Notre Dame Cathedral will reopen to visitors and worshippers by December 2024.
The announcement comes less than six years after a fire tore through the 12th-century Gothic cathedral’s roof and destroyed its famous spire, rendering the building unsafe for occupation. The interiors were also damaged in the blaze.
After two years of stabilization work, reconstruction of the roof and the 315-foot-tall spire kicked off in 2022. French officials said visitors will be able to see the new spire under construction this year. Following the fire the cathedral launched an international competition to design a replacement spire, that produced a plethora of modern takes on the defining architectural feature. However, after a series of delays, arguing, and coronavirus, in 2020 French President Emmanuel Macron decided to restore the 19th-century spire to its original state.
“The return of the spire in Paris’ sky will in my opinion be the symbol that we are winning the battle of Notre Dame,” French Army General Jean-Louis Georgelin told Associated Press.
In the year following the fire with the start of the restoration work, officials were confident and adamant the cathedral be fully restored and reopened prior to the start of the 2024 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Paris starting on July 26. This latest news on the anticipated construction timeline indicates that the project will not meet the original completion date.
While visitors and worshippers will be able to reenter the cathedral by the end of the year, construction will continue. Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak told AP, “There will still be some renovation work going on in 2025.”
In addition to a new roof, a reimagined forecourt will be planted with trees in a move toward increasing the site’s climate resiliency. Local firms GRAU and Neufville-Gayet are working alongside Brussels-based landscape firm Bureau Bas Smets (BBS) on the redesign that updates the landscape of the site.