Monday, April 15, 2019

The Destruction of Notre Dame - only the stone will remain

The Destruction of Notre Dame
It's absolutely tragic watching a huge and very fierce fire burning in Notre-Dame de Paris which is gutting the building. 

Many, many people in Paris and around the world are watching as huge flames burst through what was the roof.  Both sides of the Seine are lined with thousands of people watching the fire.



very many people watching the sad scene
The spire and roof have already been lost. The vaulted roof was completed in 1208.

Le Monde's coverage has some truly devastating footage

[Update: 
  • 8.50pm - Saving Notre Dame is not certain according to the French Interior Ministry
  • They can't use water bombs as that makes collapse of the structure more likely
  • 9.15pm BBC reporting that it's being said in Paris that there is a distinct possibility the whole structure will collapse
  • TUESDAY 9.15am A French reporter in Paris is reporting that all the medieval stained glass in three of the Rose Windows has melted and done - except for the one above the Portal (main entrance) have gone - see the link to my photos below which include two photos of the Rose Windows
  • midday - it becomes apparent that the Rose Windows have not melted and appear to just be smoke damaged
  • 5.45pm: see Restoration of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris - how to donate ]



The spire prior to its destruction
The Flèche or Spire of the Cathedral, which was destroyed in the April 2019 fire, was located over the transept and altar. The original spire was constructed in the 13th century, probably between 1220 and 1230. It was battered, weakened and bent by the wind over five centuries, and finally was removed in 1786. During the 19th century restoration, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc decided to recreate it, making a new version of oak covered with lead. The entire spire weighed 750 tons. Following Viollet-le-Duc's plans, the spire was surrounded by copper statues of the twelve Apostles, in four groups of three, one group at each point of the compass. Wikipedia
The spire has collapsed into the cathedral
Tons of dry wood in the timber rafters and tiles will have collapsed onto the thin vaulted roof
- which may also have been lost [Update: parts of the vaulting have been lost - presumably when the spire crashed]
The BBC has just said that the cathedral - on the Island where Paris began - will be devastated
  • the wooden parts of interior will be completely lost 
  • a number of priceless artefacts may not have been removed in time. 
  • the stained glass will also be lost due to the heat - it's already melting and it seems very likely all will be lost [UPDATE: The great Rose Windows of the Transepts have gone - the stained glass has melted]
It's possible that nothing will be left of this cathedral by the time the fire is put out.
[Update: The stone is still standing, the cathedral has its skeleton left and will be rebuilt]

You can see my photos of the cathedral (in 2009) on Facebook - which includes views of the interior.

Yet again, it's awful to see a major iconic building under renovation be destroyed by a fire.  The cause of the fire is not known - but it's reasonable to suppose it's something to do with the works.

From the other side of the Seine - before the spire went

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