Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris — From Inside and Above   2 comments

Notre Dame was, of course, a must-see in Paris, and it didn’t hurt that the apartment we rented was less than a ten minute walk from the cathedral.  There is no charge to go inside the main sanctuary area, although there is a fee to climb the stairs to the top of the towers.  This was fortunately covered by our all-museums pass (a bargain that quickly paid for itself).  All we had to do was wait outside in freezing, windy conditions for 45 minutes . . . and then climb a total of 387 steps to reach one of the best views you will find in Paris.

Fortunately, the climb is broken into three separate phases.  This allows your legs to stop shaking and oxygen to return to your brain.  Seriously, don’t do this if you aren’t in at least reasonable physical condition.  And if you are a bit claustrophobic be forewarned that the stairs are narrow, steep, and circular.  With all that said, it is a compelling view from the top.  Do it if you are able!

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  There was a mass going on while we were there.  Tourism doesn’t stop for church activities, but it is a place that requires respect.  Men are requested to remove their hats, people speak in low voices, and photographers — no flash!

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  The statues and other art work is beautiful, although I must confess (pun intended) that I am not up to speed on my Saints and other persons of historical religious importance.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  You can use headphones and a portable player for a self-guided walking tour which probably explains each bit of artwork.  I learned a long time ago that I can either listen to the history or take photographs — but not both.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  Most of the inside shots were taken at 800 ISO and with an image stabilized lens.  Tripods are not permitted.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  Notre Dame’s gargoyles have been around for centuries, obviously preceding both Victor Hugo and (ugh) Disney movies.  This is the first one that I came to after climbing the stairs for what seemed like forever.  It took at least four or five shots before my heart rate slowed down enough to hold the camera steady.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  I used fill flash for most of the gargoyle shots.  A young British guy nearby asked why I was using flash, so I offered a brief explanation and we compared images on the camera backs.  Later downstairs he showed me his with-flash shots, clearly pleased.  Glad I could help!

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  I used a shallow depth of field to blur the background.  I think it helps to separate the gargoyle from the “jumble” of the city.  I took a lot of photos both ways — city in-focus and city blurred.  It can be difficult to decide which works best while I’m shooting.  I prefer to make that decision back home in front of the computer.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  This is probably my favorite shot from Notre Dame.  The domes of the distant church (sorry, I don’t know the name) and the blue-roofed buildings below — all with this gargoyle standing guard from above, as he has been doing for hundreds of years.

(Above) Location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.  The color of these statues caught my eye, but they also raised a question.  Considering Notre Dame dates back to the mid-1600’s, how exactly did the workers get them in place?  Considering that I’m not a huge fan of being in high places I’m not sure that I would have wanted to watch . . .

(Above) Location, Notre Dame Cathedral (front courtyard).  As usual I was the last one down, and Melanie and Hannah had to wait for me.  By now they’re used to it, but I was still happy to see them enjoying the time while waiting for the photographer in the family!

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Posted January 16, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Architecture, Europe, Travel Photography

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2 responses to “Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris — From Inside and Above

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  1. Beautiful images! We’re hoping to book a trip there soon, so I’m especially enjoying your Paris posts – great info and lovely photos!

  2. Pingback: Homepage

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