On the evening of Monday, the world witnessed a heart-breaking moment as the renowned Cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire leading to the collapse of part of its spire.
The spire of the cathedral that collapsed contained relics — teeth, bones or hair — of the patron saints of Paris, St. Denis and St. Geneviève. The relics were placed in the spire by an archbishop to protect the cathedral.
On this day, let’s take a moment to recall what made this place so special?
- The cathedral is the seat of the archbishop of Paris and means Our Lady.
- Considered a jewel of the medieval Gothic architecture, it was built during the reign of King Louis VII on a small island called the Île de la Cité. Construction started I 1163 and ended only in 1345.
- Nearly 13 million people visit this famous landmark every year
- During the French Revolution, the cathedra; faced severe neglect and detoriation.
- The cathedral’s sorry state was brought to light in Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel, ‘Notre-Dame of Paris’ published in English as ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’
- Henry VI of England was made king of France inside Notre-Dame in 1431.
- In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor there.
- The cathedral is home to many relics including the crown of thorns and the tunic of Saint Louis which luckily remained safe during the fire.
- The Notre Dame was undergoing renovation which was estimated at nearly $180 million during the time of the fire.
- This isn’t the first time fire has struck. A fire also broke out during construction in the 13th