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The Traveller's Magazine
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Arguably one of the most beautiful churches in the world is celebrating a special milestone in 2013. Notre Dame Cathedral is turning 850 and the city of Paris isn’t letting this birthday celebration pass without a few very special events. 

Happy 850th Notre Dame

Notre Dame de Paris was founded in 1163 although it wasn’t officially completed until 1345. Even since then the cathedral has undergone several changes. 2013 is a special year for Paris. The city is hosting a series of events to celebrate including concerts featuring the cathedral’s Great Organ with five keyboards, 8,000 pipes and 190 ties. The cathedral has incredible acoustics so you can imagine what kind of sound experience you’re in for!

Several of the churches bells are being recast, part of the cathedral’s restoration work. The current bells date from the 19th century as the original ones were melted down during the French Revolution. The cathedral will host 8 new bells and a new tenor.

The Notre Dame cathedral is without a doubt one of the most popular sights in Paris for visitors. From its intricate stained glass windows, some of which date all the way back to the 13th century to the gargoyles perched at the entranceways.

How to: experience Paris for FREE

World Organ Day

There is no better way to celebrate this grand cathedral’s history than visit on World Organ Day, May 6th 2013. Organ music has been part of cathedral life for hundreds of years. To celebrate, Notre Dame is organising a worldwide concert, 850 of them to be exact, taking place around the world and featuring the Notre Dame de Paris repertoire. So if you can’t make it with flights to Paris, why not attend an organ concert closer to home?


Paris: for every type of traveller

Not really the organ-loving church-exploring kind of traveller? Don’t let that put you off a trip to Paris in 2013. This city has something for everyone. Foodies may like to visit Paris, according to BBC chef Rachel Khoo. Love to get off the beaten path and explore the urban jungles? Paris’ Petite Ceinture is an old unused railway and a great place to explore if you’re on the look out for cool graffiti.

Have you been to the Notre Dame cathedral? What was the more impressive part of it?

Imgs: king jai, tim bradshaw / Flickr cc.

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One response to “Paris: Notre Dame turns 850

  1. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a bit crowded place, but very nice to see it for real for the first time.

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