A man who shot himself dead inside Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is reported to be a far-right author who campaigned against gay marriage and Islam.
The famous cathedral, which draws 14m visitors every year, was evacuated following the incident, at 4pm local time on Tuesday.
The 78-year-old man shot himself in the mouth and died 20 minutes later, French reports said.
He is reported to be Dominique Venner, an extreme right-wing author.
A letter was found next to his body, Europe 1 reported, although the contents are not yet known.
There have been huge protests in France over plans to legalise gay marriage, which are now in force.
On his blog, Venner wrote about a huge protest, planned for 26 May, and predicted "spectacular gestures" to shake the "drowsy" nation's consciousness.
He had also written on his blog a damning critique of the same-sex marriage bill.
"New spectacular and symbolic actions are needed to wake up the sleep walkers and shake the anaesthetised consciousness," he wrote.
"We are entering a time when acts must follow words."Suggest a correction