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Notre Dame Cathedral Structure Revealed

image of Notre Dame Cathedral Structure

In a devastating fire on April 15, 2019, the world witnessed the Notre Dame cathedral structure in Paris engulfed in flames. The fire resulted in the destruction of the cathedral’s roof and its ancient support structure, made of 800-year-old oak timbers. However, amidst the tragedy, an unexpected silver lining emerged – the discovery of previously hidden sections of the cathedral’s structure.

From an article in Off Plan Property Exchange by Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral, and the restoration work has been ongoing since then. The projected reopening is set to take place on December 8, 2024. The restoration efforts have not only focused on rebuilding the cathedral but have also offered an opportunity for archaeologists and conservationists to gain insights into the cathedral’s original construction.

Recently, a paper published in the journal PLoS ONE in March 2023 revealed a groundbreaking discovery. During the initial phases of constructing Notre Dame in the 12th century, the original builders utilized iron reinforcements. This makes Notre Dame the earliest known building of its kind to incorporate iron reinforcements, as highlighted in the study.

Uncovering hidden details of the structure became possible due to the fire, which exposed iron staples used in various parts of the cathedral’s walls. Maxime L’Héritier of Université Paris, one of the co-authors of the study, stated that these iron staples were previously unknown and would not have been discovered without the fire or extensive restoration efforts. This finding challenges the assumption that these construction techniques using iron armatures were invented during the 13th century.

The restoration process has involved the collaboration of various experts in different fields. Architects Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus played a significant role in documenting the original architecture and restoring the cathedral in the early 1800s. More recently, art historian Stephen Murray and architectural historian Andrew Tallon conducted laser scanning of the entire cathedral to capture detailed measurements and data.

For the complete article on the Notre Dame Cathedral Structure CLICK HERE.

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