Rediscover Note-Dame in virtual reality! - 20 Minutes

  • Three years after its opening and after 4 months of closure due to the coronavirus, the FlyView Paris virtual reality center reopens its doors.
  • On the poster, the film Revivre Notre-Dame allows you to discover, VR headset on your head, an impressive document on the cathedral devastated by a fire in April 2018.
  • The spectacle that 20 Minutes was able to discover is moving, even confusing, even if, at 19 euros, the entry ticket is not given.

Stuck in Paris this summer? Staying in the capital for a French-French vacation? If there is a monument that you will not unfortunately visit, it is obviously Notre-Dame. The cathedral doors have closed since the fire that ravaged the building on April 15, 2019. They should not reopen for… 5 years. Thanks to FlyView Paris *, located a few steps from the Opéra Garnier, virtual reality allows you to overcome any delay.

The trip takes place in a futuristic room with a perfectly respected health protocol. - CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

Virtual reality and health protocol

With the documentary Revivre Notre-Dame filmed in 360 °, the site specializing in cultural attractions in immersion offers Ile-de-France residents and tourists to discover the cathedral before and after the disaster, thanks to “teleportation”. This word, so dear to trekkies , goes here like a glove to an impressive virtual journey that 20 Minutes was able to make in preview.

Ticket in hand, the passenger descends into the basements of FlyView for a short brief before takeoff. Impossible to cross the passengers having carried out the voyage before us, a strict health protocol pushes them to borrow another staircase to go up to the surface. Besides, we passed our hands to the hydroalcoholic gel offered at the entrance and we were graciously given a protective mask, because we had forgotten ours.

VR headsets are cleaned after each session. - CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

In front of a swarm of VR headsets (the HTC Vive Focus model), Yan, a trilingual operator, gives his instructions and hands us our equipment. We then enter a surprising room in which are distributed 32 armchairs surmounted by a powerful lamp from which light filaments shoot out. Sanitary measures oblige, one seat out of two remains "condemned" until further notice in order to respect the physical distance between the passengers. The room is ventilated by constantly renewed air coming from outside.

An impressive, even intimidating experience

Wireless headphones riveted to the skull with two headphones placed on the ears, we are already behind the palisades which currently surround the cathedral. The film Revivre Notre-Dame can not be viewed. He experiences himself. And the traveler travels back in time, 360 ° images having been filmed before and after the fire by Targo, the company that produces the 18-minute documentary that revives the cathedral.

The images before the fire immortalized the magnificence of the place. - TARGO

The 360 ​​° images of Notre-Dame de Paris after the fire are sometimes overwhelming. - TARGO

The experience is impressive, of course. It is also confusing by its ability to immerse us on the spot, as at a crime scene. Anyone who has ever visited Notre-Dame de Paris finds its sacred beauty there and discovers what the flames have been willing to save. We feel it weakened but determined. Before / after images chained with a fade leave speechless in front of the monument as inert which seems to have lost all life.

The film also pushes us to raise our heads to the gaping hole in the roof of the building, where the bubbling arrow of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc which peaked at 96 meters collapsed this sinister evening of April 2018 Always with a VR helmet on your head, you like to lean towards the ground when images filmed using a drone reveal the building seen from the sky. And we are stuck when in turn, we find ourselves briefly face to face with Patrick Chauvet, archpriest rector of Notre-Dame, or Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris. Sitting facing the camera to evoke the building, they appear to us life-size, as very real thanks to 3D. We would be almost intimidated by so much realism. All emotions are summoned.

One in two wheelchairs remains neutralized until further notice. - CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

We put our helmet on our chair. As usual, a complete cleaning will be ensured. Concession to the Covid: all items touched by the public, such as the armrests, are disinfected after each session.

55% of visitors from Ile-de-France

The whole experience lasts around forty minutes. As with a roller coaster in an amusement park, the staging developed by FlyView Paris takes part in what is above all a spectacle. "We also made sure that the film was first and foremost a story by going beyond the strict framework of reporting," explains Antoine Lacarrière, director of FlyView. Before going out, it is possible to take a free photo with the help of an automatic machine and to address the view against the background of Notre-Dame by email.

If one leaves the conquered places, teleportation is not given: 19 euros per session. And there is no child rate, just a Family package at 64 euros (16 euros instead). Where we also see that FlyView has increased its prices by 4 euros per session in 3 years ... The price of success? Antoine Lacarrière assures that the concept of cultural visits in VR pleases and has already attracted 300,000 travelers, which would be in accordance with the initial objectives. Which travelers would be Ile-de-France at 55% and tourists at 45%, "including a significant proportion of French tourists," says the director of FylView, who also recognizes that Asian tourist buses often stop to embark. In the current circumstances, the mass is said: the passengers expected this summer are likely to be mainly local and national.

* 30, rue du Quatre-Septembre, 75002 Paris - Metro Opera. Currently in pre-opening from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and open from July 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets by reservation or on site.


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  • 20 minutes video
  • Paris
  • Coronavirus
  • Virtual reality
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • High-Tech