The iconic rose windows and organ of Notre Dame Cathedral have been saved, according to a church official. Patrick Chauvet, who was in the cathedral when the fire broke out at approximately 6:20 p.m. local time on Monday, said the three rose-stained glass windows escaped the blaze. "They managed to open one of the big windows that has bars across it and they threw some water on the fire," he told AFP by phone.
Notre Dame Cathedral is one of Paris' most famous landmarks and the burning building caused an international incident as media from around the world gathered to record the tragedy. The fire was reportedly started by lightning inside the nave of the cathedral.
In addition to the main structure of the cathedral being saved, most of its furniture was also undamaged by the fire, including several statues, two large chandeliers and five stained-glass windows, according to French media reports. However, it remains unclear how much damage was done to the roof of the nave.
Firefighters were able to contain the flames before they spread to the adjacent spire which contains 8th-century artifacts including a sword belonging to King Charles the Great and a statue of Jesus known as the "Pieta". Both items were saved from the fire.
The three stained-glass windows of Notre Dame Cathedral survived a fire that engulfed the Paris landmark on Monday. The archbishop of Paris told CNN affiliate BFM TV on Tuesday that all three of the renowned 13th-century Rose Windows are still in place.
“They have withstood the fire, which has not damaged them,” Archbishop Michel Aupetit said at a press conference. "They will be restored and they will be conserved for future generations to see."
The windows were installed between 1220 and 1245 and show scenes from the life of Christ. One historian has called them "one of the most beautiful works of art in Europe."
Notre Dame was built over several centuries by different architects, using many types of materials including wood, lead, and limestone. The current structure was built between 1163 and 1250 by French architect Jacques Hugonet. It is one of the largest Gothic buildings in France and one of the most famous churches in the world.
In April 1996, an arsonist set fire to a carpet in front of the high altar and caused more than $1 million in damage. No one was arrested for the crime.
In July 2019, firefighters were sent to the scene after a blaze was reported at the top of the cathedral.
Notre Dame's three famous rose windows were allegedly preserved from the fire on Monday night. The stained-glass windows, which date back to the 13th century, survived the fire, according to Maxime Cumunel, secretary general of France's Observatory for Religious Heritage. Their exact state, however, is uncertain. "All we know is that they weren't destroyed," he said.
The windows are among 84 pieces of art and architecture at Notre Dame that were saved from the fire. They will be restored and preserved instead of being melted down like other parts of the building.
A new study estimates that it will cost $18 million to $36 million to restore the windows. The money will come from donations and funds raised through sales of commemorative coins. It's not clear when the work will begin or what shape the windows will take once they're repaired.
The iconic rose window of Notre-Dame is unharmed, but the fire damages priceless artworks. Notre-iconic Dame's stained-glass rose windows and the majority of its numerous holy artifacts looked to have spared the worst of Monday's blaze as well, alleviating concerns over the fate of the 800-year-old Gothic cathedral's immense collection of artworks. But structural engineers later reported that parts of the building had collapsed during the fire.
The current roof was built in the 1970s when architects decided to replace the medieval one which had been damaged by firefighting activities. The new roof is made of ceramic tiles produced using the same methods as those used centuries ago. It has been estimated that it will cost up to $18 million to repair or replace the old roof with new materials.
The altar is where people come to confess their sins and seek forgiveness. Therefore, it is a very important place within the church. Over time, through negligence or an act of vandalism, there can be cracks appearing in the altar. In this case, it seems like the damage was caused by vandals who used a hammer to break up the area before painting it.
It is still under investigation by authorities but it may have been accidentally started by a workman playing with fireworks inside the cathedral.
The rose windows of Notre Dame are in "excellent form," but the structure is unstable, according to authorities. "The stone structure of the cathedral has been saved," a fire spokesperson stated, "and we have assured that all of the stained glass windows that were saved." However, due to the damage caused by water to some parts of the building, officials said it was not possible to say with certainty if any specific pieces of glass had been saved.
When construction on Paris' modern replacement for Notre Dame began in 1872, its architects took into account many of the features of the old cathedral. Above all, they retained its famous rose windows. The new ones are set into large openings in the walls of the nave and transepts where the old ones had stood. In fact, the design of the new windows was inspired by those at Notre Dame. Unfortunately, like the old ones, they will have to be replaced after just 10 years.
Notre Dame was built over several decades by different architects. When construction stalled due to the lack of funds in 1163, Hugh de Saignan took charge of the project and completed the western part of the church by 1173. He also designed the portico that stands behind the altar and the large wooden doors that open onto it from the nave. A century later, builders were still working on the project and there were concerns the whole thing might collapse before it was finished.
Along with the stone bell towers, the iconic trio of circular stained-glass windows, including the famous South Rose window, which was presented by King Louis in 1260, survived the fire. The event also caused damage to Notre Dame's 8,000-pipe Great Organ, according to the deputy mayor of Paris, however the damage was repairable. Some sources claim that some of the bells were removed from the tower before the fire and taken away for safekeeping, but there is no evidence for this.
When the cathedral was rebuilt over the next few years, the new bells were hung in their present position within the south transept. This action apparently restored the sound of the bells to something like its original volume after they had been partially silenced during the French Revolution. Although the cathedral was again burned down in 1802, it was once more rebuilt and the old stones used in its construction are said to be the source of many of its current features, including the location of some of the bell towers. It is therefore possible that the bells were repaired or replaced after their previous destruction.
The question of where the bells went after the fire has generated much speculation. Some sources say that they were taken to a church in Angers where they remain to this day, while others claim that they were salvaged and moved to a new site where they still ring out across Paris today.