Inside Notre-Dame: Modern touches and traditional splendour set for December reopening | Travel.

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is undergoing a stunning transformation as it prepares for its grand reopening in December. After the devastating fire in 2019, the 860-year-old cathedral is set to reopen on December 8, showcasing a blend of modern touches and traditional splendor.

To add a contemporary flair to the interior, designer furniture and vibrant priestly vestments created by renowned fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac will be featured. Inspired by the cathedral’s surviving gold cross, the priestly outfits boast geometric patterns and primary colors reminiscent of the works of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

In addition to the redesigned vestments, new massive bronze furniture that evokes a medieval aesthetic, similar to something out of “Game of Thrones,” will be installed. This new furniture includes a baptismal font, altar, and tabernacle, all crafted in southern France. The faithful will have the comfort of 1,500 to 2,000 simple yet cozy oak chairs during services.

The cathedral’s chapels have been restored with vibrant painted decorations, and seven new tapestries and six stained glass windows will be installed post-reopening. Notable contemporary artists such as Daniel Buren, Herve Di Rosa, and Yan Pei-Ming are among the 110 artists competing to create the new stained glass windows.

Rector Olivier Ribadeau Dumas promises visitors a “strong cultural and spiritual experience” at Notre-Dame, with anticipated visitor numbers estimated to increase from 12 million to 15 million per year post-reopening. Key restorations, including the iconic spire and golden crosses, have been completed, along with state-of-the-art fire protection systems and the installation of the restored bells and great organ.

When Notre-Dame reopens to the public, it will be able to accommodate 2,500 people at once and host up to 40,000 visitors per day. Reservations for visiting the cathedral will open a week before the reopening, with a focus on individual visitors over group tours for the first six months. Notre-Dame’s visitor capacity will surpass that of the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre Museum in Paris, making it a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike.

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