Notre Dame Expected to Reopen to Visitors Next Year

While construction will not be complete until 2025, the goal is to have the beloved monument open to the public by 2024.

Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

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Paris' famous Notre Dame cathedral is expected to welcome visitors by the end of 2024.

The reconstruction, which started last year, isn’t expected to be finished until 2025. But the army general in charge of the project, Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, told the Associated Press his goal is to reopen to the public in December 2024.

The team is rebuilding the cathedral’s iconic spire, which collapsed during the fire in 2019. (The spire was added by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc during the 19th-century restoration of the cathedral.) Visitors to the site can expect to see the reconstructed 315-foot spire gradually reappear this year.

“The return of the spire in Paris’ sky will in my opinion be the symbol that we are winning the battle of Notre Dame,” Georgelin told the AP, adding, “My job is to be ready to open this cathedral in 2024. And we will do it … We are fighting every day for that and we are on a good path.”

While the reopening is not far off, it won't be in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris — a goal French President Emmanuel Macron set in 2021.

Notre Dame, one of the most Instagrammed UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, was devastated by a fire in April 2019. In the years since, officials opened parts of the famous cathedral to the public. In 2020, the city reopened the crypt beneath Notre Dame, which was filled with toxic lead dust from the blaze, as well as the public plaza in front of the cathedral's main entrance.

Currently, visitors can walk through a new exhibition — “Notre-Dame de Paris: At the Heart of the Construction Site” — located in an underground facility in front of the cathedral.

The reconstruction of the gothic cathedral will largely return it to how it once looked, but the grounds are getting a more drastic makeover. Last year, landscape architect Bureau Bas Smets was selected to redevelop the cathedral's surroundings with an enlarged square behind the cathedral, a new park, an underground walkway, a welcome center, and an archaeological museum.

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