Notre Dame Cathedral to open its doors on December 16


The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, located in the heart of Paris, has marked a significant date on its calendar, announcing its reopening in December after a meticulous restoration process. This milestone comes after it was severely affected by a devastating fire in April 2019, an event that shocked the world and launched a global recovery campaign.

During the Rendez-vous at France Travel Market, the country's most important international trade fair, Olivier Josse, secretary general of the cathedral, shared crucial details about the reopening with the press. The cathedral, a national treasure of France and a pillar of European cultural heritage, will open its doors to individual visitors every day from 7:45 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. starting Dec. 16. In a welcoming gesture, admission will be free for all, in line with French tradition and laws.

In addition, reservations are scheduled for pilgrim and cultural groups starting in March and June, respectively, preparing Notre Dame to welcome a diverse crowd of visitors. Josse underscored the monumental task of managing attendance expectations, anticipating a jump from the traditional 10 to 11 million annual visitors to an impressive 15 million, equivalent to about 40,000 daily visitors. This significant increase poses logistical challenges, although the cathedral is equipped to handle it, setting a limit of 25 visitors per group and making the use of headphones mandatory to avoid disturbances during visits.

The access policy includes restrictions such as prohibiting groups from entering during religious services and at specific times on weekends, while electronic queues will be implemented for individual visitors, facilitating a more organized and respectful visiting experience.

The reopening process will begin with ceremonial activities on Dec. 7, followed by a preliminary public access period from Dec. 10-15, especially dedicated to those who have contributed to the restoration project. Josse praised the restoration effort, noting that the cathedral has been "beautifully restored on the inside," although he noted that work on the exterior will continue until 2028.

This reopening phase of Notre Dame Cathedral not only marks a moment of celebration and cultural rebirth for Paris and France but also represents a testament to the resilience and global commitment to heritage preservation. The cathedral, with its renewed beauty and structure, is poised to once again take its place as a site of historical and spiritual significance, welcoming visitors from around the world to share in its renewed legacy.

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