Cathedrale de Paris

One Year Later
APRIL 2020 Notre Dame Cathedral,
Parisians gather around Notre Dame on the night of the fire. © Jean-Claude Coutausse

Dear friends,I wanted to send you a few words, as we recall the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, which broke out on this day one year ago.

I was in Paris myself on April 15, 2019. As soon as I heard the news of the fire, I left my office, and like thousands of Parisians, converged at the cathedral, engulfed in flames. 

Despite the terror of that evening, we took comfort in being together, united along the Seine’s banks. Soon an outpouring of emotion and solidary would spring forth from all over the world, in particular from the United States.

I have trouble imaging what our solitary terror would look like, had we witnessed Notre Dame crumble this year, without the community of a crowd of Parisians by her side.

While the cathedral is being reborn little by little (today, its biggest bell sounded for the first time in a year!), I wanted to share this memory with you, and remember what we felt on that night, as an invitation to hold on to hope and be patient as we look forward to the thousands of beautiful things that await us when the world is safe again.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some content that particularly pleased us, to invite you to explore Notre Dame virtually, and to see the cathedral as you never have before!

I encourage you to continue visiting our site, FrenchCulture.org (each day more of you do so!) where we publish new recommendations every day on how to explore French culture online from home.

Take good care,Gaëtan Bruel
Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States 
@gaetanbruel
3 Ways to Visit Notre Dame Cathedral VirtuallyOne year ago, a fire erupted in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Today, people around the world can step inside its walls and explore the cathedral thanks to three breathtaking 360 videos.Read more


Chantal Da Rosa

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