Discover striking Gothic architecture, medieval artifacts and centuries of history and artistic heritage on this private morning or afternoon Paris walking tour. After a light French breakfast or snack of coffee and croissants by the Seine River, venture to Ile de la Cité to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte Chapelle, and the Conciergerie.
Meet your guide on Ile St-Louis and start your tour off with coffee and croissants — a breakfast or snack in typical French fashion. Cross over to Ile de la Cité and enjoy wrap-around views of Notre Dame Cathedral before stepping inside to explore one of the most famous churches in the world.Perched on an island in the middle of the Seine River, Notre Dame was built in the 12th century during the reign of King Louis VII. It remains the finest example of French Gothic architecture in the world, and is the symbol of medieval Paris. As you enter beneath the imposing towers of the cathedral’s western façade, take a close look at the ornate stone carvings adorning the exterior. Inside, learn the significance behind several of the surviving statues of Notre Dame, stained-glass windows and religious artifacts on display.Also on Ile de la Cité is the Sainte Chapelle, the second stop on your tour. This grand 13th-century church was built by King Louis IX for use as his royal chapel. Marvel at its beautiful interior, dominated by the dazzling display of stained-glass windows filling the nave. Listen as your guide explains their significance, craftsmanship beauty in detail.Next, make your way to the Conciergerie. This medieval building (which now houses the Paris law courts) is the oldest royal palace in Paris. It was the residence and seat of power of the French kings for centuries during the Middle Ages, then it was converted into a prison in the 15th century. You will see the impressive 14th century Hall of Men-at-arms where the banquets took place in the Middle Ages and the Guardroom with its gothic style vaults. Then you will tour the prison itself, with the Grooming room where the condemned prisoners were stripped from their personal belongings and you will see the different cells, including that of Marie-Antoinette, where she spent the last weeks of her life before being beheaded by guillotine.