On 15th April 2019, Notre Dame saw a fire break out which took over the iconic spire and most parts of the roof. The fire caused the spire to fall down and almost 500 firefighters were deployed to bring the situation under control. While there are still many speculations going on about what exactly started the fire, some say it could be related to the renovation work that had been going on.
The oldest surviving wood timber frames in Paris can be found at this cathedral. It involves as many as 52 acres of cut down trees from the 12th century. Also, every beam is actually made from an individual tree. And for these reasons, the historic and unique woodwork is called ‘The Forest’.
Notre Dame has treasures that cannot be priced! These treasures include the Holy Crown that was worn by the Christ, a nail and a piece of the Cross too. If you do wish to see it for yourself, make sure you check when they allow the public to visit the Holy Relics. Usually, it is every first Friday of the month, Lent and Good Fridays!
The place where Notre Dame stands today was actually a Gallo-Roman city known as Lutetia. During an excavation that was carried out, 1710 chunks of a sculpted altar were discovered. The altar was actually dedicated to Jupiter and more deities. And that’s not it, many more architectural ruins were discovered between the 1960s and 70s just beneath the square in front of this structure. These ruins, too, dated back to the same ancient era.
The organ at Notre Dame has as many as 8000 pipes that are played with five keyboards. Some of these pipes date back to as early as the 18th century too! Although it is believed to be the largest organ in France, some people claim that Saint Eustache has a larger one.
When you visit Notre Dame, you’ll find an eight-pointed bronze star beautifully embedded in the cobblestones on the square in front of the church. The words Point zéro des routes de France (Point zero of French roads) are engraved in it. It means that all distances to and from Paris are actually measured from that spot.
How many of these lesser-known facts did you already know about? Let us know in the comments below.