In order to gain access to this vantage point, Brassai bribed the concierge of Notre Dame. About that experience he wrote: "'Follow me,' the concierge whispered in a muffled voice. We were like conspirators in a Victor Hugo novel. She carried a bunch of keys, and with them she opened the heavy door. We climbed the spiral staircase. It was totally dark; the climb lasted an eternity. At last, we reached the open platform. Completely out of breath, my accomplice collapsed into her chair. Impatient, enraptured, I ran beside the balustrade. It was more beautiful than I had imagined! The dark, indefinable shapes were black as night, the fog over Paris was milk white! Scarcely discernible, the Hotel-Dieu, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Quartier Latin, the Sorbonne, were luminous and somber shapes... Paris was ageless, bodiless... Present and past, history and legend intermingled."