Steeped in the history of Paris and the focal point of classical literature, Notre Dame, "Our Lady of Paris," Cathedral is a must see and should be included in all Parisian itineraries. Imagine visiting the home of Quasimodo and climbing to his loft high in the bell tower for the most breathtaking views of Paris.
Standing on the Ile de la Cité for almost 1,000 years, Notre Dame Cathedral took nearly 200 years to build from the time the first stone was laid in 1163 during what was known as the the "Gothic" movement, to 1345, when the final phases were completed.
To see 360 degree views from many a perspective, check out this page full of Virtual Tours. The page takes a few moments to load but well worth the wait! To zoom in, hold down your "shift" key. To zoom back out, it's "control." Very cool!
Gargoyles keep vigilance over all those below on the Ile de la Cité and the surrounding city of Paris.
If you're in pretty good shape and feel up to the task of climbing all 387 steps to the top of the South Bell Tower, I strongly recommend you do this for the most spectacular views of Paris. The entrance to the stairways is located just to the left of the Notre Dame Cathedral's main entrance. Once underway, you can stop at the gift shop for a quick respite and do a little shopping. Then, continue up to the top of the main building for more amazing views of Paris. You can stop here if you want and head back down or if you're feeling adventurous and want more, continue to the top of the bell tower for the most stunning bird's-eye view. You won't be disappointed!