A travelling exhibition telling the story of fire-ravaged Notre-Dame de Paris and its restoration has landed in London, inside its London equivalent at Westminster Abbey.

The “augmented exhibition” fills the ancient Chapter House and tells, through a handheld tablet, the history of the French cathedral from its earliest days as a small church through to the Gothic cathedral and now restoration.

The exhibition is activated by pointing the tablet at a marker, and then a display shows some aspect of the cathedral’s history. There’s quite a lot here to read, although candidly, it felt that about half the exhibition didn’t need the tablets and could just as easily have been printed onto display boards.

The rest, though, gives the exhibition its “augmented” title as you can hold the tablet and pan around the room, looking through its screen at Paris of the past and seeing the cathedral in all its original colours and appearance.

There are a few extras, such as selfie mode and a children’s treasure hunt.

Also worth pointing out is the carpet, which covers the tiled floor in the Chapter House but is a work of art in itself.

The exhibition is included with the standard entry price to visit the Abbey, and is open now until the end of May 2024.

  • Adult: £29
  • 1 Adult + 1 Child 6-17 years: £29
  • Child 6-17 Years: £13
  • Senior 65+: £26
  • Student: £26

For regular visitors, the Abbey Association gives you unlimited visits for an annual membership fee of £45.

Also, if you’re an English Heritage Member, the cloisters and Chapter House are free to visit via the Dean’s Yard entrance, although you can’t then visit the Abbey.

The Notre Dame de Paris is due to reopen again after restoration work on 8th December 2024, little more than five years after the fire nearly destroyed it.


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