Notre-Dame Cathedral, Strasbourg

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  • A view from above
    A view from above
    by TomInGermany
  • Notre Dame Cathedral - Side Entrance Detail View
    Notre Dame Cathedral - Side Entrance...
    by Mikebb
  • Stained Glass - Notre Dame Cathedral
    Stained Glass - Notre Dame Cathedral
    by Mikebb
  • brendareed's Profile Photo

    Cathedral tower climb

    by brendareed Written Nov 3, 2014

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    Like many cathedrals and places with high towers, you can climb to the top for some exercise and a magnificent view. Strasbourg’s cathedral also has a tower climb, except that it doesn’t take you to the top of the tower, but rather you stop short of the spire, which, at 142 meters, was once the highest church spire in the world until the 1800s. The circular staircase gets you as far as the top of the building, but that’s as far as you go. However, even this lower level, you can get a spectacular view of Strasbourg and a close up view of the cathedral, its statues and architectural elements such as the flying buttresses.

    Usually both Hubby and I make the climbs up the towers, but this time we decided that Hubby would climb solo. The cost was higher than most other climbs - €5 per person – so he climbed while sending me on a mission to find a good bakery.

    The tower climb has a limit on how many people can be up there at one time (50 people) so the line can get long while you are waiting your turn. The line forms up outside the cathedral on the right hand side (next to the astronomical clock line). Once the tower has met its quota of people, the door closes until people exit the climb (exit is on the other side of the cathedral).

    The views were really very nice, but Hubby was disappointed to learn that he could not go to the top of the tower. But walking around the top of the roof gave him the chance to get a 360-degree view of the city and some up-close looks at the structure. He enjoyed the different and unique statues, including one of the equestrian statues that people have attempted to throw money onto the hat of the rider – if you miss, the money lands down on the street (or on top of someone else’s head!).

    Hubby enjoyed his time up in the tower and when he was back on street level was treated to an eclair from the bakery I had found.

    The tower climb is open daily from 0900-1700 (with later hours in the summer on weekends).

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    Astronomical clock

    by brendareed Written Nov 3, 2014

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    Inside the cathedral is the famous astronomical clock, located to the right of the altar. This is actually the third clock of its kind to be located in this spot; the first clock from the 14th century was replaced in the 16th century by a larger clock. The clock we see today was built in 1843 and has a perpetual calendar, and planetary dial, a display of where the Sun and Moon are currently positioned as well as solar and lunar eclipses. There is also a portrait of Copernicus on the left side of the clock. At 12:30 each day, the clock goes into full motion and a procession of 18-inch high figurines of the apostles move past a similar figure of Christ. As Peter passes Christ, a life-sized rooster crows three times. Just below these figures is a skeleton that rings a bell.

    The astronomical clock is a favorite attraction for visitors to Strasbourg. Because space is limited and the clock only gives its show once a day, the line for tickets can get very long. Currently, the cost is €2 per person and the line forms up outside on the right side of the cathedral. Shortly before noon, the workers at the cathedral close up the clock area to visitors (you may see the clock during any visit to the cathedral – it just doesn’t put on a show) to make way for the paying customers waiting on the outside to enter. I didn’t stay for the show, but was there as they were closing the gates and shooing the people out of the area. The show begins at noon with a movie about the clock, followed by the clockwork display.

    There are videos of the clockwork display so you can get a feel for what you would see if you got into the noon presentation.

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    Cathédrale Notre-Dame - interior

    by brendareed Written Nov 2, 2014

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    Once inside, be sure to look at the stained glass windows on the north side which feature the Holy Roman emperors as well as the ancestors of Christ and the lives of Mary and Christ. The rose window above the west portals is not to be missed.

    As you make your way up the left side of the nave, you will see a beautifully carved pulpit by Hans Hammer, which was created for Geiler, the preacher of Kayserberg. Look for the small dog sculpture on the steps – Geiler would bring his dog along when he came to Strasbourg to preach. It is dark in the nave so if you want to have a better look at the pulput, put 20 cents in the machine beside the pulpit to turn the lights on.

    Continuing up the left side of the nave is the St. Lawrence Chapel. Although this richly decorated chapel is not open to visitors except those who are here to worship, you can catch a glimpse of it through the gates. There is also a video display outside these gates that give you some information about the chapel.

    In the southern transept is the astronomical clock which dates back to 1571 (although the current on is from the 1800s). At noon there is a show, but the area is closed for this event and tickets need to be purchased from the outside the south side of the cathedral. All other times, the south transept is open to the public and you can see the clock.

    The chancel dates back to Romanesque times and is designed in the period. It is higher than the nave (the crypt is below it) and contains some wonderful neo-Byzantine frescoes. The stained glass window within the chancel is new – dating to 1956 to replace the one destroyed in World War II. Notice the European Union flag in the upper part of the window.

    If you are interested in climbing to the top of the cathedral, there is an entrance through the outside of the cathedral on the south side.

    The cathedral is a must-see visit during your stay in Strasbourg.

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    Cathédrale Notre-Dame - exterior

    by brendareed Written Nov 2, 2014

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    The Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg is a beautiful example of late-Gothic architecture and sports one of the tallest church spires in the world. Inside, it has the longest nave in France. Originally planned to have two spires, the church never built the second spire, thus is appears to be unbalanced with one side jutted up to the sky. However, without this spire, the Strasbourg Cathedral would look a lot like the cathedral with the same name in Paris. This solo spire gives the structure character and a unique look.

    The west façade of the cathedral with its three portals is full of things to see. The most decorated of the portals is the central one, with ornate statues of Old Testament prophets lined up on five arches above the doorway. On the left portal are statues of ladies appearing to stab a creature below them – representative of virtues striking down vices. On, what I think is the most interesting to look at, the right portal has the foolish virgins on the left and the wise virgins on the right. The expressions of the silly virgins and the Tempter are worth a look!

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    The Cathedral

    by Nemorino Updated May 17, 2014

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    The monumental Strasbourg Cathedral is a huge tourist draw in this area. It is well worth seeing, but be advised that you won't be alone.

    The cathedral is open to the public every day from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:40 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

    For a small fee you can also climb up the stairs in the cathedral tower, but this may well involve some waiting in line ("queuing" to you) before you can get in.

    Second photo: The cathedral with some of the nearby houses.

    Location and photo of Cathédrale Notre-Dame on monumentum.fr

    The Cathedral The cathedral with nearby houses
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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    The Altar - Notre Dame Cathedral

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 28, 2014

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    By the time we had worked our way to the altar I was expecting something a little more elaborate. After seeing the beautiful Cathedral decoration, the magnificent stained glass, astronomical clock etc I was expecting the altar to be a highlight.

    The stained glass behind the altar was the highlight.

    Altar - Notre Dame Cathedral - Strasbourg Altar - Notre Dame Cathedral - Strasbourg Notre Dame Cathedral - Strasbourg
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    Stained Glass - Notre Dame Cathedral

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 28, 2014

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    Beautiful stained glass is everywhere within the Cathedral. Easy to photograph, just make sure your camera is not pointing into strong light.

    The colour is bright, and there are many stained glass windows available.

    Stained Glass - Notre Dame Cathedral Stained Glass - Notre Dame Cathedral Stained Glass - Notre Dame Cathedral
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    Notre Dame Cathedral - Side Entrance

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 22, 2014

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    We walked down the side of the Cathedral and found this magnificent side entry. The entry looked as though it was not open to the public (as you pay at main entrance for Cathedral entry).

    There were very few tourists (if any) at this section and we had it to ourselves. The detail in the stone was magnificent and so easy to photo.

    Notre Dame Cathedral - Side Entrance Detail View Notre Dame Cathedral - Side Entrance
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    Astronomical Clock - Displays

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 21, 2014

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    Astronomical clocks always grab my attention and I guess the reason being I think it took me 50 years to see my first one in Prague.

    Since then I try to see as many as possible and this clock in Strasbourg Cathedral is magnificent.

    Recommend you stay in the vicinity for 15 minutes so you can see and hear it perform.

    Astronomical Clock - Display Astronomical Clock - Display Astronomical Clock - Mechanism Astronomical Clock - Time & Decoration Astronomical Clock - Display
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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Notre Dame Cathedral - Strasbourg

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 21, 2014

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    We found the Cathedral to be extremely busy the first time we visited ( around the middle of the day) entry was closed off. We took time to admire and photo the outside of the Cathedral and decided to return the following day.

    Our next visit was much earlier in the day and we gained immediate entry. The inside of the Cathedral is spectacular, a magnificent Gothic building.

    We stayed for the best part of an hour, so much to see and photo we could have stayed much longer. I particularly enjoyed the Organ, Stained Glass windows, Astronomical Clock, The Altar and the general size and decoration of this Gothic cathedral.

    Visits every day:
    (except 01/01, 01/05 and 25/12)
    from April to September, every day from 9am to 7.30pm
    from October to March, every day from 10am to 5.30pm
    from June to August, until 10pm every Friday and Saturday

    Entry Fee:
    For individuals : 4,40 Euro for adults
    2,20 Euro for children (5-18) and students
    For groups (+ 20 people) : 3,30 Euro per person
    Free entry on the first Sunday of each month.

    Notre Dame Cathedral - Front Entrance Notre Dame Cathedral  - Front View Notre Dame Cathedral - Front Entrance Notre Dame Cathedral - Close Up Above Front Entry Notre Dame Cathedral - Above Front Entry Close Up
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  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo

    Cathédrale Notre-Dame

    by black_mimi99 Written Dec 12, 2013

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    Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame is known as one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in Europe. The Cathedral stands on the exact site of a roman temple built on a little hill above the muddy ground. The first version of the church was starting to be built during 1015 by proposal of Bishop Werner von Habsburg, but fire destroyed most of the original Romanesque building. By the time that cathedral was being renovated (at the end of the 12th century, this time with red stones carried from the nearby mountains of Vosges), the gothic architectural style has reached Alsace and the future cathedral was starting to develop all characteristics of gothic aesthetics. The project of the first cathedral in Alsace was handed to craftsman and stonemasons who had already worked on the also famous gothic cathedral in Chartres.

    For the next four centuries, due to the height of its tower (142 m), the Strasbourg Cathedral was considered the tallest building in modern world! Furthermore, it was unique because it was one of the few gothic churches equipped with only one tower.
    Victor Hugo declared it a ‘gigantic and delicate marvel’; Goethe professed that its ‘loftiness is linked to its beauty’; and, no matter the angle or time of day, you too will be captivated by Strasbourg’s centerpiece Gothic cathedral.

    Visits every day:
    (except 01/01, 01/05 and 25/12)
    from April to September, every day from 9am to 7.30pm
    from October to March, every day from 10am to 5.30pm
    from June to August, until 10pm every Friday and Saturday

    Rates
    For individuals : 4,40 Euro for adults
    2,20 Euro for children (5-18) and students
    For groups (+ 20 people) : 3,30 Euro per person
    Free entry on the first Sunday of each month.

    Cathedral Platform:
    From here, you can enjoy in the magnificent view. On a clear day, you can even see Vosges and Black Forrest from the top of this platform.
    November, December, January, February: from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
    March, October: from 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
    April, Mai, June, September: from 9.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
    July and August: from 8.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.
    Entrance: 3.00 Euros
    Reduced: 2.30 Euros

    Cath��drale Notre-Dame

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Always visit the cathedral

    by Beausoleil Updated Oct 29, 2013

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    The cathedral, as most in France, is sublime.

    The Cathedral is usually our first stop when visiting a large city. Strasbourg was no exception and every time we've gone, we've revisited the Cathedral. You have a different experience each time. Once they were restoring some of the stained glass windows and the church looked very bare without them. Fortunately that is now completed.

    We've also been accosted by very aggressive beggars inside the Cathedral which is (to us) unusual so keep an eye on your belongings. Usually they sit silently at the door but these folks were actively working the church and no one seemed to be doing anything about it. It's difficult because there is so much to see and your eyes are elsewhere as they should be.

    There is an astronomical clock in the back of the church and be aware that at noon you will be required to pay or be chased out of the church until the clock show is over. We decided once to pay and see the famous clock in action but the line was long and the space was limited so we gave up. Perhaps on a future trip . . .

    Outside, the tourist office in Strasbourg is beside a lovely medieval building in the Cathedral Square. The entire area is a fun exploration including the very touristy street going down toward the river where you take the boat tour.

    Cathedral in Strasbourg Cathedral in Strasbourg, front door Cathedral in Strasbourg, interior Square in front of the Cathedral & tourist office
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    Climb the tower of Notre Dame

    by Dabs Updated Oct 7, 2013

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    We've never met a tower that we didn't feel like we needed to climb so our 1st stop was to the top of Notre Dame for the view. Going up and down there are lots of photo opportunities as it's not as enclosed as most towers, you go up and down a different way so shoot as you are going up, you won't see the same view on the way down. If you don't like heights or enclosed spaces, this is not an attraction for you, we saw a woman going down shaking and practically in tears!

    Included on the Strasbourg Pass, 5€ if you don't have the pass

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    Astronomical Clock

    by Dabs Written Oct 7, 2013

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    Touted as one of the top things to see in Strasbourg, I was a little disappointed in the astronomical clock. There is only one performance per day, they tell you to start lining up at 11:45am, if you don't have the Strasbourg Pass, you need to buy a ticket at the cassis before getting in line to go in, cost is 2€. They then usher you into the cathedral, which is closed during the performance, you stand for awhile, there is a short video on the clock to watch and then at 12:30pm the clock starts doing it's thing, the apostles go round, the cock crows, the angels clang a bell and turn over an hour glass and then it's done. Doesn't sound exciting? It really isn't and I think if your time is tight this is skippable.

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    Strasbourg Cathedral

    by antistar Updated Sep 29, 2013

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    The Munster has 142 meters of towering bronze sandstone drawn straight from the valleys of the nearby Vosges mountains. It was once, for several centuries, the tallest building in the world, and even today you can see, on a good day, from the Vosges mountains in the west to the Black Forest in the East. It's known as a marvel of Gothic architecture, an engineering feat without contemporary parallel, with praise ladled upon it by some of history's literary greats, like Goethe. It contains an 18 meter clock, one of the largest in the world, which draws in crowds of tourists to watch it strike the hour. It is striking, iconic, dominating, important and symbolic.

    And yet, for me, I found the building unpleasing aesthetically. Maybe it was the single offset spire lending it a clumsy appearance, or maybe it was the dull weather combining with the dark stone to obscure its best features, or maybe it was the austere, stretched, angular lines, as if built for height rather than grandeur.

    Strasbourg Cathedral Strasbourg Cathedral Strasbourg Cathedral Strasbourg Cathedral Strasbourg Cathedral
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