Notre-Dame de Paris



  • The wood rafters obviously burned at Notre-Dame de Paris, but from a purely construction point of view, that would be manageable provided the stone vaults did not collapse. Recent photos look like most portions of the vaults survived, but there was some partial collapse in the vaults. That's a much bigger deal to fix. You don't find vault stone masons on every street corner in the 21st century. Most people don't realize that when you are standing on the floor of a gothic cathedral looking up at the "curved ceiling" (vaults), what you are seeing is actually stone that is 8" to 12" thick. The wood rafters are above that creating a large "attic" space between the vaults and the rafters. The fire just raced through that "attic" area feeding on 800-year-old timber.
    NDP-vault-partial-collapse.jpg
    gothic-building-section-transverse.jpg



  • @Newell-Post said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    The wood rafters obviously burned at Notre-Dame de Paris, but from a purely construction point of view, that would be manageable provided the stone vaults did not collapse.
    gothic-building-section-transverse.jpg

    Which compares to the side view of my home:
    748633e7-28ff-4bd3-a136-ebf73728c2ac-image.png

    Also with wood rafters, but packed with smoke detectors... Wounder if this would have helped catch the Notre-Dame fire sooner?



  • @Dr-GO Too soon to tell. They are assuming the source was some kind of construction accident, but that is not yet proven.



  • @Newell-Post and Dr Go
    Thanks for your interest.
    As an old Parisian, I can tell you I am very hurt by this ( as are all Parisians). I cannot stop crying this morning.
    Notre Dame is the heart of Paris, far more than the others monuments. Not the same sentimental value.
    It seems unfortunately the damages are big. It is not only a wall or roof disaster but inside, a lot of painting, stained glasses, the organ ans so on could have been definitely destroyed.
    A disaster and we are still wainting to know the real scope of the damages.But be sure that whatever the damages we will make Notre Dame great again. Parisians cannot accept this.
    Now the question: how can this happen in a country where there are a lot of cathedrals with restoration projects? We could expect they know what they are doing...
    Regards



  • The whole thing is just terrible.



  • It is definitely a blow - I've wanted to visit this masterpiece since I was a kid because my mom had all of these picture books of various architectural wonders of the world - The Pyramids and Sphinx, Hagia Sophia, The Taj Mahal, and Notre Dame de Paris.

    But, even though certain things can never be replaced, I know that much of it can be restored, and will be restored - not only is it a French national treasure, but it's a world treasure, and it wouldn't be the first time that the cathedral was restored and repaired. The spire was removed at one point, as were the stained glass windows - it wasn't until the mid 19th century that a major effort to renovate and repair the cathedral was made, which included restoring the original stained glass and statues based on original drawings and engravings - most of the statues were destroyed at one point for one reason or another.

    I thought I'd read in that book my mom had that at one point part of it had collapsed and had to be rebuilt, but I can't seem to Google-fu that today.

    The "good" news is that it will be repaired and restored to its former glory - hopefully it lasts another 800 or more years.



  • @trickg this is so sad, I visited Notre Dame about 5 years ago it was an extremely impressive structure, to think of how big and old it was and the artifacts that are inside. I believe it took nearly 200 years to finish construction and while they can rebuild the structure they can't replace the artifacts.



  • @manfredv said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    @trickg this is so sad, I visited Notre Dame about 5 years ago it was an extremely impressive structure, to think of how big and old it was and the artifacts that are inside. I believe it took nearly 200 years to finish construction and while they can rebuild the structure they can't replace the artifacts.

    They can "replace" some of the artifacts though - they did. Many of them were recreated during a 25 year renovation initiative in the mid-1800s. Much of the artwork took heavy hits during various eras of French history, particularly the French Revolution - most of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. None of the stained glass is original - it was all replaced with white glass at one point to allow more natural light to come in. The central column from the main portal was removed so carriages could be driven through - in 800+ years, it's had some ups and downs. This is definitely a down point, but I believe that it will be fully restored.

    Even the spire that toppled wasn't original - from what I gather, the original spire was smaller than the one they rebuilt in the 1800s.



  • It is, indeed, very sad. At the same time, it's a stark reminder of the impermanence of things.
    "Nothing lasts forever". Siddhartha Gautama



  • Very old buildings have been damaged, repaired, modified, and re-built many times in most cases. Some of the windows and the spire were replaced by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century based on conjectures about the design of an earlier spire, but le-Duc's spire was probably much taller than the original. Disasters like this are certainly traumatic events for many, but they also present opportunities to preserve original structures, eliminate badly-done modifications that have crept in over time, and add new statements about our own age. Buildings like this are not static. They evolve over time. The challenge is not to stop the evolution, but to guide it intelligently.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugène_Viollet-le-Duc



  • @Newell-Post said:
    Disasters like this . . also present opportunities to preserve original structures, eliminate badly-done modifications that have crept in over time, and add new statements about our own age.

    This is an aside, Newell, but your post points out something very valuable and that is restoring to the original.

    I had quite an experience in the Sistine Chapel years ago. They were restoring the ceiling, getting rid of centuries of grime and soot. I got to see the restoration in progress which still had much of it the latest look and the restored original painting. I was raised thinking it had one look (soot and all) while Michelangelo used vibrant colors. Quite a contrast! And shock to me as well.



  • The stone vaults have collapsed at the crossing and at various places in the nave and transept. Re-building that is a completely different level of effort than replacing the wood rafters and lead roofing.
    NDP1.jpg
    NDP2.jpg



  • @Newell-Post said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    The stone vaults have collapsed at the crossing and at various places in the nave and transept. Re-building that is a completely different level of effort than replacing the wood rafters and lead roofing.

    But it CAN (and will) be rebuilt - that's the important thing to take away from this, that this world landmark will survive this. Such a horrible, horrible thing, but I was worried yesterday that the fire was going to cause damage that would cause it to collapse entirely.



  • Speaking from a construction background I think the 5 year time line is quite doable.

    Even new methods can be made to look ancient



  • @djeffers78 said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    Even new methods can be made to look ancient

    Word that. I was at a World's Exposition at the Mexican Pavilion going down a staircase and in front of me was this huge stone carved Mayan Wall Calendar. I was blown away. Feeling an urge, I looked around for security personnel. There were none and I just had to. I reached out and touched it. It was plastic. ☹



  • @Kehaulani said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    @djeffers78 said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    Even new methods can be made to look ancient

    ...in front of me was this huge stone carved Mayan Wall Calendar... I reached out and touched it. It was plastic.

    Oh My [or Myan] God! The Mayan's were more advanced then we EVER expected. They discovered the formula to AND were able to synthesize polyvinylchloride!



  • @Dr-GO said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    @Kehaulani said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    @djeffers78 said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    Even new methods can be made to look ancient

    ...in front of me was this huge stone carved Mayan Wall Calendar... I reached out and touched it. It was plastic.

    Oh My [or Myan] God! The Mayan's were more advanced then we EVER expected. They discovered the formula to AND were able to synthesize polyvinylchloride!

    😂



  • Hello,

    At least some good news: the cathedral was completely scanned in detail by an American, Mr Andrew Tallon from the Vassar College, with an accuracy of 5 mm! By the way he discovered many flaws in the structure!
    So we know exactly how and where things were before. I assume the French authorities have also their own documentation but this is very interesting. Here
    is a link, but unfortunately only in French:
    https://m.20minutes.fr/amp/a/2498515
    He also scanned Canterbury:
    https://assets.nationalgeographic.com/modules-video/latest/assets/ngsEmbeddedVideo.html?guid=0000014d-e39b-d57d-a7ff-f3fb52a20000

    Regards



  • Let's see. A guy who works at Vassar has a machine that can see through things. Hmmm.



  • @Kehaulani said in Notre-Dame de Paris:

    Let's see. A guy who works at Vassar has a machine that can see through things. Hmmm.

    Hmmm..... even I can see right through THAT!


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