Fire Engulfs Spire of Historic Rouen Cathedral in France

Smoke billows after the spire of the gothic cathedral of the French city of Rouen in caught fire. (X)

The iconic Gothic cathedral in the French city of Rouen has suffered significant damage after a fire broke out in its spire on Thursday.

Thick plumes of smoke were seen rising from the cathedral’s scaffolding-covered spire, which was undergoing renovation work at the time. Authorities quickly evacuated the cathedral and deployed firefighters to the scene.

While there have been no reports of injuries so far, the full extent of the damage remains uncertain as the blaze continues to be brought under control.

The Rouen Cathedral, first built in the 12th century, is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France. It has a long and storied history, having survived numerous threats over the centuries, including a fire caused by lightning in 1822 that destroyed its previous spire.

In the 19th century, the cathedral underwent a major restoration led by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who added the current spire that has now been damaged. The cathedral is also renowned for being the subject of multiple paintings by the Impressionist master Claude Monet.

The fire at Rouen Cathedral comes just five years after the devastating blaze that ravaged the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 2019. That incident sparked an international effort to rebuild and restore the Parisian landmark.

Authorities in Rouen have pledged to investigate the cause of the latest fire and have vowed to rebuild the damaged parts of the cathedral. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his support, stating “We will rebuild the cathedral of Rouen.”

The fire at Rouen Cathedral has once again highlighted the vulnerability of these historic architectural treasures and the ongoing challenges in preserving them. As the investigation continues, the people of France and beyond will anxiously await updates on the fate of this beloved Gothic masterpiece.

What are the long-term plans for the Notre Dame restoration

The long-term plans for the restoration of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris are to fully rebuild and renovate the historic landmark by 2025, with the goal of reopening it to the public by December 2024 in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Key aspects of the restoration plan include:

Rebuilding the Iconic Spire

The cathedral’s famous spire, which collapsed during the 2019 fire, is being rebuilt using over 1,000 oak trees from forests across France. The trees are being carefully selected, cut, and prepared to reconstruct the spire’s wooden frame using traditional 12th century techniques.

Restoring the Roof and Vaults

Significant work is underway to restore the cathedral’s roof and vaults, which were heavily damaged by the fire. Scaffolding is being carefully removed in phases to allow reconstruction to proceed.

Renovating the Interior

The cathedral’s interior is undergoing extensive renovations, including restoring the Grand Organ, stained glass windows, and wrought iron railings. Controversial plans have been proposed to add modern lighting and art installations, but these have faced some opposition from critics who want to preserve the cathedral’s historic character.

Enhancing Safety

Fire prevention measures such as a sprinkler system and compartmentalized sections are being incorporated into the restoration to improve safety and prevent future disasters.

Despite some setbacks, including the unexpected death of the general overseeing the project in 2023, the restoration remains on track to meet the ambitious 2024 reopening deadline. However, officials acknowledge that some work may continue beyond that date to fully complete the cathedral’s renewal.

What new features are being added to Notre Dame during the restoration

Based on the search results, the key new features being added to Notre-Dame Cathedral during the restoration include:

Rebuilding the Iconic Spire

The cathedral’s famous spire, which collapsed during the 2019 fire, is being rebuilt using over 1,000 oak trees from forests across France. The new spire will be an identical recreation of the 19th century design by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

New Gilded Rooster Atop the Spire

The rebuilt spire is topped with a new golden rooster designed by architect Philippe Villeneuve. The rooster’s “wings of fire” design are meant to symbolize the cathedral’s rebirth “like a phoenix” from the ashes of the fire.

Modern Art and Lighting Installations

While the exterior is being restored to its historic appearance, the cathedral’s interior is undergoing more modern renovations. There are plans to incorporate contemporary art, lighting, and sound effects to make the space more visitor-friendly, in contrast to the traditional confessional boxes, altars, and classical sculptures.

Dedicated Notre-Dame Museum

A new museum dedicated to Notre-Dame Cathedral is being created to showcase artifacts recovered from the fire, such as the old rooster that topped the previous spire, as well as the six stained glass windows that are being replaced.

Improved Fire Safety Features

The restoration is incorporating new fire prevention measures like a sprinkler system and compartmentalized sections to improve safety and prevent future disasters.

So in summary, while the exterior is being faithfully restored, the interior of Notre-Dame is undergoing a more modern transformation to enhance the visitor experience, alongside the construction of a new museum to preserve the cathedral’s history and artifacts.

Chloe Jhonson

By Chloe Jhonson

I am a passionate writer and blogger who covers a wide range of topics, from fashion and lifestyle to sports, celebrities, and beauty.

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