Most of the statues on the roof of Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris were removed recently to be renovated in the south of France. When the roof fire started the Bishop directed his team to move out as many treasures as possible. Unfortunately, the rest of the church was destroyed. The exterior stone walls made of block can withstand fire, but the almost-ancient wood frame burned ferociously. Here is a list of items predicted destroyed, or at risk.


  • 1

    Rooster at the top of the spire

    Archbishop Verdier placed three holy relics inside a rooster at the very top of the spire to protect the building from lightening and other harms.

  • 2


    Installed in 1738, it was updated every few decades with new organ technology. It had 115 stops with 8,000 pipes.

  • 3

    Drawings by Viollet-Le-Duc

    The cathedral and many of its treasures were damaged during subsequent French Revolutions. Much of the restoration was done in the middle of the 19th Century by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. His drawings were stored in the cathedral treasury.

  • 4

    Piece of the Crown of Thorns

    One of the relics of the Passion, the crown of thorns was kept in the cathedral treasury. It is supposedly the crown placed on Jesus' head prior to the crucifixion. Its shrine was built in 1862 and is covered with gold and precious stones. It was saved by the Bishop's staff as soon as the fire was announced, but the piece of it in the rooster atop the spire was lost.

  • 5

    Relic of St. Denis

    St. Denis, an ancient martyr, is one of two patron saints of Paris. The relic was in the rooster atop the cathedral spire.

  • 6

    Relic of St. Genevieve

    Credited with saving Paris from Atilla the Hun, St. Genevieve is a patron saint of Paris. A relic of hers was in the rooster atop the spire that fell.

  • 7

    Stained glass rose windows

    Three windows adorned the cathedral. All three were first installed in the 13th century. The largest is 13 meters wide.

  • 8

    Les Grands Mays

    The Mays of the cathedral are large paintings honoring the Virgin Mary painted in the 17th and 18th centuries. There were originally 76 of them. Only 13 were on public display in the cathedral. 37 more remain, but are housed in other churches and museums.

  • 9

    Portrait of St. Thomas Aquinas

    Painted in 1648 by Antoine Nicholas this work was a gift to the cathedral from a convent. It is titled, "The Fountain of Wisdom."

  • 10

    The Visitation

    The final painting of Jean Jouvenet finished in 1716.

  • 11

    The Virgin with Child statue

    The 14th-century statue of the crowned Virgin Mary holding the holy child was originally in a cloister on the island and was moved inside the cathedral in 1818 and moved to its current location inside in 1855. There are 37 other Virgin Mary statues inside.

  • 12

    Collection of chalices, ciboria and pyxes

    Precious (and often gilded) objects used in the sacrament have been collected over the centuries.

  • 13

    Collection of Bishop artifacts

    Mitres, crooks, rings, liturgical vestments, books and other precious items belonging to the cathedral's Bishops over the centuries have been preserved.

  • 14

    The great Crown of Light chandelier

    Created in the mid 19th Century, the chandelier is copper and bronze covered in gold. It originally held cups of oil with wicks. It was decorated with enamel, lacework cut-outs, pendants, and crystal balls.

  • 15

    Vestments worn by Napoleon

    Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France in the cathedral and saw his son baptized there. Clothing worn by him during these ceremonies and others were in the treasury.

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