7 Previous Times the Notre Dame Cathedral Needed Restoration
Will Paris rebuild the Notre Dame cathedral? Of course they will; they have each time it endured devastating damage. The sacred building had never suffered a large fire before, but it has undergone several "rebirths."
The original church was torn down to build the cathedral
A basilica was originally built on the river island during the Dark Ages that was 70 meters long (huge for the time). It was torn down to make way for the cathedral in 1160.
Protestants destroyed art in 1548
Angry at the intermingling of "church and state," Protestants known as Huguenots rioted in Paris and damaged those they considered idols.
The spire was damaged by a wind storm
The original spire, bent from wind, was torn down in the 18th century. It was replaced several decades later.
Desecrated during the French Revolution
in 1793 the Catholic church was evicted. The cathedral was rededicated to the "Cult of Reason." Goddess of Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on altars. Valuable artifacts were looted. Statues on the outside facade were destroyed. The building was used as a warehouse for several years.
Neglect and disrepair in the 19th Century
Napoleon restored the cathedral to the church but it was in a state of damage and disrepair until Victor Hugo wrote his famous "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" in 1831. The book's success convinced Louis Philippe to begin renovations. Louis Philippe is the French king featured in the hit BBC/PBS show "Victoria."
World War II
Portions of the exterior were damaged by bullets during the battle to liberate Paris from the Nazi-supported Vichy government in 1944.
To celebrate the 800th birthday of the cathedral soot and grime were scrubbed from the stone blocks -- with some replaced if they could not be cleaned. Several aspects of the church were modernized as well.
April 15 Fire
President Emmanuel Macron pledges to rebuild the cathedral.The two towers hosting the giant bells, front facade and portions of the stone walls are all that survived the fire. The Bishop's staff was able to rescue the sacred relic "Crown of Thorns" and other treasures belonging to the cathedral.