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What is the history of the framework of Notre-Dame?

The framework of Notre-Dame de Paris, an exceptional witness to medieval architecture and the craftsmanship of carpenters, has had a rich history. Built in two phases, between 1163 and 1250 for the main part and in 1859 for the upper part, this monumental work has withstood the test of time until the tragic fire of 2019. This article explores in detail the remarkable history of this framework and the challenges faced by modern carpenters for its reconstruction, scheduled for 2024.

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The Main Part: A Medieval Masterpiece

The main framework of Notre-Dame, built between 1163 and 1250, is a remarkable testament to the technique of truss carpentry. Composed of 1633 pieces of oak wood, it spans 100 meters in length, 13 meters in width, and 10 meters in height, covering the nave and choir of the cathedral. This ingenious triangle-shaped assembly technique allows the framework to be both lightweight and fire-resistant, demonstrating the ingenuity of medieval craftsmen.


The Upper Part: An Evolution in the 19th Century

The upper part, covering the transepts and the spire, was added in 1859 by the carpenters Bellu and Daunay, under the direction of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. This new framework, consisting of 1300 pieces of oak wood from the Champagne forest, reflects the transition towards the technique of truss carpentry. Lighter and more fire-resistant than the medieval framework, it represents the marriage between tradition and modernity.


The Tragedy of 2019: A National Shock

The devastating fire of 2019 resulted in partial destruction of this exceptional framework, plunging France into mourning. However, this shock has stimulated a national determination to restore this symbol of French heritage.


Reconstruction: A Major Challenge

The reconstruction of the framework of Notre-Dame, scheduled for 2024, represents a major challenge. Carpenters are meticulously using the same techniques and materials as their medieval and 19th-century predecessors. Every detail is reproduced with precision, demonstrating the accuracy and dedication required to faithfully recreate the original.


Just like the roof of Notre-Dame, Toit de Paris uses authentic pieces of Parisian roofs to create unique souvenirs or gifts. Made in France, our keychains are customizable and eco-friendly; you can engrave initials or add a symbolic dot representing a location in the capital. Every detail is meticulously engraved, giving authenticity and superior quality to the product.

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In conclusion, Parisian roofs are all steeped in history, and Toit de Paris offers you the opportunity to take a piece of this history with you through its engraved keychains, made in France.

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