The Notre Dame Cathedral fire on Monday destroyed several of the church’s iconic elements, both inside and outside, and threatened the very existence of the church itself. And though it appears, for now, as if the structure proper is going to survive, Paris officials, joined by art historians and Catholic Church leaders, are assessing the damage to both the building proper and the artifacts within.
Here is a list of what is known to have been destroyed by Monday’s fire, accurate as of this writing.
The Central Spire (Completely Destroyed)
Though not as old as the rest of the 800-year-old church, its central spire, which was erected in the 1800s, was completely lost to the fire.
The central spire was built in the 19th century during a period of renewed interest in the church following the publication of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And as University of Texas art historian Joan Holladay explained to Slate, the additions and renovations to the church over the centuries, using architectural designs and building techniques of the time, all contribute to the building’s overall look and feel.
The Roof, Interior Woodwork (Completely Destroyed)
The roof of the structure, nicknamed “The Forest” because of the staggering number of trees felled to provide its lumber, is mostly destroyed. Most of the pieces were cut in the 12th century, according to CNN, making the roof the oldest part of the church, excluding some of the relics contained therein.
In fact, just about anything inside the building that had been made of wood, including staircases and various support structures, was destroyed. Some pews do appear to have survived, however.
Fate Still Unknown
The fate of many of the structures, artifacts, and other features of the cathedral remains unknown as of this writing. And as mentioned in this companion Inquisitr report, much of the information in this post is based on conflicting reports or is only known to be accurate as of this writing as officials are still assessing the damage.
The fate of the famed gargoyles that adorned the exterior of the church remains unknown, as of this writing. Also unaccounted for are various artifacts and relics, including a fragment of wood that is said to have come from the very cross on which Jesus of Nazareth was crucified.
Similarly, while officials are hopeful that most of the art within the building was saved (much of it having been moved away days or weeks before the fire), much of it remains unaccounted for, as of this writing.
And while the structure itself is believed to have survived, the extreme heat can cause stonework, especially centuries-old stonework, to crack or weaken, and it will take a thorough assessment by professional stonemasons before the fate of the stonework can be determined one way or the other; a process that could take months if not years.