The spire of the Notre Dame collapsing on April 15, 2019
“Since the Second World War, no Gothic cathedral of this magnitude has ever been rebuilt, so this series is not just about science or the history of architecture, it is about an extraordinary human effort,” said the producer, Christine Le Goff.
In addition to the exclusive access to the cathedral and its surroundings, “Raising Notre Dame” will also show the constitution of all the cathedral’s scans and data throughout time, as well as original photos, architectural plans and notes compiled during the 19th century, explained Le Goff.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has used the reconstruction of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral as a metaphor for the country pulling together as France reached the symbolic mark of 100,000 deaths from coronavirus.
Macron toured the upper levels of the Notre Dame site in a hard hat and overalls on the second anniversary of the fire that ripped through the roof of the Gothic masterpiece in 2019.
Two years after the horrific fire engulfed Notre Dame, the long restoration process continues
The world watched on as Notre Dame burned on April 15th, 2019, a fire that gave great damage to the centuries-old landmark.
Now, two years later, the cathedral is still going through a massive restoration. This jewel of Gothic architecture is being rebuilt with oak trees from local forests, as 200 construction workers operate on-site every day. The goal, according to French president Emmanuel Macron, is to have the cathedral repaired before the city hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics, which is slated to begin on July 26th, 2024, in Paris. But is that a realistic goal, especially now that we have a pandemic?
Livio De Luca, research director at France’s National Center for Scientific Research, and his allies across French research labs and the Scientists of Notre Dame, have tapped the revolutions in digital mapping, visualization software, virtual reality and cloud computing to create a fantastical “virtual twin” of Notre Dame.
Donning VR goggles, scholars and sculptors, architects and coders can all meet and expand on this interactive simulation, reconstructing the cathedral virtually before each step is repeated in real-world Paris.
The Rector Patrick Chauvet of Notre Dame said Friday the 2nd April 2020 that the burned-out Paris cathedral and its esplanade could remain a building site for another “15 or 20 years. I can guarantee that there’s work to do!”
Works planned include remodelling the cathedral’s esplanade, which before the blaze was visited every year by 20 million tourists.
Notre Dame rector Patrick Chauvet, second right, stands as part of the Maundy Thursday ceremony, while cellist Marina Chiche, left, performs in Notre Dame Cathedral, Thursday, April 1st, 2021.
A holy Thursday service in Paris was held at Notre Dame cathedral, which is still under construction after it was ravaged by flames just days before Easter in 2019, its spire crumbling in a shocking blaze.
The ceremony involved a foot-washing ritual that symbolizes Jesus’ willingness to serve. Six worshippers were chosen for the foot washing, a diverse group including medical staff, the needy and some people who are set to be baptized this Easter.
French oaks that have been standing for hundreds of years in a once-royal forest now have a sacred destiny. Felled March 2021 in the Loire region’s Forest of Bercé, they have been selected to reconstruct Notre Dame Cathedral’s fallen spire.
The 93-metre spire, made of wood and clad in lead, became the most potent symbol of the April 2019 blaze when it was seen engulfed in flames, collapsing dramatically into the inferno.
In this Sunday, April 21, 2019 file photo, workers fix a net to cover one of the iconic stained glass windows of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
The first eight oak trees destined to replace the destroyed spire of Paris’ scorched Notre Dame cathedral have been selected from the Bercé forest in the French Loire region, church officials said on Friday.
“It is a source of pride for the foresters of the National Forestry Office to participate in the rebirth of Notre-Dame de Paris,” said Forestry Office Director Bertrand Munch.
Sandra Plantier, an associate professor of secondary education in geography at the National Higher Institute of Teaching and Education, says that tree harvesting is archaic, and that replacing the former structure with oak trees as opposed to a modern, sustainable alternative could even end in the same result.
“Making the deliberate choice to cut down a thousand hundred-year-old trees to reconstruct the spire of the cathedral and its framework can only appear as a blindness to reality, or, worse, as an inability to draw lessons from the current situation,” she says in a column for Reporterre.
“These thousand trees, one or several hundred years old, are as many cathedrals for the biodiversity of our forests that we are getting ready, for the first, to cut down at the very beginning of spring, even though they will nest there probably already birds and squirrels.”
Work to restore the cathedral is not expected to begin until the beginning of 2022. Carpentry experts say rebuilding Notre Dame as it was will take 2,000 metres squared of wood, requiring about 1,500 oaks to be cut down. The cathedral’s roof contained so many wooden beams it was called la forêt (the forest). The roof’s support included 25 triangular structures 10 metres high and 14 metres across at the base, placed over the stone vaults of the nave.