Notre Dame Cathedral



Notre Dame is a part of Paris just as much as the Eiffel Tower is for me. As I pulled together some images for this post, I realized just how many times I have photographed Notre Dame over the years. I have taken many strolls on the Seine just alongside Notre Dame and some of my favorite picnics have been with Notre Dame in the background. You can’t forget cherry blossom season with the park next to Notre Dame just bursting with blossoms. It may be one of the times Notre Dame is the busiest outside for these two week window.

I took a step back from social media while I was in London and Paris just to soak it all up and be present. I arrived on the Eurostar from London to Paris just as the news broke about the fire. I was staying close to Galleries Lafayette in the center of the city. I planned to make my usual walk to the Seine for sunset but the fire changed my plans. As I stood outside the Opéra house I could see smoke coming from the Seine filling the sky. I decided to stay away from the fire and the chaos and stayed close to the hotel.

As I sat at dinner reading news updates, I couldn’t think about my last trip to Notre Dame. I was invited by Secret Journeys for a private tour inside Notre Dame in March. It was just a small group of us and a group that was preparing for a concert later that evening. I had planned on sharing my experience with Secret Journeys with you in hopes you would take this unique opportunity and tour. The company does offer amazing insider opportunities at other locations in Paris and Versailles is coming soon.

notre dame paris france rebecca plotnick

notre dame paris france rebecca plotnick

notre dame paris france

I walked down to the Seine the next two days in Paris to see Notre Dame. The area was blocked off but there were mobs of people taking photos and trying to catch a glimpse. I have never seen the area so busy and I expect it to stay this way for a while. The vendors surrounding Notre Dame were packed as well including restaurants and souvenir shops.

notre dame paris france rebecca plotnick

notre dame cathedral paris france rebecca plotnick

Photographs of Notre Dame are available for Sale in The Print Shop Here

There was a great article titled, “What Notre-Dame Means to Parisians and All of Us” that was in last week’s links I love. I would love to know your personal story and reflections of Notre-Dame. Feel free to comment below.

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  1. My first trip to Paris was with my young family and my parents. We stayed at the Hotel Esmerelda, next to Shakespeare and Co book store and across from Notre Dame. I have been back a few times since then and stayed in other parts of the city in fancier hotels, but the Esmerelda was my favorite because each day I could look out the window or sit in the small garden across the street and see the majestic beauty of Notre Dame Cathedral – and the lights at night were magnificent. I especially loved looking at each of the gargoyles that surrounded and protected her. Each different and unique. It has such a special place in my heart and she was such an important and significant part of my first trip to Paris. I can’t wait to return again!

  2. I took my first trip to Paris also this April. Also arrived from London via the Eurostar. We just missed each other! My son and I were staying in the 5th so we passed Notre Dame on our way in and walked back by again that evening. After a fantastic 4 days of squeezing in as much as we could before heading to Italy. I told my son I wanted to walk back to Notre Dame one more time for more pictures. This was the 3rd time and he wasn’t thrilled. We walked and enjoyed the blooming trees. I got my photos and I really could have stayed even longer. Walking back over the bridge I snapped a few more photos. My son was giving me the enough face. Two days after leaving we heard the news! I still can’t wrap my head around the fact it happened. So thankful for my memories of her beauty and my extra time sharing it with my son.

  3. My father took me to Paris when I was 12 and we visited Notre Dame. I remember going up the spiral stairs to the top of the towers. He passed away last year & I cherish my memories of Paris

    • Hi Melissa,

      What a beautiful memory to have of time spent with your Dad. Thank you for sharing with me.


  4. I spent my junior year at the Univesité de Grenoble and made several trips to Pais. The day I had to fly home I took the train to Paris, then got a cab to Invalides for the bus to Orly (yeah, it was a while ago!!) and the flight home. I remember asking the cab driver to be sure to drive me by Notre Dame. I had tears in my eyes as we passed her because I thought I’d never see her again. Then a year and a half later I was back! I started grad school with classes at the Sorbonne! She was a regular part of my life for those 6 months. The guy I dated and I were both on tight budgets so we became experts on loving Paris on the cheap. One of our favorite things to do was to go watch the lights of Notre Dame come on! There used to be a little garden (now it’s just two very small green spaces) in front of Shakespeare and Co. with one bench. It was the perfect place to sit and wait and enjoy! Now I can’t count the number of times I’ve been back. But each visit starts with a visit to Notre Dame and ends with yet one more moment with her. It will be a different visit now, but I’ll still be there. And hopefully soon! I need to see her.

    • Cheryl, I love this! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this beautiful story. What a romantic time in your life to spend it with someone in Paris. It sounds like the little things made the biggest impact. I hope you are able to make it back soon. It will be a different visit now for sure but still a special one no doubt.

  5. Aww love this. I had dreamed and planned my first trip to Paris for so long. I still remember we got picked up from the airport by a lovely driver and I was just so excited as we made our way into the city. As we headed into the city I caught a glimpse of Notre Dame from the car and got the best adrenaline rush. Our driver was so sweet and joined in our little excitement. It was such a nice intro to Paris and such a vivid memory to see something in person that I had seen so many pictures of. It’s always the first stop when I visit – somehow it just feels right to come back to home base in the center of the city, pay respects in Notre Dame, and then let the magic of another visit begin.

  6. Rebecca thank you for these photos !!!! It’s so sad to see the Norte dame now after the fire I want to remember her as she was so thank you for the photos as always perfection!! Hope you had a wonderful birthday vacation

    • Clara, thank you so much! You don’t realize how much the fire changed it until you see the before and after. I hope she is back to her beautiful completed self before we know it. Paris and London were fabulous. Thank you!! xo