» Blog » Before you mourn Notre Dame, just learn how strong it was.

Before you mourn Notre Dame, just learn how strong it was.

April 19, 2019


The iconic gothic spires collapsed in the fire and the beautiful rose Windows melted away.

On this day, the world mourns the burning of Notre Dame.

In fact, Notre Dame is tougher than you might think.

It has been repaired like the ship of Thebes, through the French revolution, the restoration, the Paris commune, the two world wars.


In ancient Rome, the site of Notre Dame DE Paris was originally a small temple.

When most of Rome was Christian, it became an official church of Christ.

By the 12th century, Paris had become a bustling metropolis, attracting many people.

The previously unknown church also attracted many Christians to come to worship.

But the small, shabby church looked shabby and unworthy of Paris at that time.


The cornerstone under cathedral square in the 3rd century

At that time, the bishop, Mauricede Sully, couldn’t take anymore, so he took the lead in building a new church.

At his behest, people from all walks of life in Paris are lining up to support him.

The common desire is to have the most magnificent and tall church in Paris.

After raising money, the battered church was built for the first time in its history.

Who would have thought that this practice took almost two hundred years.


Mauricede Sully.

However, there was nothing to be done. After all, there was no modern building technology.

Whenever a new bishop comes into office, the first thing they do is learn about the progress of the church’s work.

If the money ran out, the work would stop and the bishop would call for donations.

In this way, the church gradually took shape.

To build the church, the French cut down a total of 21 hectares of forest.


Nave of longitudinal sections before (middle) and after (left) bracing, 1225-1250

The difficulties involved in completing this huge project are legion.

For example, when engineers repaired the exterior wall in the way they did at that time, it was easy for cracks to appear in the wall.

With the wall threatening to fall, engineers boldly built buttresses around Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

And that gives us the three columns that we see in Notre Dame DE Paris, to support it.

Similar engineering difficulties are not covered here. Encouragingly, the cathedral was finally completed in 1345.


This magnificent and clean building is the first completely gothic church in European history.

For a while, Notre Dame became the most famous church in France and Europe.

For the next hundred years or so she became a witness to the French nation.

For example, England’s Henry vi was crowned king of France at Notre Dame cathedral (December 16, 1431) during the hundred years’ war.


In the course of history, Notre Dame has also suffered a lot of improper restoration and man-made damage.

For example, in order to please Louis xiv, the architects at that time renovated the holy of holies and the altar of Notre Dame in Paris.

It was this act that destroyed the original precious decoration of the altar and lost the wisdom of the ancients in the long course of history.

By the end of the 17th century, Notre Dame had suffered another act of vandalism.

This caused the sculptures that stood outside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris to collapse, the high railings between the towers to collapse into ruins, and so on.


Although engineers tried their best to rescue and repair it, the exterior wall was stolen a lot, which was not the original appearance.

Perhaps fearing that it might be eroded by time, the architects have occasionally had to make excuses for the restoration of Notre Dame.

But some improper repair, but so that the original good church by varying degrees of damage.

In order to curry favor with the then regime, some architects even carried out arbitrary demolition and reform.

In the mid-18th century, for example, the le viere brothers simply removed the stained glass window from the altar’s high window and replaced it with clear, colourless glass.


However, these minor fixes are nothing to worry about, and a bigger nightmare awaits.

When the French revolution broke out in 1789, the king and nobles were guillotined and Paris was plunged into chaos.

In this case, Notre Dame was also ruthlessly looted by MOBS.

They knocked down the 13th-century spire of Notre Dame and destroyed the main sculptures on all the gates.

At the same time, they stole the statues, melted down the clocks inside, smashed the glass Windows, etc.


This time, Notre Dame almost disappeared from the world.

Not only was the main part of the interior destroyed, but the once-glorious church was reduced to a ruined wine warehouse.

It was not re-established as a church until the rise of napoleon in 1801.

Napoleon did not care too much, simply fix it there held his coronation ceremony.

If napoleon had not been defeated, Notre Dame might have been different.

But history cannot be rewritten, and the church has to stand the test of its fate.


After napoleon was exiled, the once magnificent Notre Dame DE Paris was long forgotten.

Lacking proper maintenance, the building began to decay over the years.

It was not until 1831, when Hugo’s Notre Dame DE Paris was published, that it came back to mind.

There have been calls for the rebuilding of Notre Dame and the restoration of a magnificent cathedral.

However, Hugo also criticized some architects in the book for their reckless demolition and renovation without considering the value of historical sites.

So a more cautious and cautious approach has been taken to this highly anticipated restoration.


We ordinary people may not think that improper repair will cause more damage than years of erosion or angry people.

The reason is that indiscriminately adding styles can destroy the value of a large number of relics, or even reduce people’s interest in them.

After a rigorous selection process, the architect Eugene viollet-le-duc was tasked with overhauling the church.

For duke, the restoration was a surrender to a period of history that no longer exists.

So, he preserved the damage to the bas-relief inside and outside the church, finding as much raw material as he could to restore it.


The reliefs on the gates of Notre Dame DE Paris, the king’s gallery, the buttresses and so on are all copied from the past.

But the ideal is plump, reality is a sense of bone, damaged buildings are difficult to be exactly the same.

Therefore, in order to present a unified style of architecture as a whole, duke had to create and modify the original architecture.

For example, the rose window in the south also borrows from the pattern of the rose window in the west facade of Notre Dame DE lance, and rotates it into a state of vertical symmetry.

It has also made duke a controversial figure in history, with many coming out against it.


South of the rose window

However, the restoration of Notre Dame was completed on May 31, 1865.

Notre Dame as we see it now is being rebuilt.

The spire, which was destroyed today, was officially rebuilt during duke’s time in 1860.

During restoration in the 19th century, he used new oak and lead to build the spire, which weighed 750 tons.

The spire is surrounded by the bronze statues of the twelve apostles, in groups of three and four, at every point on the compass.

At the front of each group is an animal representing one of the four gospels: the bull of st. Luke, the lion of st. mark, the eagle of st. John, and the angel of st. Matthew.


The restoration of the spire at the time

In 2019, just days before the spire collapsed, all the statues were removed and sent to specific locations for restoration.

In addition to today’s fire, the modern Notre Dame has not been a smooth ride.

On March 18, 1871, the people of Paris rose up in arms and founded the Paris commune.

During this turbulent period, attempts were made to set fire to Notre Dame.

Thankfully, the fire was put out in time to save the main building.


The Paris commune

During the second world war, Notre Dame was almost destroyed.

August 25, 1944, the first day Paris was liberated from the nazis.

On the same day Hitler sent a furious telegram, “is Paris burned?”

For when he had given the order that Paris should not be held, he had destroyed it with a great fire.

This would allow the victorious Allies to lose everything in an instant.


Yet his most trusted executive officer, Dietrichvon Choltitz, chose to betray him at a crucial moment.

It was because the Nazi officer could not bear to destroy the beauty of Paris that Paris survived.

Notre Dame was completely preserved. After the victory of the second world war, DE gaulle restored Paris, leading the people in the Notre Dame cathedral to sing hymnal ceremony.


After all, Notre Dame was spared the trials of revolution and war.

Due to humidity, air pollution and even disrepair, Notre Dame was not properly maintained due to lack of funds.

It was not until 2018 that the French state decided to contribute 40 million euros to the restoration of Notre Dame. Notre Dame itself needs to find another 20 million euros.

The second and first priority was to restore the spire and complete the scaffolding in November 2018.

If there had been no fire, the spire would have been restored within the next four years.


Credit: BBC based on Google map

The home of Quasimodo, the “hunchback of the belvedere”, was lucky not to be affected – the red part is the damaged part.

Unfortunately, it happened anyway.

According to the available information, the main part of the burn is the spire of the ear chamber and the capping tower.

Experts say the impact on the entire Notre Dame project will be modest.

Now, thankfully, one of Notre Dame’s most important artifacts, the Couronned’epine, has been successfully salvaged.

Another source said the famous rose window had been destroyed in the fire, but this has not been confirmed.

What is clear is that the entire architecture of Notre Dame will not disappear.


Interior after the Notre Dame fire

It is believed that from morning till night, people on our social network are harrowing about this fire.

After all, Hugo’s Notre Dame DE Paris can be regarded as an iconic cultural symbol in the world.

However, we in the face of disaster in the face of grief, but also do not forget the objective view of reason.

Stop and think, is Notre Dame cathedral just a building in our minds, or is it just the tenacity behind the constant tinkering?

, ,

Maybe you like also


    Rich Mosaic factory is located in Foshan, China already has 18 years, we have been committed to meet the needs of customers, providing high quality wall tile backsplash mural mosaic art.


    Address: Qingke Rd.,Chancheng District 528000,Foshan City,Guangdong Province,China

    Tel: +86.13516506104
    Email: richmosaic@163.com

  • Service
    Chinese Work Time: 8:30-17:30
    Any inquiry,we promise will reply in 24 hours.