Festivities for Notre Dame's 850th11 December 2012
Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris, will celebrate a special Mass at Notre Dame de Paris tomorrow to launch a year of festivities to mark the 850th anniversary of the start of the cathedral's construction in 1163.
Up to 20 million tourists and pilgrims are expected to visit the Gothic cathedral on the Ile de la Cité and attend special concerts and conferences during the year.
Renovations in preparation for the celebrations include an overdue upgrade in the lighting. Nine new bells are being cast and will be hung next spring.
The great organ, parts of which date back to the early eighteenth century, is being renovated and will be the central point for World Organ Day next May when 850 concerts around the world will play music from the cathedral's historic repertoire.
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