Notre dame de Paris, construction site of the century

Thanks to the support of 340,000 donors from over 150 countries, a historic project involving 500 journeymen was undertaken. Carpenters, roofers, master glassmakers, stonemasons, sculptors and many others set about the colossal task of restoring the old lady:

  • Dismantling and replacing the scaffolding
  • Reconstruction of the two destroyed vaults
  • Cleaning the chapels
  • Dismantling, cleaning and repairing the stained glass windows
  • Removal and cleaning of the great organ and its 8,000 pipes
  • Removal, overhaul and re-installation of bells
  • Reconstruction of roof structure and spire
    Treatment and renovation of stonework inside the building
  • Renovation or replacement of exterior sculptures (chimeras, gargoyles, statues and decorative elements), as well as statues adorning the cathedral interiorHaut du formulaire

End of frame and spire installation

Work on the roof is nearing completion. Four years after the tragic fire, the cathedral is gradually regaining its emblematic silhouette, with a new spire rising majestically to a height of 96 meters, symbolizing the rebirth of Notre-Dame de Paris.

The installation of the new spire required an impressive 600 tons of scaffolding, spread over 48 levels.

Thanks to a detailed survey of the framework, carried out a few years before the fire, it was rebuilt identically, both in terms of the cross-section of its components and its shape. Each beam used comes from a 45 to 150 year-old oak tree, carefully selected from over 200 from French forests.

To shape the beams and give them an authentic finish, comparable to that of the 13th century, craftsmen have reproduced the techniques used by cathedral builders. They forged axes identical to those used at the time, marked with the seal of Notre Dame. The beams were squared using traditional, ancestral methods.

The framework was modeled in 3 dimensions and then assembled “blank”, i.e. without fixing it, to ensure that it would hold together properly. It was then partially assembled, shipped and installed.

Restoration of vaults, refurbishment of stained glass and stonework

Blackened by time and fire, and affected by salt crystals from fire cannon water, the stone on the cathedral’s interior walls required treatment. A scaffolding structure, even more imposing than the one installed outside, was erected to enable these operations.

Once restored, the nave’s vaults were stripped of their scaffolding. For the first time in over two years, they can now be seen in their entirety from the ground.

Completely plastered and then scraped, the stone has now regained its incredible glory and its original blond color – shades we’d never have imagined.

December 8, 2024 will mark the reopening of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, the result of a colossal construction project symbolizing technical prowess and the mobilization of exceptional resources. Above and beyond this, it represents the preservation of a powerful symbol, testifying to mankind’s ability to overcome adversity to safeguard its cultural heritage. The reopening of Notre-Dame thus represents a magnificent expression of craftsmanship, international solidarity and determination to safeguard a priceless historical legacy.

Find out more about the cathedral

Published by the public institution responsible for the conservation and restoration of Notre Dame. Very complete and remarkable work:

See the very instructive “Rebâtir Notre dame” videos (automatic subtitles available):

19, rue des Prêtres-Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois
75001 Paris

+33 (0)1 40 41 96 42

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