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Notre Dame Cathedral Restoration

As work continues to rebuild the fire-damaged Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, life goes on for locals and tourists.

Tourist taking photo of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

ABOVE: A tourist snaps a photo of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame in late September, 2019.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame may have been devasted by fire on April 15, 2019, but it looks surprisingly intact--at least from outside and at ground level. (The roof, which burned and rained molten lead into the building's interior, is another story.)

In late September, 2019, we took a series of photos to show the cathedral's current status. They're published below, along with links to articles about the restoration process.

Basilica Cathedral of Saint-DenisTip: While Notre Dame is being rebuilt, you can still enjoy cathedral visits in central France.

For example, the Basilica Cathédrale de Saint-Denis--shown in the inset photo--is easy to reach by Paris Métro Line 13. (It's the burial place of French monarchs.)

If you're willing to venture a bit farther by train, you can enjoy cathedrals in cities or towns such as Beauvais, Chartres, and Rouen.


BELOW: Life goes on in the square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, although tents and construction barriers keep prospective worshippers and tourists away from the church.

Facade of Notre Dame Cathedral after fire

BELOW: Tourist boats and the Batobus water bus continue to ply the Seine alongside the damaged cathedral. 

Notre Dame Cathedral facade after fire of 2019

Bateaux Parisiens and Batobos sSign on the Seine by Notre Dame Cathedral

BELOW: From the Left Bank and the Pont de la Tournelle, you can see scaffolding and wooden supports along the cathedral's outer walls.

South side of Notre Dame Cathedral restoration

Notre Dame Cathedral with crane and scaffolding

BELOW: It's a testament to the skills of the Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris, a.k.a. the Paris Fire Department, that none of the adjacent buildings (some of which are quite close to the Cathedral) were singed or destroyed.

Cathedral of Notre Dame and apartment building after fire

BELOW: On the north side f the cathedral, a hydraulic crane lifts materials and supplies to workers on the scaffolding.

Construction crane at Notre Dame Cathedral

BELOW: The restoration process hasn't kept tourists and refreshment vendors away.

Tourist and vendor at Notre Dame Cathedral after the fire

BELOW: This stone drainspout was unscathed by the fire.

 Drainspout on Notre Dame Cathedral

Related Web links

Inside Notre Dame: a blow-by-blow account of the restoration process
The Art Newspaper describes what's been happening in the five months since the fire. (The article's dateline is September 30, 2019.)

Notre-Dame Cathedral "not yet totally saved" six months after devastating fire
France 24 describes the status of reconstruction as of mid-October, 2010.

Notre Dame's cathedral fire could ease France's shortage of artisans
According to Deutsche Welle, every cloud of smoke has a silver lining.

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for About.com, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (including Paris for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

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