Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral Before the Fire: An Unforgettable History in Photos
A massive fire broke out at the historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday, causing part of the iconic building to collapse. Though the cause of the fire remains unclear, early reports indicate it may have begun at a construction site on the property.
"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told reporters.
Beyond housing important holy items, the cathedral has a deep and rich history. Here’s what you should know about the Notre Dame cathedral.
Notre Dame cathedral is more than 850 years old.
This isn’t the first time Notre Dame has been damaged.
But, in 1844, architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc worked to bring the cathedral back to its former glory and revamped both the building’s spire and flying buttresses.
Notre Dame hosted many major moments in history.
The cathedral also houses incredibly rare and important artifacts.
And, according to CBS, the cathedral also houses the woven crown of thorns believed to have been placed on Jesus Christ’s head during his crucifixion. According to the cathedral’s website, the crown now consists of a ring of rushes, bound by gold threads and enclosed in a gold and glass frame. The thorns of the crown, the site noted, have been plucked off and given as gifts to donors and important religious figures throughout history.
The cathedral also houses a piece of the wooden cross along with a nail believed to have been used to crucify Jesus. Other historically significant items include stained-glass windows, statues, gargoyles, and more.
“It’s been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris,” French historian Camille Pascal told Canada’s BFM. “Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame.”
Now, all we can do is sit and wait to see what makes it out of the flames and hope the city of Paris is able to rebuild.
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