Written by Navya Singh, a grade 7 student.
The Notre-Dame is a cathedral situated in Paris and is famous for its architecture. A cathedral is basically a church that’s run by a bishop (like a priest). Its construction began in 1163, during the reign of King Louis VII, and was completed in 1345. Louis VII wanted it to be a symbol of Paris’s commercial, federal, rational, and cultural power – both at home and overseas. Over the centuries, the cathedral has witnessed a lot of change and has been restored, rebuilt and reconstructed many times.
Unfortunately on 15th April 2019, while undergoing restoration, a fire broke out under the roof. There was a lot of damage. Two-thirds of the metal roof as well as the spire of the cathedral had been destroyed. Quite a few artworks got burnt, and a lot of then had to be sent for restoration. Three emergency workers were also injured. Luckily, all the cathedral’s relics, survived.
A relic is an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical interest. The effects of the fire were so drastic that even nearby schools and shops were forced to shut down as the cathedral was not safe after the fire.
The swimming pool, organic garden, and contemporary glass spire (which were supposed to add ‘modern twists’) will not be built. However, in order to make it historically accurate, the cathedral will be built with potentially toxic lead. It’s a shame that such an astounding monument was caught in a fire.
It’s been more than a year since the fire and the structure still remains unstable. It took a very long time to clear out the dangerous lead residue released in the fire. Now, due to the COVID – 19 pandemic, the restoration will not start until next year.
It is a wonderful idea to bring back ancient techniques and styles of architecture. Indeed our modern twists do look attractive but old styles and techniques have a different beauty altogether.