VR returns Notre Dame Cathedral to its historical glory

VR returns Notre Dame Cathedral to its historical glory

The 45-minute interactive tour takes you back 850 years to see the incredible architecture in its heyday.

On April 15, 2019, a strong fire that started under the roof of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral caused huge damage to the historic structure. By the time the last flames were extinguished, almost nothing remained of the roof and upper walls, and the spire completely collapsed.

Eternal Notre Dame”, a new VR project developed by Orange and Emissive in collaboration with the Mayor of Paris and the church, returns the unusual building to its former glory through the use of immersion technology.

In this interactive VR space, the audience, using the HTC Vive Focus 3 VR headset, explores a historically accurate recreation of Notre Dame, carefully created using high-quality interior scans and old images as a reference. Visually exciting simulation will allow you to walk through the halls of the historical building, explore the roof, listen to the stories of the first builders, see how glaziers install complex stained glass, and discover many secrets of the cathedral.

The “Eternal Notre Dame” program also includes “Notre-Dame hors les murs” (history and art) and “Restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris: the Work of the Century” (representing various professions), two additional exhibitions including a model of the cathedral (provided by the Diocese of Paris), a detailed reproduction of its arrow (a masterpiece made by Compagnons du Tour de France) and a 12-minute film about the restoration site (shot by the state institution responsible for preservation and restoration).

In an official press release, Fabien Barati, CEO of Emissive, said: “We are pleased to show the vast potential of immersive expeditions to the general public. Our teams are proud to have contributed, using their experience, to the reconstruction, preservation and improvement of this unique monument, as rich in symbols as Notre Dame de Paris is.”

In the same press release, Sher Wang, co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of HTC Corp, added: “By allowing people to see in fantastic detail the stunning beauty and history of Notre Dame Cathedral, we are an outstanding example of how virtual reality can bring history to life. Our compact, versatile VIVE Focus 3 headset allows people to get into the atmosphere and admire the wonderful architecture and valuable relics as if they were there.”

Sher Wang: “We are especially proud of this work of our content partner Emissive, which leads the world in creating unusual and unique cultural experiences based on VR.”

The Eternal Notre Dame will be open to the public in Paris from January 15, 2022 at the Espace Grande Arche in La Defense. In September 2022, the VR experience will move to the Parvis de Notre-Dame – the main square in front of the cathedral. Then “Eternal Notre Dame” will go on a tour of France and Europe, and then go to other countries of the world.

Tickets for the “Eternal Notre Dame” cost from 20.99 euros ($22) and can be purchased from January 15.

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