Notre-Dame de Paris: two renovated chapels unveil how magnificent they are

Published by Anne-christine C. · Photos by Laurent P. · Published on 12 February 2021 at 12h00 · Updated on 15 February 2021 at 09h22
Even though the gigantic renovation worksite of Notre-Dame de Paris has been delayed, two chapels have been renovated already. Polychromatic plaster or dazzling exposed stones, the Saint Ferdinand and Notre-Dame-de-Guadalupe chapels unveil their beauty, covered in dirt for decades.

Despite delayed deadline because of the Covid-19 epidemic, Notre-Dame de Paris renovation works keep on moving. Even though they are not expected to end before 2025 – unlike what Emmanuel Macron promised, namely renovating the cathedral for Paris 2024 Olympics – works are coming along nicely. Especially for two test worksites of the two Saint-Ferdinand and Notre-Dame de Guadalupe chapels.

During the fire on April 15, 2019 the roof and vaults of Notre-Dame de Paris have been damaged. The twenty-four chapels along the nave and the choir have not been damaged, only covered in lead dust. To proceed to cleaning, two test worksites have started in September 2020 and are ending now. The first two works are the occasion to proceed to tests and come up with cleaning protocols for paints, stone and stained-glass windows.

And what a wonder, the two chapels unveil how magnificent they are, as they were covered in dirt for decades. The Saint Ferdinand Chapel unveils decors painted on plaster and reveals wonderful polychrome. The Notre-Dame-de-Guadalupe Chapel is adorned with amazing exposed stones with vestige of fleur-de-lys painted on the ribs of the vaults.

Here, laser is used to clean the seals between stones, there, gel is set to absorb dirt and removed with paper towel. Everything is good to reveal original colors and materials.

Completed in the second half of the 19th century, the painted decors have been designed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc you can discover in the Saint-Ferdinand Chapel used to adorn all Notre-Dame chapels but have been mostly destroyed in the 1960’s as they were thought of bad quality.

Extremely encouraging, these test works are a good starting point to renovate the 22 other Notre-Dame chapels. Of course, it is necessary to close and consolidate vaults first and rebuild the roof and the spire the same way before the cathedral can get its original magic.

Practical information

Location

Cathédrale Notre-Dame
75004 Paris 4

Access
commun Métro - RER :
- Cité (4)
- Saint Michel - Notre-Dame (B,C)
- Hôtel de Ville (1,11)
- Maubert-Mutualité / Cluny - La Sorbonne (10)
- Châtelet - Les Halles (7,14,A,D)

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