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This is the moment the spire of Notre Dame collapsed, after a devastating fire

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Two days ago it wasn't what it was 800 years ago either. Many people don't grasp that buildings like that aren't just finished one day and then stay unchanged over the centuries. The spire that collapsed? Built around 1850, larger than the original one that had been removed in 1786 because it was about to collapse. The glass in the western rose window? Also 19th century. Most of the statues on the outside? Made in the 19th century restoration (the original ones were mostly destroyed during the french revolution). Even when the initial construction finished in 1345, it wasn't the same as what was planned 200 years prior, the plans had already changed many times in between, for example incorporating new building techniques that enabled thinner walls and larger windows as they went along (that's for example why the north and south rose windows are so much larger and contain much more glass than the west window, as the western wall had already been built when the new techniques came along).

Did you know that in medieval times the insides and outsides of churches were painted? The painting styles changed over the centuries, having mostly exposed stonework like we are accustomed to today is actually a pretty recent thing, many churches had their 19th century paintjobs (purporting to imitate original medieval paintwork, but not resembling actual history in their designs and colors - "fake" historicity was pretty common in the 1800s) removed during the first half of the 20th century. This is an example of how gothic cathedrals probably looked like in medieval times.

There are many, many 800 year old parts that were not destroyed in the fire, just as there are many, many parts that had already been replaced and rebuilt over the centuries. In 144 years, the Great Fire of 2019 and its subsequent renovation will be just another chapter in the 1000 years of its history since they started construction in 1163.

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