The Notre Dame Cathedral suffered significant structural damage on Monday, April 15, after a fire broke out for unconfirmed reasons.
The Cathedral, which attracts over 13 million visitors a year and was built in the 12th century, lost a large portion of its spire and roof structure from the fire.
The damage to the Cathedral on Monday included the collapse of the roof, as well as the collapse of the famous spire. Per CNBC, emergency services worked to salvage any and all of the artwork that was stored in the cathedral.
Here are some before and after photos of the historic Cathedral.
Before & After Photos of the Notre Dame Cathedral
Here are some before and after photos of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Cathedral was built between 1163 and 1345 in the heart of Paris. It’s one of the largest religious buildings in the world, and has undergone several renovation projects throughout its history.
The architectural style of the building is Gothic. It’s become one of the most famous examples of Gothic architecture in the world, which is why the structural damage to the Cathedral is such a tragedy.
Gregg Favre, the former Deputy Director of Public Safety, wrote a Twitter thread explaining exactly why the fire at the cathedral was so dangerous and so difficult to control. He tweeted, “The first issue is how old churches are built – heavy timber construction with large open spaces and very few (if any in a church like
#NotreDame) fire stops. A firestop is a passive fire protection system made up of various components and used to seal openings in buildings.”
Favre continued at a later point in his thread, “Unfortunately, even if the roof had not burnt off, churches are nearly impossible to control ventilation in. Their design is to be open and airy. Great for Sunday worship, terrible for managing fire spread.”
Favre explained that it was important for firefighters to keep pedestrians away from the flames, writing,
Finally – especially this deep in to the fire – you have to be thinking about collapse of some or all of the structure. The steeple and roof have to GO somewhere and its no guarantee that its straight down. The walls of
#NotreDame are stout, but if weakened by fire and roofing timbers could come down. Are the streets in the collapse zone cleared? Of both onlookers and responder/trucks? Any other buildings threatened? If a wall of fire comes down what the plan to fight THAT fire?
The spire was one of the most famous aspects of the Cathedral’s silhouette. Tragically, the spire (also called the steeple) collapsed on April 15, during the fire. Here’s what that looked like:
Here’s a video of the spire collapsing in real-time: