May 31, 2023 at 01:01
The carpenters who restore the roof of Notre-Dame in Paris do so in a medieval way. Instead of power tools, they use hammers, hand axes and chisels to create the framework of the new roof. The iconic cathedral was largely destroyed in a fire four years ago.
The fire broke out around 7 p.m. on April 15, 2019. In fifteen hours a large part of the cathedral was destroyed. The two stone towers survived, but the spire collapsed. Two-thirds of the roof was also destroyed.
That roof is now being rebuilt using medieval techniques to pay tribute to the craftsmanship of the original builders. Just like then, the carpenters use oak wood.
“The goal we had was to restore the wooden frame structure that disappeared during the fire of April 15, 2019 to its original state,” architect Remi Fromont told AP news agency.
Fromont made detailed drawings of the original frame in 2012. According to the architect, the new frame has the same structure as the 13th century framework. The material is also the same: oak.
Yet there are also a number of things that are different from hundreds of years ago.
For example, carpenters and architects used computers in the design to ensure that their hand-chiseled beams fit together perfectly.
The frame also comes by truck from the workshop in western France to Paris and is hoisted into place with a mechanical crane.
These modern additions should ensure that the tight deadline is met: the cathedral must reopen by December 2024.
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