Notre Dame Cathedral Before and After

Paris is a gateway city to Europe for us with (relatively) cheap and (relatively) short flights from our home on the East Coast of the US.  After we had departed Paris for Prague this April, there was a massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. We went to see the damage during our final day of vacation in Paris while waiting for our return flight home.

We used Google Maps to get directions from our hotel to Notre Dame. When we asked for the route, it said “Notre Dame is permanently closed.” We went anyway. The area around the cathedral was surrounded by barricades. The area around the barricades was surrounded by a sea of tourists snapping photos. We waded in.

We took a night photo tour of Paris in 2015 when we were just getting serious about photography. A location we used is down a set of steps to the Seine River opposite the cathedral. It wasn’t blocked off and it wasn’t full of Instagrammers, so we took some shots from there. Fortunately, one of the pictures we took this time matched a photo from the night tour.

We put the before and after shots in the following slide show. The slide in the middle is an overlay of the two photos aligned as layers in Photoshop with the 2015 “before” shot at 50% opacity. It helps (us at least) visualize what was lost in the fire.

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