Four years ago, Notre Dame de Paris, the 860-year-old cathedral, then undergoing restoration work, burst into flames and lost its spire, roof, clock, and part of its vault. The official reopening of the Paris cathedral is scheduled for December 8, 2024, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
The State has given itself five years to rebuild this neo-Gothic jewel, including the spire, the entire roof covering the nave, the choir, and the transept, after it collapsed on Holy Monday April 15, 2019, arousing emotion and worldwide shock.
“I think I can tell you today that we will be able to get there,” said General Jean-Louis Georgelin, in charge of this restoration. “It was never easy but we have overcame all the obstacles,” he added.
Harvested from the forests, raised and felled throughout France, cut in the workshop, transported to Paris, the oak wood that forms the base of the spire has been placed in the heart of the cathedral in its final place.
The base is the lower part of the spire, a very bold wooden construction by which the spire will be firmly anchored in the four large corner pillars of the transept crossing.
With a dimension of 15 meters long by 13 meters wide by 6 meters high, it determines the stability of the 66 meters-high structure, which will culminate at 96 meters from the ground. It consists of 110 parts, including 150 very complex assemblies.
Thanks to scaffolding erected in the space left free by the reconstruction of the arches of the crossing, the carpenters, helped by crane operators, successfully erected this base, kicking off the restoration of the spire!
The installation of the base was completed on April 15, 2023, four years after the fire. Then and until the end of 2023, we will see the scaffolding that will surround the spire gradually rise in the sky of Paris, as it is built. Eventually, the scaffolding, weighing 600 tons, will culminate at 100 meters.