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The bells, the bells…Notre Dame Paris celebrates 850 years

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has announced that it will be introducing a programme of ceremonies and thanks giving to celebrate its upcoming 850th anniversary.

Notre Dame will be celebrating from 12 December 2012 to 11 December 2013 in the heat of the city of Paris and there will be a musical programme and an exhibition showcasing the Cathedral’s heritage and creativity.

There will be major new projects including  eight new bells to replace the bells which were installed in the middle of the 19th Century.  The original bells were destroyed during the French Revolution – except for one “Emanuel”.  The new bells are aimed to produce the sound of the 17th Century as Emanuel does and will be made by a company in Villedieu-les-Pans, France.  There will also be a new bell in the south tower to support and help sustain Emanuel and preserve the beautiful bell for future generations.  The cathedral organ will be restored to its former glory with a thorough cleaning of the pipes some of which are ancient, and the Cathedral’s interior will be lit with a fabulous new lighting system.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame was consecrated in 1163 and has been the scene for the coronation of many Kings of France.  It is considered the centre of Catholicism in France and many pilgrims make their way to its doors every year with around 14 million tourist visits per year.

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