No Christmas tree in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral

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Bad news for those who wished to wonder at the traditional Christmas tree in Paris. Following the Great Fire of April 2019 there will be no Christmas tree in front of Notre-Dame cathedral.

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No Christmas tree in front of Notre-Dame

Every year at Christmas time a tree over 20 metres tall is traditionally put up in front of Notre-Dame.

Notre-Dame Christmas 01 © French Moments

The forecourt of Notre-Dame at Christmas © French Moments

In 2015, following the Paris attacks on the 13th November, the cathedral decided that there would be no Christmas tree in front of Notre-Dame. Newspaper Le Figaro reported that for security reasons it would need a 24/7 guard service, costing from 60,000 to 70,000 euros. At the time the cathedral did not have the budget to finance such a plan and opted to postpone the tradition to next year.

Instead a group of fir trees with fairy lights was put up just under the left side of the main portal. A little Nativity scene occupied the right side.

Simple Christmas trees under the central portal of Notre-Dame © French moments

Simple Christmas trees under the central portal of Notre-Dame © French moments

A sober Nativity Scene under the central portal of Notre-Dame © French moments

A sober Nativity Scene under the central portal of Notre-Dame © French moments


A fantastic Christmas crib inside the cathedral

Instead, Parisians and visitors alike were invited to enter the cathedral. A giant Advent wreath was suspended in the nave.

And a Nativity scene was set up in the north side of the ambulatory.

Nativity Scene 2015 Notre-Dame Cathedral copyright French Moments

Cracow crib at Notre-Dame cathedral (2015) © French Moments

Nativity Scene Notre-Dame Paris

Nativity Scene of Notre-Dame in December 2016 © French Moments

Nativity Scene Notre-Dame Paris

Notre-Dame, Paris – The 2016 Nativity Scene of Notre-Dame © French Moments

However the Great Fire of April 2019 not only destroyed the cathedral but consequently led to the cancellation of a wide range of festivities, including the Christmas tree in the parvis and Nativity scenes inside.

Maybe a tree will stand up in front of the cathedral for Christmas 2020… time will tell!

Find out more about the Christmas Tree in front of Notre-Dame – the traditions of Christmas in the Paris cathedral.


 

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

2 Comments

  1. I have enjoyed your blog and shall return to it often. My wife and I will be in Paris on 11.11.2016 and I wanted to understand how this day was commemorated in France.

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