Fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral exposes long-hidden secret inside Paris landmark

gave The fire that engulfed Notre Dame. Four years ago a long-hidden secret about the Paris landmark was revealed: it was the first Gothic cathedral to make extensive use of iron spires during construction.

It took near destruction and a large-scale restoration project that is still underway for a team of archaeologists to uncover the iron reinforcement.

Construction of the famous cathedral in the heart of the French capital began in 1160 and was not completed until nearly a century later.

According to a study, it was the tallest building of its time with vaults up to 105 feet. Published in the journal PLOS ONE. on Wednesday.

“Notre-Dame is now undoubtedly the first known Gothic cathedral where iron was widely used to bind stone as a suitable building material,” the study concludes.

Some elements of the building’s construction are still unknown after all these centuries, Maxime L’Herretier, an archaeologist at Université Paris 8 and lead author of the study, told AFP.

He said it was unclear how the builders “dare – and succeeded” in putting up such thin walls at such a height.

He added that due to the lack of documentation more than 900 years ago, “only the monument can speak” about its construction.

A fire on 15 April 2019 exposed the iron staples used to hold the cathedral’s stone blocks together. Some appeared in the frame of the building, others sank to the ground in the heat of the fire.

The study states that the cathedral could be riddled with more than a thousand iron steeples.

There are staples of various sizes, ranging from 10 to 20 inches in length, some weighing up to a few kilograms.

They were found in many different parts of the cathedral, including the nave walls, choir tribunes and parts of the cornice.

“This is the first really large-scale use of iron in very specific places in a Gothic cathedral,” L’Heritier said.

Iron steeples have been used in construction since ancient times, including in Rome’s Colosseum and Greek temples.

But in these cases they were used to secure large stone blocks on the lower floor.

Notre-Dame has a much more dynamic concept of architecture, L’Heritier said.

From the beginning, builders used iron steeples to build the stands of the cathedral as early as the 1160s. His successors continued their innovative use of the upper parts of the walls over the next 50 to 60 years.

Iron would be used in this way in a number of churches across France.

More than 200 scientists are working to restore Notre-Dame, whose magnificent spire is expected to be restored by the end of this year.

The reconstruction project is in progress. Complete by the end of next yearAccording to Paris Tourist Office Official Website.

It means the tourist landmark, which previously saw 12 million annual visitors, will not open when Paris hosts the Olympic Games in July and August 2024.

Several tombs and a lead sarcophagus are also likely to date from the 14th century Unearthed by archaeologists at the cathedral, France’s culture ministry said last year.

In December 2021, CBS News visited one of the French forests where they were selecting some of the 1,000 oak trees – at least a century old – for the spire and transept. Read the full report here.

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