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327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

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Peak District...
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327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

Hi

We are in Paris this weekend (can't wait) and would love to climb the Notre Dame Towers, I have been on the website and seen the opening times, fees - and number of steps! Has anyone climbed the steps and how long did it take you on average - as we have our 8 year old with us who doesn't mind walking, exploring etc I just want an idea of how long I have to put up with the question "how much longer to the top?!" I know it will be worth the moaning once we get to the top!

Thanks

MD

texas
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1. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

I walked it with an 11 year old but it has been a while. We were there when it opened, first in line. It was a cold morning and we were happy or at least I was happy about that before we were though. I can't imagine that climb in summer (Ok I admit I'm a tad older now, too). We also went up to see the bells, back down, then over to Sainte Chapelle, which wasn't available, had a tour of Sainte Severin, and then had lunch in the little passage.

As I recall it, the size of the steps varies because of wear and whatnot so you will need to watch your step. I don't recall it being very easy to stop and rest along the way, except in a few places, and you go round and round. The view is wonderful, please say hi to my gargoyle buddies for me!

Edited: 25 January 2010, 10:56
Denmark, Europe
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2. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

Climbed them when 15 years old. AFAIR the stairs are very narrow, the steps are uneven and of variating height.

And I seem to recall it was more like 380 steps (counted them on the way down) - will check the scrapbook.

If you are young and not too big a person (also sideways): do it ! But us the elderly and chubby should stay on ground, avec un p'tit verre.......

West Sussex, England
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3. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

I went up this December. I am 52, but slim and active. I had no problem at all. The view was excellent but my fingers got frozen taking photos. The stairs are your typical medieval spiral, stone, worn in the middle, ok if you are used to them. Think castles, some cathedrals....I always think coming down is worse than going up!

West Sussex, England
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4. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

I see you are from England, so I imagine you will have had the opportunity to take your 8-year-old to some castles. If he/she enjoyed those, will enjoy Notre Dame.

Edited: 25 January 2010, 14:30
Oregon
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5. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

I certainly could be wrong but I thought it was around 425 stairs. I really wanted to make this climb when I was in Paris this past Sept/Oct but I have asthma and just didn't think I would make it.

I was told there are places to stop along the way. So those places are few and far between? Alas, it bothers me that there is anything wonderful in Paris that I might not be able to see. I want to experience it and say that I experienced it. I might need to get hoisted up there!

Missouri
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6. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

Being as eldery and chubby as Gitte :-) I think I'll stay off the stairs. But I would like to get to the gargoyle level. That's not the same, right?

Victoria, Canada
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7. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

An 8 yr old ( if normally healthy and active) will not have any problem really, I did it at 10, my sister was 8,, we weren't complaining as I recall. It is windy and narrow so if one is unfit or elderly it is tough( I have done the climb 3 or 4 times sinces,, most recently 2 yrs ago, with my 12 yr old) . Since it is narrow, windy, stone , etc,, very "medievel" most kids enjoy the atmosphere and don't seem to mind the climb as much as adults.

I would take anyone over 6 ( as long as they are not very "big", or old)

Hint, they only let people up in groups of about 20,, so when your're let in,, hang back till you are at end of group,,so you won't have people behind you,, then you can pause more easily.There is as I recall at least one or two " step in " acloves on the way up,, but they are small , and will fit only one or two people at very most. There is also the gift shop abuot 3/4 way up, I can't recall if we paused there on way up or down though.

ohio
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8. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

There are several interesting youtube videos that show the stairs so you can get a better idea. Here is one, you can hear the camera holder panting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2W5Yj0r_1g

texas
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9. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

think the 400 number is if you also do the climb up to the bells, I think there is a lower level you can come down from perhaps though not certain as we did the whole thing, climbed as high as they allow and have a horrid picture of me by the bells. As to gift shop, when did they do that? There were a few quite tiny alcoves to stop and rest in when I did it, don't recall the number but not many, and we passed a couple of very old doors that were very thoroughly shut. The only gift shop was below at that time, which is more years ago than I care to mention. I expect one of the rooms we passed was perhaps a storeroom they've turned into a gift shop now? I'm looking forward to doing the climb again on my next trip as others with me will not have been, and it's an excuse to see the gargoyles again.

I am an admittedly rounded woman of "a certain age". I climbed St Paul's last spring, and yes, I did have to stop and rest once along the way. But I made it and I will manage Notre Dame again. I think I will not make the mistake of doing the Arc de Triomphe the same day this time, however. I rather do suspect this will be my last visit to the lovely gargoyles, and I do plan to get plenty of pictures. :)

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: 327 steps ? Notre Dame Towers

Thanks for the Youtube link plan09! The staircase at Notre Dame seems much wider than the one at St Peter's Basilica in Rome...and I was able to climb the 320 some odd steps (from the mid-point!) by sticking my derriere into an alcove to rest up lol. This seems do-able for a mid-30s chubby chick like me!

Oh and thanks for the tip joan1 - I didn't realize they only let up 20 at a time. I will act as the "caboose" and pace myself.