Notre Dame fire: What ‘invaluable’ treasures reside at the famed Paris cathedral

Click to play video: 'Notre Dame fire: Flames rage inside cathedral as darkness falls'
Notre Dame fire: Flames rage inside cathedral as darkness falls
WATCH: Flames rage inside Notre Dame Cathedral as darkness falls – Apr 15, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France was in flames Monday evening.

Firefighters grappled to control the blaze as the main spire collapsed and smoke billowed from the building.

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The church was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, and millions of people came to the heart of Paris to visit every year.

Along with the striking architecture and the famous Rose Window, the Cathedral contains many priceless art pieces. The state of those works is unknown, but the BBC reported Paris firefighters are scrambling to remove as many pieces as they can.

WATCH: Virtual tour of Notre Dame’s storied architecture

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Virtual tour of Notre Dame’s storied architecture

The church was undergoing renovations, so as many as 16 statues were removed earlier this month.

French historian Camille Pascal told BFM broadcast channel the fire was destroying “invaluable heritage.”

WATCH: The glorious and tragic history of the Notre Dame Cathedral

Click to play video: 'The glorious and tragic history of the Notre Dame Cathedral'
The glorious and tragic history of the Notre Dame Cathedral

“It’s been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris,” Pascal said. “Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame.”

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Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. South rose. Photo by Godong/UIG via Getty Images. Godong/UIG via Getty Images

Stained Glass

The vibrant and iconic stained glass windows, both the circular rose windows and the vertical windows, were replaced in the 1960s.

PARIS – MARCH 23: A gargoyle on the facade of Notre-Dame Cathedral on March 23, 2017, in Paris. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images). Waring Abbott/Getty Images


The famed gargoyles are made of stone, and help the structure of the building by keeping rainwater out, the New York Times reported in 2017.

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But they were crumbling before the renovation started, and it’s unknown whether they will survive the fire.

Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. The holy crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ during the Passion. (Photo by: Godong/UIG via Getty Images). Godong/UIG via Getty Images

Catholic Church relics

Many relics or items that hold great importance in the Catholic Church were housed in Notre Dame.

Among the relics are the Crown of Thorns, which Jesus purportedly wore before being crucified, and a piece of the True Cross, which is said to be a piece of the cross Jesus was crucified upon, the Catholic Herald confirmed on Twitter.

Roof made of a ‘Forest’

According to the official website, the frame of the roof was composed of 1,300 oak trees, which represents more than 21 hectares of forest.

Nine new bronze bells were installed in Notre Dame cathedral during a ceremony in February 2013. AP Photo/Francois Mori

Organs and bells

Notre Dame housed two organs: The Great Organ and the choir organ. There were at least 10 bells.

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Statues of saints and other religious figures adorned the halls of the cathedral. Sixteen were removed from the roof earlier this month for renovations — offering a rare glimpse of the top of the cathedral.

A statue is removed from the spire of Notre Dame cathedral by a crane before restoration work, in Paris, France, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

*with files from the Associated Press



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