Notre-Dame de Paris: Immerse yourself in the history of the cathedral thanks to augmented reality

From April 7 to July 17, explore the history of Notre-Dame Cathedral using augmented reality. From its construction to the fire that devastated it in 2019, through many historical events that it has witnessed and set. A free exhibition to discover at the Collège des Bernardins. 

There was no better place than the Collège des Bernardins to receive this incredible exhibition on Notre-Dame de Paris. The College was indeed built at the same time as the cathedral, and like it, it has undergone major renovations.

“This exhibition is a reflection of what we do here,” says the director general of the College, Laurent Landete.

"Our faith shows us the need for spiritual roots in order to be able to speak to today's society and to be able to build the society of tomorrow", continues the director of this historic place which served until the French Revolution as a residence for Cistercian monks.

850 years of history

Thus, the Bernardins College hosts since April 7 and until July 17, a free exhibition in augmented reality and accessible from 6 years old which looks back on the 850 years of history of Notre-Dame.

The spectators are immersed in the atmosphere as soon as they enter the nave of the Bernardins where they are given a tablet. Thanks to this tool, they can scan images placed on cubes in front of the twenty-one historical reconstructions on offer and thus travel through time.

A journey that begins with the cathedral fire that captured the world's attention in 2019. Various sliders allow you to discover more details about this incident, up to the equipment used by the firefighters.

Laurent Landete also dwelt on "the miracle" that took place that evening. According to the testimonies of several firefighters, he reports that when the tide had turned and the firefighters thought that the cathedral was lost, it was thanks to the prayers of the crowd, which rose up to them, that they found the courage to go back and save the building from the flames.

Reconstructions to the “millimetre”

The following image offers us a trip back in time, we find ourselves in 1160, a period when Notre-Dame was still only a project. The spectator can then, using the tablet, discover the square on which the cathedral will be erected a few years later. The rendering is precise, "to the nearest millimeter" specifies the director of the Bernardins.

The paintings then take us to 1165 where we can see the beginnings of construction as if we were there, then to 1239 when Saint-Louis came to deposit the relics of the crucifixion of Christ there.

We also discover the royal promise of Louis XIII, the passage of the Revolution which transformed the cathedral into a "temple of reason", the coronation of Napoleon or the renovation work undertaken by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1840.

The visit ends with a return to 2019, with a particular focus on the work in progress and the many craftsmen who are working meticulously on this major renovation.

An exhibition designed by the start-up Histovery in collaboration with the College, who worked together for a year to finalize this project. Entirely financed by L'Oréal, it is free, which will allow those who wish to come back or simply take their time to grasp all the secrets it offers on this historical and spiritual treasure of the History of France.

Just like the Collège des Bernardins, a unique place to discover without delay if this is not already the case, this beautiful exhibition reminds us, to quote the words of Laurent Landete, that "the wise make new with the old" .

Camille Westphal Perrier

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