The Notre-Dame Cathedral is a gem of medieval architecture, listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 2000.
Architectural work art of the medieval west, the cathedral is one of the inevitable landmarks of the city. The proportions of the building are really impressive : length 134 m, with 58 m for the choir only; The transept exceeds 67 m and the towers are 83 m high. The nave and transept, dating from the 12th century are of Romanesque style. The choir was completed in 1254 and is of Gothic style. This mixture of stones gives it an undeniable originality and the five massive towers that dominate the city determine the skyline as you approach the city.
The interior is filled with many decorative elements and remarkable pieces of furniture. For example, the side portals are decorated with sculptures and a Romanesque choir screen was made by Cornelius Devriendt (1572). 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...
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 are in constant evolution and some newly renovated parts are revealed day after day. The exhibition « 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.