Notre Dame Cathedral might re-open to visitors in December 2024.
Notre Dame Cathedral might re-open to visitors in December 2024 due to the ‘good pace’ of the renovations. This will be after the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and six and a half years after renovations first commenced, and almost four years after the fire that damaged the roof and spire, and water damaged the interior of the famous cathedral on 15 April 2019. Across France, every day about 1,000 people are working on the cathedral’s renovations.
On Monday 6 March 2023, French officials announced its aim to open the doors of Notre Dame Cathedral to visitors in December 2024. The cathedral’s spire will gradually start re-appearing this year, which is a ‘powerful signal’ of the 12th century cathedral’s revival, announced the army general in charge of the renovations, General Jean-Louis Georgelin.
The reconstruction of the spire began in 2022 to recreate it as it was before the fire – i.e. a 93 metre (315 feet) tall 19th century Gothic style spire designed by architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc.
To celebrate the announcement, there will be a free exhibition open to visitors from 7 March 2023 to 2024 in an underground facility in front of the cathedral. The exhibition is called “Notre-Dame de Paris: at the heart of the construction site.” It also features some remains from the fire. The free exhibition will be open during the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. There will also be a fee-paying virtual reality show that will present the cathedral’s history.
Even though the aim is to re-open the cathedral in December 2024, all of the renovations will not be completed. Some renovation work will continue into 2025, said culture minister Rima Abdul-Malak. To date, there is still the framework to be completed, as well as painting the interior, and work on the stones, vault, organ, and stained-glass windows. The intention is to remain true to the construction methods of medieval times, said Philippe Jost, managing director of the government agency overseeing the reconstruction. And that takes research, sourcing the exact materials and artisans, and time.