The best known cathedral in France is in the historic heart of Paris, on the island of Ile de la Cité. The project to build this splendid cathedral began in 1160. The bishop of Paris wanted for his diocese a new cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The first stone was laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III. The edifice met perfectly the expectations of the bishop. It is an architectural jewel and its rose windows are spectacular and huge. It became the symbol of Paris and of Christian France. In the 17th century, after 23 years of marriage and no children, King Louis XIII consecrated France to the Virgin Mary in thanks for the birth of his son, the famous Louis XIV.
The Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris holds the relic, Christ’s Crown of Thorns. Originally placed in the Sainte Chapelle (Holy Chapel), the faithful can venerate it on certain Fridays. Pilgrims and visitors can admire the cathedral, a jewel of Gothic art, and pray. The towers that inspired the book “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, by Victor Hugo can be visited. Organ concerts of great quality classical music are offered and the cathedral choir sings at masses. The cathedral is a place of rich spirituality with several priests ordained here each year.
The cathedral, symbol of religious heritage in France, is an unavoidable step during your Catholic pilgrimage in France.
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