Notre-Dame is the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, France. It is located in the east of the Ile de la Cité, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. Its western facade dominates the square Notre-Dame - place Jean-Paul-II.
Its construction, begun under the impulse of Bishop Maurice de Sully, spread over more than two centuries, from 1163 to the middle of the fourteenth century. The style is therefore not totally uniform: the cathedral thus possesses characteristics of the primitive Gothic (vaults of the nave) and the gothic radiating. The two rosettes adorning each of the transept arms are among the largest in Europe, each measuring 13 meters in diameter. It was at the time of its completion one of the largest cathedrals in the West. After the revolutionary turmoil, from 1844 to 1864 the cathedral underwent an important and sometimes controversial restoration, led by the architect Viollet-le-Duc, who incorporated elements and original motifs into it.
Since its construction, the cathedral is one of the most emblematic monuments of Paris. It holds a symbolic place of first rank in its image. As a religious and cultural edifice, it has often been at the heart of French history. Thus, the cathedral is found in particular in the center of the novel of Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris, published in 1831. Religious ceremonies took place at the death of General de Gaulle on 12 November 1970, Georges Pompidou on 6 April 1974 , And François Mitterrand on 11 January 1996.
This cathedral (also a minor basilica) today welcomes more than twenty million visitors a year (including fourteen who enter the cathedral), making it the most visited monument in Paris and throughout Europe. Enjoying a new and vibrant dynamism, it celebrated in 2013 the 850th anniversary of its construction.