Notre Dame Cathedral from behind

$138 USD per device. 4 programs, held weekly. Enroll in all 4 or choose only the ones that interest you. Each program is 60 mins, including time to ask questions and exchange ideas. Suitable for all ages, no background required.

  • Thursdays, May 13, 20, 27 and June 3 at 9:00 am EST.

Explore one of the world’s most recognizable cathedrals, an icon of Paris past and present, then and now. Join a Parisian resident and Notre Dame guide for a virtual tour of its stunning Gothic architecture. For over 850 years, the cathedral has stood at the center of the city’s social and religious history. Gothic architecture was cutting-edge technology in the Middle Ages, but its cultural impact has lasted into the 21st century. Parisians of all religions – and of none – see it as a daily reminder of perseverance. Step inside Notre Dame to inspire both your curiosity and your plans for a future trip to Paris.

Your educator Inge Laino, is a New Yorker-turned Parisian with more than 15 years of experience leading educational programs in France. She is the former director of Paris Muse, and author/creator of its interactive Notre-Dame tours for both adults and families. When she isn’t leading tours in person at the Louvre or Cluny, she works as a French-English translator for Parisian museums. She most recently translated for a Notre-Dame exhibition about its 19th-century restoration and Victor Hugo’s role in saving historic monuments.

Notre Dame Then & Now: A Series features:

Rescued From the Flames

We often think of Notre Dame and its glorious past, but in this program we’ll start with today. What caused the devastating fire on April 15, 2019, that nearly made 850 years of history go up in smoke? As the world held its breath, firefighters bravely fought the flames and very nearly did not save the building. Some 24 hours later, the world dropped its collective jaw at the staggering amount of money raised to bring Notre Dame back, kindling a fresh debate on the value of symbols and cultural heritage.

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A Gothic Masterpiece

What makes a structure Gothic? Learn to recognize the hallmarks of this quintessentially French style of architecture: soaring vaults, pointed arches, growling gargoyles, flying buttresses and celestial interiors that made medieval visitors see Notre Dame as a stepping stone to heaven. For a medieval Parisian, the effect was as astounding as our modern skyscrapers. How and why were these cutting-edge inventions conceived and executed? Discover how the Gothic defied gravity and impacted the culture of medieval Europe and beyond.

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Gateway to Heaven

Notre-Dame tells countless stories. In this program, we’ll “read” the western façade of the cathedral-like a book, to decipher messages that might otherwise be lost to contemporary viewers. Explore the three great portals in detail, and meet the essential saints, heroes, and heroines entrusted with protecting Paris. Get a surprisingly vivid glimpse of hell in an otherwise heavenly entrance that has welcomed, educated, and inspired visitors for centuries.

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Witness to History

If walls could talk, Notre Dame would provide us with several lifetimes’ worth of tales. You’ll learn about key historical events that took place at the cathedral. As a silent witness to 850 years of history, Notre Dame has hosted the crowning of an emperor, several royal weddings, Revolutionary riots, and victory celebrations at the end of WWII. These memories make Notre Dame a meaningful repository of lived experience for generations of Parisians, and not a stone capsule, frozen in time. Your online educator has spent 15 years welcoming people to the cathedral, adding to the long list of international visitors forging their own lasting memories in the heart of Paris.

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Image: © Jane Han, 2014

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