Notre Dame Cathedral’s Iconic Cross Restored And Reinstalled Five Years After Devastating Fire

The iconic cross at the apse of Notre Dame de Paris, which miraculously survived the catastrophic 2019 fire, was triumphantly reinstalled atop the cathedral’s framework on Friday. The cross, meticulously restored by skilled ironworkers from Normandy, stands as a symbol of resilience and hope amid the ongoing restoration efforts.

Measuring an impressive 40 feet in length and weighing approximately 3,300 pounds, the cross was the sole element of the choir roof that withstood the flames. “The cross fell really early in the fire,” explained Vincent Combe, project manager for Metal Roofing Renovation. “So we were really lucky because the cross didn’t burn a lot, she just fell just…it’s a miracle.”

The cross was transported to an ironworks in Normandy, where it underwent complex and delicate repairs. Architect Axelle Ponsonnet ensured that the restoration adhered to the original 19th-century design by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. “We were really happy to discover that we would be able to use it, and forge it again, and work with the metal that was here, because the cross was designed by Viollet-le-Duc, so it’s a very important piece of Notre Dame,” Ponsonnet remarked.

The restoration project, involving approximately 250 companies and hundreds of skilled professionals, aims to reopen the cathedral on December 8, 2024. Significant progress has been made, including the reinstallation of the spire’s lead-covered needle, five years after the devastating fire caused its collapse along with part of the roof.