Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition is an augmented reality immersion into the history and restoration of the revered cathedral produced by the innovative French start-up Histovery, in collaboration with the Public Institution in charge of the conservation and restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris. The National Building Museum’s debut takes place on the third anniversary of the 2019 fire that ravaged this UNESCO World Heritage site and marks the North American debut of this visually stunning experience. The exhibit runs through September 26, and is a perfect summer activity for a hot day.
From medieval foundations to the current restoration building site and, a witness, in passing, to the coronation of Napoleon or the marriage of Henri IV, you can relive the cathedral’s golden days that have contributed to its emblematic status in the World Heritage of Humanity.
To navigate the exhibition, each visitor will use a HistoPad, a virtual augmented reality touch-screen tablet technology developed by Histovery. The HistoPad will allow individuals to choose their own in-depth experience. The Histopad will provide an immersive and interactive tour transporting visitors through time. I especially enjoyed zooming back in time when I scanned the HistoPad at each exhibit. Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition relives the cathedral’s extraordinary saga, from its Middle Age builders to key historical events to restoration efforts to rebuild the monument since the 2019 fire. The exhibition features previously unpublished giant photographs of the cathedral, 3-D models of a gargoyle and a cathedral statue, faux stone tile flooring and stained glass windows replicating the cathedral’s décor – including a projection of the legendary stained glass rose window – that miraculously survived the fire, along with audio of Notre-Dame’s organs and tolling bells.
The user-friendly HistoPad will serve as an interactive portal to Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition. The exhibition is designed to appeal to visitors of all ages with a virtual scavenger hunt for children where they can search for items embedded within the augmented reality screens. Adults will be fascinated by the wealth of information and elaborate interactive detail about the cathedral’s construction and splendid history. If you have no plans to visit Paris soon, this exhibit will make you feel like you are inside the cathedral itself, as restoration is ongoing and as it was being planned and build centuries ago!
Tickets are $10: Adult and $7: Youth (ages 3-17), Student with ID, Senior (ages 60+)