Eternal Notre Dame: VR time travel through 850 years of Parisian history

Eternal Notre Dame: VR time travel through 850 years of Parisian history

A VR experience pays tribute to the history of Notre Dame Cathedral, taking visitors on a journey through time that spans centuries.

On April 15, 2019, a devastating fire destroyed the roof, upper walls, and spire of the Parisian landmark. French network operator Orange is creating a virtual memorial to the world-famous cathedral in the form of a VR experience that pays tribute to its history, architecture, and art.

The historic Notre Dame accurately reconstructed

Eternal Notre-Dame” lasts around 45 minutes and allows VR users to travel through 850 years: from its construction in the Middle Ages to its current restoration.

Visitors to the attraction put on HTC Vive Focus 3 wireless VR goggles and explore a historically accurate reconstruction of the church in virtual reality, created using high-resolution scans and imagery.

Eine mittelalterliche nächtliche Straßenszene in Paris

In Eternal Notre-Dame, you’ll travel to medieval Paris. | Image: Orange

Along the way, you’ll walk the halls and roof, listen to stories from the original builders, experience important historical events, and meet influential figures of the time.

Eternal Notre-Dame: currently only available to see on site

The VR experience is designed as a traveling exhibition that can only be seen on-site until further notice: Starting January 15 at the Grande Arche in the high-rise district of La Défense, starting in the spring at the Conciergerie in Paris, and starting in September 2022 directly in front of the cathedral. After that, the VR attraction will travel throughout France, Europe, and the rest of the world.

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The project was developed by VR studio Emissive, which already created the successful VR experience Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass for the Louvre. Since this has now been released for the PC VR platforms Viveport and SteamVR, Eternal Notre-Dame could possibly also be released for home VR systems at a later date.

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Other partners include Amaclio Productions, the Paris Diocese, and the City of Paris. Admission tickets cost 30 euros, with 30 percent of the proceeds going to the restoration project, which is still underway. The cathedral is scheduled to reopen in April 2024.

Sources: Orange.com, VRScout