Tour Stop Paris: The Notre Dame
There is no greater symbol of Gothic Architecture than the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.
Constructed in the early gothic era between 1163 and 1285, the Notre Dame has captured the world's interest from the start. In 1185 Heraclius called for the Third Crusade from the Notre Dame. Then came The 100 Years War frm 1338-1453. In 1431 Henry VI was crowned King of France within Notre Dame. The Dauphin Francis weds Mary Stuart at Notre Dame in 1558. And in 1793, revolutionaries vandalized the Notre Dame, destroying the "gallery of kings" and stealing all valuables.
Let's not forget Victor Hugo and his Quasimodo of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a brilliant combination of history and folklore and a legend that lives to this day.
Aside from the flying buttresses, archways, stained glass windows and intimidating spires that make up the two towers of "Our Lady," the most famous draw to the magnifcent building is it's famous gargoyles.
If you are visiting the Notre Dame, I recommend that you be prepared to stand in line for a long time.
The lines are long for both the free entrance to the inside of the cathedral (which is quite stunning, even though I call it "boring" in the video) and for the tour of the towers.
Though the towers cost money (free if using your Paris Museum Pass, a real life and moneysaver) it is definitely worth it. Just be prepared to tackle a lot of steps and check your fear of heights at the door.
The Notre Dame is also an important place for religious processions (one of which I stumbled upon during my visit to Paris two years ago).
And of course, the cathedral remains a huge tourist attraction, no matter what time of year it is...Summer....