The Notre-Dame Cathedral is a gem of medieval architecture, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO since 2000. Its impressive dimensions (134 m long and 66 m wide), the harmonious blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles and its daring architecture make this building a benchmark for religious monuments of the West. Unfortunately, the cathedral with its huge grey nave and its five bell towers that dominate the city, has suffered the ravages of time. Major restoration works have been carried out since 2006: stabilisation of the Gothic choir, replacement of the roof, cleaning of the stone walls, restoration of the stained-glass windows… The restoration works considerably limit the visibility and the Gothic choir is currently inaccessible. On the outside, scaffolds hide the towers from view.
The exhibition « Visible, invisible, la cathédrale illustrée. 100 mètres d’histoire(s) » (Visible, invisible, the cathedral illustrated - 100 metres of history), which can be discovered along the fence around the building, reveals what is hidden thanks to exceptional images. This exhibition deals with the history of the Notre-Dame cathedral, its significance for the city, its architecture, its treasures and the restoration works. You can learn even more during a viewing of the 20-minute 3D documentary « La cathédrale, de la pierre au ciel » at the Tourist Office or a visit with a qualified guide.
The so-called Treasure Room (museum) is also outstanding with the presence of major works of art like the two major shrines of Our Lady and St Eleutherius, precious ivory pieces, silverware, a tapestry from Arras of the 14th century or the chasuble of Thomas Becket (12th century), Archbishop of Canterbury, and the coat worn by Charles Quint when he held the chapter of Toison d’Or in 1531.