The Notre-Dame Cathedral Will Re-Open Near The End Of 2024

The historic Notre-Dame cathedral will fully open to the public towards the end of this year, half a decade after a large fire greatly damaged it in 2019. 

Many might remember the terrible fire that engulfed the Notre-Dame Cathedral back on April 15, 2019. The grand structure, which holds over 800 years of significant history, suffered a considerable amount of damage at the time. According to a report from Reuters, the blaze partially destroyed a large section of its roof and caused its spire to collapse. Thankfully, the quick response of firefighters on the scene ensured that the rest of the cathedral remained intact. 

Notre-Dame in Paris, France
Notre-Dame in Paris, France/Photo by Chan Lee via Unsplash 

Still, it was a close call, and many were saddened by the sight of the majestic monument burning on such a scale. The monument’s restoration and repair also necessitated a lot of funds, though thankfully some of France’s biggest billionaires pledged a total of $670 million (€600 million) to help rebuild their country’s precious jewel, reports Forbes. These included chairman of Kering Francois-Henri Pinault and the Arnault family of LVMH. 

Onlookers watch as the Notre-Dame catches fire on April 15, 2019
Onlookers watch as the Notre-Dame catches fire on April 15, 2019/Photo by Baidax via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, after years of steady and careful repairs, there’s good news for those who’ve always wanted to visit the spectacular edifice. The Paris Tourist Office [Office du tourisme de Paris]  has announced that Notre-Dame will be fully re-opening on December 8, 2024. This gives interested visitors just enough time to plan a trip to the City of Love. 

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A Meticulous and Collective Effort

The repair and restoration of the damaged cathedral happened in stages over the past few years. On May 31, 2020, its parvis became accessible to the public, then by September 8, 2022, so was its pedestrian and cyclist footbridge, the Pont au Double

On December 6, 2023, the spire of the structure rose again with its cross, and on December 16 of the same year, staff placed a new cockerel on the spire. To many, it’s a stunning and hopeful sight. It’s also a fulfillment of President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to rebuild the cathedral in five years since the day it burned—something that’s coming to fruition just in the nick of time. 

Notre-Dame before and after the devastating fire in 2019
Notre-Dame before and after the devastating fire in 2019/Photo by Louis H.G. via Wikimedia Commons

“The schedule is tight. But we’re on track,” shared architect Philippe Villeneuve with Aurelien Breeden for The New York Times. According to the Paris Tourist Office, it was Villeneuve who led the team in charge of restoring Notre-Dame in a way that’s identical to its iteration before the fire, including its famous spire. 

There’s still much to do, however, even with the monument celebrating a full opening this December. The Paris Tourist Office adds that Belgian architect Bas Smets and his team plan to create more green spaces and façade enhancements for the cathedral’s forecourt and surroundings. These changes will hopefully come into place by 2027. 

Notre-Dame’s restoration efforts have made great progress over the past five years
Notre-Dame’s restoration efforts have made great progress over the past five years/Photo by Bastien Nvs via Unsplash

Those who wish to support the cathedral can do so through its official website, which allows visitors to donate either to the Friends of Notre-Dame funds (which aids in restoration efforts) or Fonds Notre-Dame (which handles the institution’s day-to-day maintenance). 

Banner photo by Marcel Strauß via Unsplash

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