More than 20 million people are expected to visit Paris’ Notre Dame over the next 12 months to help mark the cathedral’s 850th anniversary.
On Wednesday evening, Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, Andre Vingt-Trois led a procession of about 100 clergy for a commemorative evening mass.
The Gothic structure which sits along the River Seine has had some work done including much improved lighting and a new viewing platform. A renovated organ and new bells will also help maximise the experience for visitors.
Concerts and several religious and cultural festivals are also planned.
“The Notre Dame Cathedral is the most visited monument in France,” said euronews’ Paris correspondent Giovanni Magi. It is a symbol not just for French people but also for pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.”
Built in the 12th century, Notre Dame survived the Hundred Years War, the French Revolution and two World Wars. So a larger than usual camera-snapping flock should be no obstacle.