Notre Dame de Paris: The reconstruction (continued)

This marvel of Gothic architecture, whose construction began in 1163, is located a 15-minute walk from the Relais du Louvre. Its location is the central point of Paris. Its image is a powerful symbol of the city’s identity and of French culture.

The team leading this vast project has announced major advances and our Minister of Culture has confirmed the reopening of the cathedral in 2024.

The partial destruction of Notre Dame de Paris has triggered a philanthropic movement unequalled in Europe on such a scale, with 380,000 donors. This is why we are keen to share news of the enormous project of rebuilding our cathedral with our foreign and French friends.

The particularity of this construction site is that many scientists bring their view, their analysis and formulate advice to the architectural team to optimize the preparation, the prevention, and the realization of its action. But above all, the formidable team of machine operators, rope access technicians, scaffolders, carpenters, crane operators, stonemasons, master glassworkers, etc., who have come together to save a cathedral in its entirety, makes this a unique adventure. This is also why this construction site arouses a particular emotion.

The vaults

The reconstruction of the two destroyed vaults has been partially completed. The stone vault of the north transept which had almost completely collapsed in the fire has been rebuilt.

For this purpose, wooden arches weighing a ton and a half were made to support the laying of the stones, following a very old construction technique that the cathedral builders mastered.

The masons were then able to start the construction of the arches and oculi of the transept’s cross vault, the area of which can be seen below.

Cleaning of the chapels

This is a restoration of the stone, sculpture, stained glass and painting of all the chapels. Numerous cleaning tests were carried out at different levels of two chapels, one painted, the other unpainted, in order to optimize the results and to validate a protocol for deploying the restoration of the other chapels and, more globally, the entire floor and elevations of the cathedral.

The stained glass windows

In our previous article on the renovation of our Lady, we mentioned that the 22 paintings of the cathedral that were present during the fire are being restored one by one to find their place in 2024. (read our article).

Like the paintings, the stained glass windows of the cathedral are completely renovated. They have been dismantled and sent to 8 restoration workshops for cleaning.

In the fall of this year, the stained glass windows should be back in the place they occupied for over nine centuries. The entire surface of the cathedral will have been cleaned. Frescoes, gilding, stained glass windows of great beauty, which had almost entirely disappeared under the dirt, will regain their brilliance. The reopening in 2024 will be a real rediscovery.

The carpet of a lifetime

It is a rare piece. It is the first carpet made for a religious building. Commissioned by Charles X in 1757, it occupied since 1841, square the choir of the cathedral on nearly 175 square meters. It was presented only on special occasions. It is in the workshops of the Mobilier National that for over two years, this object is restored to its original appearance.

The damage of the carpet is not related to the fire but mainly from infestation of myths and aging.

Frame and spire

It is an identical restoration that was decided with the spire of Viollet-le-Duc in its design and its original materials, wood and lead. The lead roofing of the cathedral will also be carried out as initially, and laid on a wooden frame.

The spire of the Notre-Dame cathedral should rise again in the sky of Paris in 2023.

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