Notre Dame's forecourt opens to the public after horrific fire

The City of Paris recently reopened the Parvis (the forecourt) and Rue du Parvis de Notre Dame de Paris for the first since a horrific fire swept through the beloved Notre Dame Cathedral in 2019.

This comes after a devastating fire swept through the cathedral in April 2019. It was reported that the fire destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old world heritage landmark, whose spectacular Gothic spire collapsed as orange flames and clouds of grey smoke billowed into the sky. Since then the cathedral and its surrounding area have been shut down for renovations and cleanups. Now, after more than 13 months of clean-up operations focused on eradicating the pollution left by lead-filled dust, the site was deemed sanitary by the Regional Health Agency (Ars).

Restoring the historic landmark

According to a press release, the city writes that it will regularly clean and monitor the area. Although the rest of the cathedral is still closed, renovations will continue, likely for several years.

While the city is still in the process of reopening post-lockdown (as of yesterday, restaurants were allowed to partially reopen), Mayor Anne Hidalgo stopped by last week and shared a video of the newly-refreshed grounds. Here several locals can be seen taking socially-distant strolls through the plaza.

Hidalgo said that it was an "immense pleasure" to reopen the Notre Dame forecourt.

French Culture Minister Franck Riester also proceeded to say that the reopening was "a very important moment", adding that it was delayed "because of lead pollution and questions of confinement".


The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, but the cathedral had been undergoing intense restoration work which the fire service said could be linked to the blaze. French prosecutors treated it as an accident while historians expressed incredulity at the collapse of a building that has been a symbol of France for almost a millennium.