When word spread among our guides that Notre Dame was on fire, we were shocked. Watching the smoke billow out of the ancient oak roof was frightening. We feared the worst for the grand lady of Paris as Viollet-le-Duc’s 19th-century spire fell into the flames.
Due to our close relationship with the building, we understand the connection between Parisians and Notre Dame. Every day we see its effect on visitors from all over the world.
It was built on the spot where the Parissi tribe controlled the river crossing that led to the growth of the city. The site had religious significance since pagan times with four churches built there.
In the last 800 years, we know it as an example of the graceful Gothic architecture built by master craftsmen reaching for the heavens. It is flooded with light, full of structural innovations, and decorative symbolism.
It has seen pivotal moments in history. The strong stone walls have stood firm while the winds of change, war and revolution swept all in their path. Its shape inspired Picasso. Its romantic character inspired Victor Hugo and Walt Disney. Its height inspired the makers of Assassins Creed. It has welcomed all.
During the tragedy, firefighters braved the hot rains of dripping lead from the roof. A human chain of volunteers rescued the treasures inside. It inspires people to collective action.
While the damage is considerable and heart-breaking, it is not as bad as first thought. Notre Dame will open again. In the meanwhile, we can all play a part. The appreciation of heritage is one part of the shared cultural values that bind people together into collective action.
CEO of City Wonders, Simone Gozzi says "We believe providing unique experiences which enrich the understanding of our guests is a positive role for tour operators, and we know our customers increasingly like to give back by ensuring their visit has a positive impact.
Following the devastation of Notre-Dame, we wanted to take a positive step to help in the restoration of this much-loved cathedral."
We believe providing unique experiences which enrich the understanding of our guests is a positive role for tour operators, and we know our customers increasingly like to give back by ensuring their visit has a positive impact.
Following the devastation of Notre-Dame, we wanted to take a positive step to help in the restoration of this much-loved cathedral.
Unlike most of the complex problems facing the world, the preservation of Notre Dame can be solved with time and money. As an organization that brings thousands of visitors every year on tours to the cathedral, we would like to express our solidarity with these efforts.
In addition, we want to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame in the best way we know how. We will continue to bring tours to Notre Dame Island and look forward to the cathedral opening again. We will be donating €2 per person from each booking to the national fundraising effort established by the French government. We hope this small gesture will allow everyone to give back to this much-loved monument in their own way.