Notre-Dame Cathedral reopens in December

The image of theThe fire of Notre Dame, among the main symbolic monuments of France and Europe, have toured the world. Five years after that tragic event, the iconic Paris cathedral is gradually regaining its magnificent appearance and is ready to welcome the public again. from December 8, 2024. Meanwhile, in the first months of this year, several important milestones were achieved, such as the reconstruction of the famous spire designed by the architect Viollet-Le-Duc.

Notre-Dame before and after the fire

Declared Heritage of humanity from UNESCO, the Cathedral of Notre Dame it has always been not only a religious place but also a symbol of art and culture and of the national identity of the French. His story, however, was a little disturbed. In 2017, the Paris diocese started a fundraiser to restore one of the French icons in the world, to which state contributions will be added. The cathedral was, in fact, threatened by erosion caused by air and rainwater pollution, but also by the enormous influx of tourists, more than 12 million visitors welcomed in less than optimal conditions, with long queues in the cemetery during festive periods and a chaotic path. between the naves and the various chapels. So what the fire that devastated her on April 15, 2019.

From the beginning the important construction site of one of the symbolic monuments of Paris, of France and of Europe as a whole, has been the subject of heated debates on the techniques to be used and the style to choose. In the end, the authorities settled on one identical reconstruction to the original cathedral. For the restoration of the spire, the wood that comes from centuries-old holm oaks from the forest of Bercé, in the Sarthe, was used, chosen for its solidity, durability and plasticity. However, we didn’t miss it controversysuch as those concerning the fate of the windows of Notre-Dame, between those who prefer to preserve history and those who rather aim at innovation.

At what stage is the restoration of Notre-Dame cathedral?

Those visiting Paris for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will already be able to admire the iconic this summer spire of Viollet-le-Duc, whose reconstruction was completed last February, thus allowing it to regain its place in the skyline of the French capital, with its tip rising up to 96 meters. In April 2019, the pennacle was engulfed in flames and collapsed, causing damage to the entire central part of the cathedral. At the top of the spire the cross and a new rooster overlooking the cathedral. The sculpture, designed by the architect Phillipe Villeneuve, is made of copper and covered with a layer of gold.

Inside the cathedral, the removal of the armor in the presbytery allows you to find the fine furniture and the big ones works of art that never left the building, including marble and bronze statues of the vote of Louis XIII and the pictorial decorations of the chapels of the choir, which now reveal their colors and their full beauty. U 8,000 pipes of the great organ were reinstalled after being cleaned, while the harmonization process begins. In the coming months they will also be fully restored roofs of the nave and the choir.

Although most of the work has already been completed, it will continue even after the church reopens to the public. U the next steps of the reconstruction of Notre-Dame foresees the restoration of the apse and sacristy in 2025 and installation, from 2026of contemporary stained glass windows, the construction of which is currently the subject of a tender. Hugely popular with French and international visitors, Notre-Dame Cathedral is expected to welcome between 12 and 15 million people a year once it reopens, up from 10 to 12 million people who visited before the fire.

Pending the reopening, those who wish can take part in an immersive virtual reality experience called “Eternelle Notre-Dame”, accessible from the square, which allows you to immerse yourself in the heart of the cathedral’s history and its treasures, from its construction in the Middle Ages to the current restoration project.

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