Notre Dame Cathedral: 6 facts and figures to know about Paris' famous church

Notre Dame Cathedral: 6 facts and figures to know about Paris' famous church

Fire raged through the 856-year-old French landmark on Monday, destroying its famous spire


For centuries, Notre Dame's towers and spires have been an iconic part of Paris' skyline.
Photo: AFP

A massive fire engulfed parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, toppling its spire as Parisians watched in shock in the streets below. Here are some facts and figures about the treasured building.

Name: Notre Dame de Paris, which means Our Lady of Paris.

Construction: The building stands on the Île de la Cité, a small island in Paris’ Seine River. Construction was begun in 1163, and its two massive towers were finished around 1245, but the building was not completed until the beginning of the 14th century. Its central spire was added in the 19th century.

Measurements and designs: The interior of the cathedral is 130 metres by 48 metres. The main structure is 64 metres high. The three famed rose windows date to the 13th century.

French Revolution: In the wake of the French Revolution, the cathedral was declared a “Temple of Reason” as part of an anticlerical movement. All of the original bells were destroyed, except for one, which was called Emmanuel and weighed 13 tonnes.

Restoration: In 2013, the cathedral celebrated its 850 years with a refurbished organ. Each of the nearly 8,000 pipes, some of which date back to the 18th century, was individually cleaned and returned to its place. Meanwhile, nine new, gargantuan bells replaced the 19th century ones.

Visitors: An average of 30,000 people a day visit the cathedral.


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