This site, originally a Gallo-Roman temple, has been a place of worship for 2 000 years. Maurice de Sully began construction of the cathedral around 1163; it was one of the first to have flying buttresses extended by gargoyles. One cannot help but be struck by the slenderness and boldness of the elevation of the nave. From the top of the south tower, there is a splendid view over the spire, buttresses, Île de la Cité and the whole of Paris. Notre Dame is one of the capital's greatest buildings.