Dec. 22 (UPI) — Notre Dame Cathedral will not hold Christmas services for the first time in more than two centuries as it continues to undergo repairs from a fire in April.
A midnight Mass will be held on Christmas Eve at the nearby church of Sait-Germain l’Auxerois but it will not hold Christmas service at the 85-year-old cathedral for the first time since 1803, officials said.
Notre Dame has hosted Christmas Mass for 200 years through various turbulent historical events, only closing during the French revolution when it was converted into a “temple of reason” by anti-Catholic forces.
In April, a devastating fire collapsed the roof of the cathedral and the 750-ton spire, a 19th-century reproduction of the original Gothic structure, collapsed through the top of the building.
The French culture ministry said in October that about $1 billion had been raised to restore the cathedral.
President Emmanuel Macron said it would take about five years to fully reconstruct the iconic site.