0861 TURNER / 0861887637 xperts@xlturnerstravel.co.za

One of France’s most popular tourist attractions is slowly being brought back to life following a devastating fire.

A blaze broke out at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in April 2019, leading to its roof and spire collapsing.

Since then it has been through a 5-year restoration, which has has many ups and downs from pandemic delays to the departure of the project’s leader.

But now it’s slated to be completed by the end of 2024, with fast progress being shown in the video above.

Here is a timeline of events in the restoration:

April 2019  A fire ravages Notre Dame, collapsing its roof and spire and destroying its interior, unleashing a global wave of solidarity. A monumental effort to restore the cathedral’s grandeur is launched, and French President Emmanuel Macron pledges to complete it within five years.

June 2020 – The pandemic delays work at the cathedral, but removing charred scaffolding that had encased the spire amid previous restoration works marked a significant step.

August 2020 – Efforts begin to restore the organ that once thundered through the cathedral – France’s largest musical instrument. The 8,000-pipe organ survived the fire, but was coated in toxic lead dust. Dismantling, cleaning and reassembling it is expected to finish this year.

March 2021 – The first of an expected 1,000 historic French oak trees destined to rebuild the spire are selected from the Bercé forest in the French Loire region.

September 2021 – Work to secure the structure is finally completed, after carpenters, scaffolding experts, climbers and others help build temporary structures and a special enormous ‘’umbrella” to protect the towers, vaults and walls of the roofless building. Bidding starts on the rest of the reconstruction.

Spring 2022 – Workshops of master glassmakers and locksmiths from across France begin the laborious process of cleaning and restoring the cathedral’s famed stained glass windows. Help also comes from abroad: Germany’s Cologne Cathedral restores four windows.

July 2023 – Massive oak trusses are hoisted onto Notre Dame, drawing Parisians to witness what is described as a magical moment, intertwined with preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Climbing cafes and floating offices: How to spend a memorable week remote working in Paris

Can historic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower ever be truly green?

August 2023 – France mourns the sudden death of General Jean-Louis Georgelin, the French army general who had been appointed to oversee the restoration. President Macron hails him as the “greatest soldier” dedicated to restoring Notre Dame “stone by stone.”

December 2023 – A golden rooster, reimagined as a phoenix, is returned to the top of the cathedral’s spire, symbolizing Notre Dame’s rebirth. Religious relics, including pieces of what is said to be Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns, are placed in a time capsule inside the golden bird.

February 2024 – Scaffolding is removed to unveil the cathedral’s new spire, adorned with the golden rooster and a cross. It offers a glimpse into the future as Notre Dame nears its grand reopening.

December 2024 – Restorers say they hope the Cathedral will be able to reopen by the end of the year.

Source: https://www.euronews.com/travel/2024/03/19/notre-dame-cathedral-could-reopen-at-the-end-of-2024-as-new-spire-emerges