The popular Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed by fire on Monday, wrecking the historic architecture.
The Notre-Dame de Paris which means “Our Lady of Paris” is a medieval Catholic cathedral considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.
Located in the very heart of Paris, the Cathedral has allured milions of people around globe, making the news of its fire outbreak a global shock.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the cathedral you need to know.
1. With about 13 million people visiting every year, the cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and one of the most visited places in the entire world.
2. Catholic Church is the designated beneficiary of the cathedral, having the exclusive right to use it for religious purposes in perpetuity. The archdiocese is responsible for paying the employees, for security, heating and cleaning, and for ensuring that the cathedral is open free to visitors. The archdiocese does not receive subsidies from the French state.
3. It took 182 years to build the cathedral. Building began in 1163 and ended in 1345.
4. The cathedral is one of the largest religious buildings in the world.
5. One of the most revered of religious artifacts, the Crown of Thorns, is kept in the cathedral.
6. The Notre Dame Cathedral is the most popular monument in Paris and in all of France, beating even the Eiffel Tower.
7. In 1804 Napoleon became emperor and saved the cathedral from demolition.
8. The cathedral has the largest bell called the Emmanuel bell which weighs 13 tonnes.
9. In the midst of the 1793 French Revolution, 28 statues of biblical kings in the cathedral were pulled down with ropes and decapitated by a mob.
10. The Notre-Dame organ is believed to be the largest organ in France. it involves almost 8000 pipes (some dating back to the 18th century) played with five keyboards.