed the dome for the same reason! #feetdotravel

Reply
avatar
Obligatory Traveler April 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

So happy that you were able to visit and capture these fabulous pictures given the most recent circumstance. I really need to be more pro-active active about waking up for sunrise. It sounds like it was a magical time to visit.

Reply
avatar
Rhonda Albom April 16, 2019 at 1:45 pm

How fortuitous that you visited Notre Dame before the recent fire. It goes to show that travel should not wait. Your photos of the outside features at the golden hour are beautiful.

Reply
avatar
Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) April 19, 2019 at 7:28 am

Amazing, the photos depict such a beautiful Notre Dame especially now since the current fire. You’re post comes at the perfect time to show the world photos and provide interesting history on this treasure. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

Reply
avatar
Daisy - Dais Like These April 22, 2019 at 12:47 am

What timing for this post – a detailed account of just how beautiful Notre Dame was/is. And how lovely to have such amazing pictures. thank you for sharing them and thanks for linking up to the last #MondayEscapes.

Reply

Leave a Comment