The Biggest Historical Events That Took Place In The Notre-Dame Cathedral

A fire appears to have destroyed the famous structure.
Staff Writer
The Biggest Historical Events That Took Place In The Notre-Dame Cathedral

This afternoon, the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral was destroyed by a fire and the outpouring of emotion has been incredible. As one of the most visited cultural landmarks on the planet, the world is reeling from this shocking event. Many precious artifacts are thought to be lost forever

Notre-Dame was a medieval Catholic cathedral that was considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. Nearly 13 million people visit the site every year, making it the most visited place in Paris. Its enormous stained glass windows were the first of their kind. 

Here is just a partial timeline of the major events that took place in the now-devastated cathedral.

READ ALSO: These Priceless Artifacts Could Be Lost Or Destroyed In The Notre-Dame Fire In Paris

TL;DR After the tragic fire at the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral this afternoon, MTL Blog brings you a brief historical timeline of the world's most famous cathedral.


The first stone is laid in the presence of King Louis VII Le Jeune and Pope Alexander III.


Work begins on the Western facade.


The Western facade is complete.


The Crown of Thorns (apparently belonging to Jesus) was placed in the cathedral during construction.


Rose window is complete.


The Notre-Dame de Paris is complete. Yes, it took nearly 200 years to finish the cathedral as we've known it.


King Henry the VI of England is crowned King of France after the 100 Years War.


Joan of Arc is declared a martyr by the Catholic church.


Mary, Queen of Scots marries Francis the II.

The 1600s:

King Louis XIII commissions a massive renovation project to restore the cathedral. During this time, the organ is installed (the same one that stands today).


The French Revolution leads to the desecration of the cathedral and the destruction of hundreds of ancient religious artifacts. It wasn't restored until after 1821.


Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Josephine, are coronated.


Victor Hugo publishes The Hunchback of Notre-Dame which renews interest in the cathedral. Napoleon orders the cathedral restored to its former glory.


Rose window is hastily removed to prevent Nazi vandalism.


Parisians celebrate the liberation of Paris after the Nazis leave France.


Charles de Gaulle's funeral is held at the cathedral.


Philippe Petittightrope walks across the twin towers of Notre-Dame. You might remember this guy when he tightroped across the World Trade Centre in New York.


Notre-Dame de Paris celebrates its 850th anniversary.


Extremists attempt to car bomb the cathedral and are stopped by the Parisian police.


Extensive renovations begin to restore the roof and the main spire of the cathedral. Also, another potential terrorist attack is thwarted.


A fire consumes Notre-Dame de Paris, destroying the roof and the main spire. The extent of the damage is still unclear.

For more information, review the Notre Dame Cathedral website.

Stay tuned for more news on this tragic event.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 | Source 4

Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer
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