Betrayal of Notre Dame

As France and the World are in sorrow at the devastation of the world’s most iconic cathedral, its amazing that no-one was killed and only one fireman injured in bringing the fire under control and in the rescue of the irreplaceable artefacts.

Browsing for images of the Cathedral before the fire, it struck me that there was never a proper 360° Google Tour made of the inside of this beautiful building as we have of Canterbury Cathedral or All Saints Church, Maidstone.

I have searched the web and you can easily “walk” around the outside of the building, but the only images that remain of the inside are amateur “snaps” obviously taken when the guards were not looking! (NB These images were not taken by 360 Photo Team)

On one web-page I visited, it was suggested that a 360° Google Tour was not created, because of the prohibitive cost of a licence from The Church to shoot inside the holy place!

Here are some of the 360° images I found:

Click on any of the images to see view in 360° on Google Maps


Some of the panoramic images are fairly good, some are bad, some are atrocious! Then you start looking at them properly! There are huge stitching errors. Whiteout windows. Dark, detail-less shadows. Extremely grainy. Ghosting (yes I know this is a church, but this is actually a photographic term too!).  Tilted horizontals. I could go on!

But the one thing that is such a huge shame, is that you cannot “walk” from one image to another, like you can with the images you get from the Google street car! You cannot get a concept of the magnitude and beauty, the craftsmanship and detail, the history and aura inside this now lost building.

The Church must have extensive archives of detailed plans, drawing and photographs to enable them to restore Notre Dame to its former glory. But a 360° tour would have given everyone access to view the former splendour of this building.

Take a look inside Canterbury Cathedral:


And Maidstone’s All Saints Church

God forbid, that if anything was to happen to these buildings, at least there would be a permanent, public reminder of their beauty!