From ashes to glory: Notre Dame’s restoration journey

From ashes to glory: Notre Dame's restoration journey.

From ashes to glory: Notre Dame's restoration journey. Image: Notre Dame Cathedral Paris / Facebook. 

Since a devastating fire in April 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has been on a restoration journey filled with obstacles and victories.

Over five years, efforts have been underway to meticulously restore the iconic landmark, to complete the work by the end of 2024.

The fire caused severe damage to the cathedral’s roof and spire, prompting a global solidarity response and a massive restoration project.

French President Emmanuel Macron set an ambitious timeline of five years to complete the restoration.

Despite facing setbacks such as delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the departure of the project’s leader, significant progress has been made.

Important milestones include removing charred scaffolding around the spire, restoring the cathedral’s organ, and selecting historic French oak trees to rebuild the spire.

In September 2021, efforts to secure the cathedral’s structure were finished, thanks to the work of carpenters, scaffolding experts, and climbers.

In spring 2022, master craftsmen from across France began the careful process of cleaning and restoring Notre Dame’s famous stained glass windows.

Restoration efforts also received assistance from abroad, with Germany’s Cologne Cathedral helping with four windows.

A significant moment in the restoration occurred in July 2023 when massive oak trusses were installed onto Notre Dame, coinciding with preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In December 2023, a symbolic moment took place as a golden rooster, symbolising a phoenix, returned to the top of the spire, symbolising Notre Dame’s rebirth.

Religious relics, including fragments of Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns, were placed in a time capsule inside the golden bird.

In February 2024, the unveiling of the cathedral’s new spire, adorned with the golden rooster and a cross, offered a glimpse into Notre Dame’s future as it approached its grand reopening.

Restorers are optimistic that the cathedral will reopen to the public by the end of 2024, marking the conclusion of years of meticulous restoration efforts.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.