The cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris was built between ca. 1160 & 1345. From its origins, it has been one of the most important sites in all of Christendom.
The building, fallen into ruin after years of neglect following the French Revolution, was saved thanks to a vast restoration campaign begun in 1844, led by architect Jean-Baptiste Lassus and Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc.
As a result of a French law passed in 1905, the cathedral became the property of the French State but its use is dedicated exclusively to the Roman Catholic rite. Entrance is free of charge. It is classified as a French Historic Monument.
As owner and project manager, the French Ministry of Culture is responsible for regular maintenance, repairs and renovation of the building. Up unto this point all work was financed by the French State. But because of budgetary changes the State no longer wishes to assume the burden of financing desperately needed repairs. For this reason the Archbishop of Paris, in concert with the Diocese of Paris, have created the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris.