WATCH: The rebuilding of Notre Dame, a timeline of the resurrection

The scaffolding around the spire of Paris's Notre-Dame cathedral has begun to come down. Picture: Ludovic Marin / AFP

The scaffolding around the spire of Paris's Notre-Dame cathedral has begun to come down. Picture: Ludovic Marin / AFP

Published Mar 20, 2024


In April 2019, a devastating fire ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral ("Our Lady of Paris") in Paris, France.

The iconic landmark, which was constructed in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and completed in 1345, has always been revered for its architectural beauty and historical significance.

The blaze collapsed the roof and spire, and ravaged the interior, sending shockwaves around the world. A global outpouring of support and a monumental restoration effort followed, aiming to bring Notre Dame back to its former glory.

Watch the video below:

We follow the timeline of the reconstruction of this iconic building:

April 2019: Fire devastates Notre Dame Cathedral, collapsing the roof and spire, and destroying the interior. A global effort to restore the landmark begins. French President Emmanuel Macron sets a five-year completion goal.

June 2020: The Covid-19 pandemic delays work, but crews remove charred scaffolding encasing the spire from previous restoration.

August 2020: Restoration begins on the cathedral's 8,000-pipe organ that survived the fire but suffered lead dust contamination. Dismantling, cleaning, and reassembly is expected to finish in 2024.

March 2021: A selection of 1,000 French oak trees from the Bercé forest are chosen for rebuilding the spire commences.

September 2021: Work to secure the cathedral structure is completed. Carpenters, scaffolding experts, climbers, and others build temporary structures and a massive ‘umbrella’ to protect the exposed areas. Bidding opens for remaining reconstruction work.

March 2022: Master glassmakers and locksmiths across France begin cleaning and restoring the famed stained-glass windows. Germany's Cologne Cathedral assists with the restoration of four windows.

July 2023: In a significant step in reconstruction, massive oak trusses are hoisted onto Notre Dame. This move coincides with preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

August 2023: The leader overseeing the restoration, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, passes away. President Macron honours him for his dedication.

December 2023: A golden rooster, re-imagined as a phoenix and functioning as a time capsule containing religious relics, is placed atop the new spire, symbolising Notre Dame's rebirth.

February 2024: Scaffolding is removed, revealing the new spire adorned with the golden rooster and a cross. The public gets a glimpse of the restored cathedral ahead of its grand reopening.

With the completion of the spire in February 2024, and as Notre Dame nears its grand reopening, this ambitious project is a testament to human resilience and artistic dedication.

IOL Travel