PARIS (AP) — Notre Dame Cathedral is unable to host Christmas services for the first time since the French Revolution, because the Paris landmark was too deeply damaged by this year's fire.
So its exiled clergy, choir and congregation are celebrating the holiday in another Gothic church next to the Louvre Museum instead.
The accidental April blaze consumed the medieval monument's roof and collapsed its spire, and reconstruction is expected to take several years. Officials say the structure is too fragile to let visitors inside, and there's still a risk of poisoning from the tons of lead dust released with the flames.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services will be held in the Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois church, once used for French royalty. Notre Dame's rector, Monsignor Patrick Chauve