Notre-Dame de Paris to reopen in December: what changes are planned?

From timed visits to a new designer wardrobe for the priests

The Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral
The Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral is due to reopen in December 2024

The countdown has started for the reopening of Notre-Dame Cathedral, which has undergone five years of reconstruction work after a fire partially destroyed the iconic building in April 2019, causing its roof to collapse. 

With the reopening scheduled for December 8, 2024, we take a look at some of the changes expected. 

Read more: PHOTOS: new spire is put in place at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

Visitor numbers

The number of visitors is expected to skyrocket when the cathedral reopens to around 15 million per year compared to some 11 million when it closed. It will see around 40,000 per day. 

“Everyone will have to be patient,” Notre-Dame’s General Secretary Olivier Josse, told Franceinfo. 

Reserved visits

Entry will still be free, but visitors will be able to reserve a time slot online ahead of their visit. People can enter without reservations, but may have to wait. 

Read more: Notre-Dame fire: What is France doing to protect its other cathedrals?

New frocks

It is not just the cathedral that is getting a new look. Its priests are being kitted out in new outfits designed by French fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, who is more used to working with global superstars such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga. 

His famous teddy bear coat and its subsequent iterations have been worn by the likes of Madonna and Canadian rapper Drake.

The diocese of Notre-Dame chose Castelbajac to design the liturgical vestments that the archbishop, bishops and priests will wear during the ceremonies to mark the reopening. 

“I am delighted to see Jean-Charles de Castelbajac join the Notre-Dame atelier, which brings together craftsmen and artists whose talent will serve the joy of the cathedral's reopening," said the Archbishop of Paris, Monsignor Laurent Ulrich, in a press release.

Read more: How an American carpenter helped repair Notre-Dame de Paris

The designer has taken inspiration from the building itself for his design, incorporating the white of the stone and the reds, blues and yellows of the stained glass. 

It is not the first time the designer has created clothing for the Church. 

In 1997, he dressed Pope John Paul II, as well as hundreds of bishops and priests in rainbow-themed creations for World Youth Day, held in Paris. 

Modern fixtures

Designer Guillaume Bardet has been entrusted with crafting some of the cathedral’s most important internal fittings, from the baptistry and tabernacle to its altar and lectern. 

He has used bronze in simple shapes for the furniture, which will be installed in November.