Our Tour of the Bell Tower at Notre Dame

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(we climbed the Tower of Notre Dame in December 2018, before the fire of 2019)
(the next time the Bell Tower Opens, it will look much different)

The ticketing system has changed
With the app (DuckTheLine), you can schedule the time of your tour

It was a major climb, perhaps higher than the Arc de Triomphe, which is a good climb
But it is worth it

Everything that you might expect
Narrow and dangerous catwalks,
No want for Gargoyles (39 or the original 102), they are everywhere
And you can actually enter a small hatch into the Bell Tower and see the Two Monster Bells (Emmanuel and Marie in the South Tower) that only ring twice each year (?)
(my understanding is that the Notre Dame bells were melted-down during the French Revolution, replaced, but recently restored to their pristine quality, so I don’t know where these two big bells fit in)

“It is a magnificent and captivating spectacle . . . to look down upon Paris from the summit of the towers of Notre-Dame”
-Victor Hugo, 1862

We recommend that you visit Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris early on Christmas Day. It is not a major service compared to Christmas Eve or later Christmas Day, but we consider this Prime Time in Paris. The streets are empty, which is inconceivable.

Afterwards you can walk the Paris Streets:

On the Left Bank, through the narrows streets and expensive Coffee Houses

On the Right Bank, to Au Pied de Cochon open 24/365 (it never closes)
where we have French Onion Soup for Christmas Breakfast and maybe a selection of Oysters
then you can walk into a proliferation of small and old churches which each their own small congregation and Christmas services

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