Notre Dame Fire Facts

World & Nature

The Notre Dame Cathedral inspires so much awe in visitors that seemingly everyone who steps inside it feels a powerful, and personal, sense of connection to it.

  • A YouTube fact-check feature which is meant to tackle misinformation accidentally tagged live broadcasts of a fire engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with details about the 9/11 terror attacks.
  • The blaze erupted in the UNESCO world heritage landmark in the French capital on Monday, sending its spire and roof crashing to the ground as flames and clouds of smoke billowed into the sky.
  • The fire, which at one point threatened the entire edifice, was brought under control early on Tuesday about nine hours after it broke out.
  • News outlets began live-streaming broadcasts of the fire on YouTube, but below some of the clips an unusual text box popped up – an entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica about the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
  • Notre Dame’s foundation stone was laid in 1163 by Pope Alexander III, and the cathedral was completed in the 13th century.
  • Located in Île de la Cité, a small island in the middle of the city, the cathedral is one of Paris’ most popular attractions, drawing an estimated 13 million visitors a year.
  • Even as it fell into disrepair over the centuries, it was the site of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation as emperor in 1804.
  • The central spire was built in the 19th century amid a broad restoration effort, partly buoyed by the success of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” in 1831.
  • One of the cathedral’s most precious treasures — a relic of the crown of thorns believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ at the time of his crucifixion.
  • In addition to the Crown of Thorns, the cathedral also houses the grand organ, one of the world’s most famous musical instruments, and numerous artworks.
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