The cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris caught fire on Monday, 15th April. The church has an iconic spire whose framework dated back to the 13th century.
While it will take a couple of days to properly assess the damage, the firefighters are desperately trying to save the valuables. Scroll down to find out all the priceless artefacts Norte-Dame is home to.
1. Crown of Thorns
The ‘Crown of Thorns’ is a sacred relict that is believed to be worn by Jesus Christ himself and was bought by King Louis IX in 1239.
2. Relics of Saint Denis and Saint Genevieve
Saint Denis and Saint Genevieve are the Patron Saints of Paris whose Relics were placed at the top of the Spire of the church in the year 1935 by Archbishop Verdier to protect the church and its congregation from ill fortune.
3. Jesus Crucification Cross and Nail
The cathedral of Notre-Dame also has inside it the pieces of the cross that Jesus was believed to be crucified on along with one of the nails. It is said that the wood fragments of the cross have been in the cathedral since 1805, while the nail came in 1824.
4. The Great Organ
The largest organ in France with five keyboards and 8,000 pipes calls Notre-Dame home. The original Great Organ dates back to the Middle Ages and has the most recent iteration developed in 1868.
5. Ten Bronze Bells
Notre-Dame is home to 10 bronze bells that weigh up to 4 tons each. The oldest bell, known as Emmanuel has been inside the cathedral since 1861 and has tolled for momentous historic occasions.
6. Archaeological Crypt
The archaeological crypt located under the courtyard of the church was created to protect 19th-century relics that were discovered during excavations in 1965. However, it was opened to the public only in 1980.
7. The Visitation by Jean Jouvenet
Jean Jouvenet depicted the life of the Virgin Mary in a series of paintings. All six from the series used to be in the cathedral of Notre Dame. However, they were moved to the Louvre in the 1860s, and only "The Visitation" was returned to Notre Dame.
8. Rose Windows
The cathedral contains three rose windows whose stained-glass panes and shaped like flower petals. It tell a religious story and include scenes from the Old and New Testaments. It also puts light on the stories from the lives of the Twelve Apostles.
9. Gallery of the Kings
The cathedral houses a collection of stone figures of Old Testament kings that stand above the entrance. It is called the Gallery of the Kings. During the French Revolution in 1793, hostile forces to the monarchy mistook the statues for 'kings of France' and driven by revolutionary zeal, dragged the statues into Cathedral Square and beheaded them using a guillotine.
10. Saint Thomas Aquinas by Antoine Nicolas
This majestic artwork by Antoine Nicolas adorns a significant amount of wall inside the church and dates back to the 1600s. The painting was a gift to the church by the Dominican community of Saint-Maur-des-Fausses in 1974.
11. The Big 'Mays'
The 'Mays' of Notre Dame are large paintings that were commissioned between 1630 to 1707 at the cathedral in honor of the Virgin Mary.
12. Staute of Saint Anthony
The cathedral also has in its chapel a statue of Saint Anthony of Padua which was brought to Notre Dame in 2013 by the sisters of the Bethlehem Monastery.
These artefacts hold in it the 856 years of glory of Notre Dame cathedral and are indeed priceless and adored.