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Virtual reality Notre Dame

Hi, i wonder if the virtual reality Notre Dame is worth it? We have seen and taken the stairs up to the Notre dame before the fire. Thanks!

Posted by
34 posts

We did that in 2022. Our family (2 adults and a 12 year old) really liked it. The hard part was getting there, it's a little outside of town (we had reservations at the end of the day and took a taxi; Traffic was terrible).
If you have a VR headset at home you probably won't be impressed. But this was my first (and still only) time with VR and I thought it was really cool. I have also been to Notre Dame a couple of times but there was still history to learn and just the cool sensations of VR.
I wouldn't put it as a must-do if haven't seen the "big" things in Paris yet. But if this is your third or fourth visit, I think it is a worthwhile diversion.

Posted by
735 posts

Thanks a lot Cprothero. We don’t have a VR set so this might be interesting. Thanks also for the heads up regarding the distance in getting there.

Posted by
106 posts

I did this with my sister and nieces (15 and 11) last summer. We just loved it, especially since the kids couldn't get to see the inside of Notre Dame on their first visit to Paris. The quality of the visuals is amazing and the history is fascinating. I will say that during the latter half of our visit there, we mostly got stupid and giggly -- the kids "jumped off the roof" of Notre Dame, and my sister and I "poked priests in the eyes." But it was a big success nonetheless -- I figured the kids got a bit of history in between the shenanigans. Right after that, we went to Ste-Chappelle, which they found to be miraculous, so they did get some real-life gothic church views.

Note that the backpacks you wear for the VR experience are a bit heavy -- the website may have the weight. The VR headset is also a bit heavy, so I'm glad the visit wasn't longer than it was.

Posted by
8157 posts

IT is fabulous. And when you do it as a family, you can label your avatars so you can stick together which is fun -- when my French friend and I missed the platform to 'ride up' in the bell tower, we clutched each other in panic as we hung suspended in the air. Every person on the floor has an outline avatar so you can avoid running into other people. The people in your group will have their names on their avatar so you can find each other.

It is truly a wonderful experience.

Posted by
125 posts

Another thumbs up from me. The entrance in front of ND is a bit hidden, it’s not well signed. But it’s in the northwest corner of the plaza (parvis), and if you know that, you should have no problem finding the stairs down to it.

One other thing, if you don’t like heights, it gets a bit hairy at the very end bc you finish on the top of the cathedral. And honestly, your brain really, really thinks you’re on top of it! I had to stop about 2 minutes before the end. #embarrassed

Posted by
345 posts

I will not argue that it this wonderfully done and wonderfully well presented. If however, you have a fear of heights, seriously consider whether you can handle this.- I could not. When I gave up and left, I was told by one of the staff, that I was not the only person that this ever happened to. Maybe they were just being nice to me, but it was too realistic for me.

Posted by
8157 posts

The height effects are very real. The first time I did it, I was standing at the organ with steep steps down on each side and had a lot of trouble getting down -- I KNEW I was on a flat floor, but every fiber of my being told me those were steep steps (and I am old and steep steps are not my friend)

When. my French friend and I missed the platform and were hanging in the air, it was genuiinely frightening. I don't have in ordinate fears of heights but can imagine how awful it would be if one did.

Posted by
735 posts

Thanks for the heads up. One of us might have problem with heights.

Posted by
345 posts

Oh, my, if I had missed the platform and been hanging in air, I think they probably would have to take me to that hospital right next to there.

I kept telling myself this is not real, This is not real, but it could not overcome the panic part of my brain. it’s very well done. Now I was solo I think maybe if I’d had someone to hang onto I might have been better, but I can’t guarantee it.

Posted by
8157 posts

well at least Hotel Dieu is nearby LOL. You can always shut your eyes when VR gets too intense. I had to do that on the flight over Paris VR experience with my granddaughter near Opera. I was okay flying over Notre Dame and such but when being whisked from one part of Paris to another I could not do it with eyes open without getting queasy. that didn't happen at all at Eternelle Notre Dame. I did it first alone because my husband is visually impaired and cannot do VR. I then did it with a French friend on my next trip and we loved it and it was more fun to do it with someone else.

Posted by
125 posts

Lol. Carol. I held on tight to my niece's hand toward the end, when we got to the top of the cathedral. In fact, it was she who pulled off my headset when I started cutting off her circulation. It amazed me how absolutely your brain believes what it sees.