12 In Paris/ Travel

Paris: Gargoyles of Notre Dame


Who has the best views in all of Paris? I’d have to say it’s the gargoyles perched at the top of Notre Dame. I had been keen on seeing the gargoyles and hearing the bells of Notre Dame, but I hadn’t known that the Notre Dame had such a fantastic view of the city. It wasn’t as high up as the Montparnasse Tower by any means, but it was a much more intimate view as you could see the small shops and the people walking around in the city.



You also get a unique view of the architecture of the cathedral, such as the spire or the bell tower. It was a pretty amazing experience listening to the bells ring while I was standing nearby! In my excitement I took a video to record the sound, but the video was all over the place and in vertical format. I seem to forget to take video in landscape mode whenever it comes to towers. Still, I was happy that I recorded a small clip of that amazing moment when I was so excited to hear the bells and almost feel the vibrations of the sounds ringing through the air.





There was a rather strange assortment of gargoyles, birds, and chimeras up on the tower. Most of them looked as though they were looking down at the city, but there was one that was happily munching away on dinner. It seems strange to me that they wanted to use gargoyles as a topper for this beautiful building. Wouldn’t it make more sense if they had angels perched along the top of the cathedral? After all, there are a great deal of winged statues in Paris. It makes me wonder why they decided to use rough, grotesque animals instead of the smooth graceful figures that seem to be everywhere else in Paris.



The Eiffel was a bit further away as you can see in the second photo of this post, but if you zoom in it makes for a lovely photo of the city. So after you walk out of the Notre Dame, make a beeline to the right side of the building (left if you are facing the building) and get in line to go up the tower to see the gargoyles and some excellent views!

Your turn ♥ Do you know any other spots with good views of Paris? What do you think about the gargoyles?

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  • Ahhh! So this is what I missed?! I’ll definitely have to go up to the top next time. How long did you have to wait to get up there? The line looked pretty long around noon when I went.


    • Kim

      It was a pretty long wait. I know that I waited at least 30 minutes, but I had a nice chat with the family that was waiting in line behind me. They had been there before and told me it was worth going up to see so I waited it out. I went pretty early in the morning though, so I didn’t have to wait much to get inside the main part of the cathedral. So it evens out I guess!

      • Oh that’s not too bad! I was expecting it to be hours long. It’s always a smart move to go early though.

        • Kim

          Yes, Kathryn mentioned in the comment above that when she was there the line was hours long, so I think it’s probably the shortest early morning or late afternoon!

  • emi

    love this! they tell such a story. great photos!


    • Kim

      Thanks emi! I really liked the gargoyle in the first photo because he looks like he’s sort of daydreaming as he enjoys the view of Paris ;)

  • i love the gargoyles! I think they add an interesting element to both Notre Dame and Paris — they all tell a story! Great photos.

    xo, endlesspostcards.com

    • Kim

      Yes and isn’t it amazing how there are so many different types of gargoyles? I really liked how they all seem to have a different personality!

  • Gorgeous! That last city shot is so good. When I was there, the line was hours long so I passed on it, but it looks like such amazing views.

    • Kim

      Thanks Kathryn! I was at full zoom using a bundle lens 18-55mm. To the naked eye it looked a lot farther away like in the second photo of this post. I think the line was longer when you were there, as I think I didn’t wait over an hour. I hope the next time you’re there the line is shorter ;)

  • Beautiful photos! This is one of my favorite views of Paris because I love the gargoyles and think they are so cool to incorporate in photos overlooking the city! Another spot I like is the Tour St Jacques, though it is only open in the summer on the weekends, so it’s a bit harder to access. It is central and gives a lovely 360-degree view of Paris :-)

    • Kim

      Yes! I like how the gargoyles add a whimsical touch to the photos. I’m sure they would have had a much more dramatic look if the weather had been bleary or raining. I hadn’t heard of the Tour St Jacques, but it sounds tricky only being open over the weekends during the summer. I will have to put it on my if-I’m-in-Paris-over-the-weekend bucket list ;)