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A visual history of Notre-Dame de Paris

President Macron has vowed to rebuild the iconic landmark, and billionaires and businesses have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to support the restoration.

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Sarah Tew
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1 of 36 Getty/Hulton Archive / Stringer

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

A devastating fire ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Monday evening. The fire was stopped, but its cause remains unknown. Here's a look at the iconic landmark over time. 

The construction of Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. This engraving from 1800 shows the cathedral before the famous spire was added in the 19th century. 

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2 of 36 Getty/Photo 12

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This illustration depicts the five naves, the west wall with three gates, the famous rose window and two quadrangular towers. 

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3 of 36 Getty

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This artwork from 1814 depicts The First Restauration, or the arrival of the count of Artois, who would become Charles X.  

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4 of 36 Getty

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This painting by Jacques Louis David depicts the coronation of Napoleon by Pope Pius VII on Dec. 2, 1804.

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5 of 36 Getty

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

Experts think this engraving shows the Notre-Dame in the 1820s or 1830s. 

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6 of 36 Getty

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This illustration depicts Napoleon's wedding to Eugenia de Montijo on Jan. 30, 1853.

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Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This illustration from 1894 depicts the organ being repaired. It's safe to say in a building this old there is always something in need of fixing.

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8 of 36 Getty/Universal History Archive/UIG

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This Photochrome Print from around 1900 shows the Notre-Dame de Paris and St. Michael Bridge. 

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9 of 36 Getty

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This old drawing by Frank Craig shows visitors standing near the gargoyles on the towers in 1906.

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10 of 36 Getty/Emilie Friant/Fine Art Photographic

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This painting depicts the cathedral circa 1910.  

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11 of 36 Getty/Smith Collection/Gado

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This early photo is from July 1922.

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12 of 36 Getty/Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

Here you can see renovations taking place in 1931.  It's rare that this structure isn't being renovated.

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13 of 36 Getty/Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This photo from 1938 shows an ordination ceremony being performed by Cardinal Jean Verdler inside the cathedral.

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14 of 36 Getty/Jean Mainbourg

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

A tank is parked outside the cathedral after the liberation of Paris in 1944.

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15 of 36 Getty/Adoc-Photos

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

An American soldier distributing chewing gum to children in August 1944 after the liberation of Paris.

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16 of 36 Getty/Keystone-France

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This photo from 1963 shows the facade being cleaned by specialists on scaffolding.

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17 of 36 Getty/Gamma-Keystone

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This photo from 1968 shows tourists taking in the view from the roof.

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18 of 36 Getty/Michael Clement

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

In 1979, unionists and steelworkers hung banners from the cathedral during a march to protest the loss of their jobs through factory closings. 

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Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

In 1985, a rally was held by French anti-racist NGO SOS Racisme to call for the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. 

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20 of 36 Getty/Bernard Annebicque

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

In 1987, it's clear Catholicism was no longer the only religion with major structures in Paris.  At the left, we see the Institute of the Arabic World in the foreground and the Notre Dame in the distance.

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21 of 36 Getty/Frédéric Soltan

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

People often wonder what the meaning of these demonic looking gargoyles is. Though I'm not sure about the form, the function is said to be a way of draining rainwater off the stone structure. 

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Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

Paris is known for romance, and views of the Notre Dame lit up at night aren't hurting. 

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23 of 36 Getty/AFP Contributer

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

In 2017, as part of a celebration of Armistice Day, there was a light show on the facade. 

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24 of 36 Getty/John van Hasselt

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

In 2013, Paris celebrated 850 years of history. The Notre Dame (along with the Eiffel Tower) is one of it's most visited tourist destinations, with 14 million visitors a year. Here you can see newlyweds posing in front of a bridge with "love locks," with the Cathedral in the background.

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Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

On April 15, 2019, a fire broke out in the Notre Dame.

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Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

It was reported that the wooden structure supporting the roof was feeding the fire.

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27 of 36 Getty/Thomas Samson

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

This shot eerily depicts demonic looking gargoyles watching over the fire on April 15, 2019. 

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28 of 36 Getty/Philipe Lopez

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

Unfortunately, it burned through the night and was confirmed to be put out by 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

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29 of 36 Getty/Victoria Jones

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

Here you can see firefighters assessing the damage from above the famous Rose window after the fire was put out.

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30 of 36 Getty/Chesnot

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

The cause of the fire is unknown, but officials say it was possibly related to the ongoing renovations.

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31 of 36 Getty/Dan Kitwood

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

The fire left much damage that is visible from the outside.

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Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

From inside, you can see the hole left where a portion of the roof, including the spire, has completely collapsed.

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33 of 36 Getty/Ludocix Marin

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

Here we can see the fallen debris from the fire surrounding the altar. 

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34 of 36 Getty/Victoria Jones

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

On April 16, firefighters are seen assessing the damage.

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35 of 36 Getty/Chesnot

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

It has been reported that investigators have found the Notre Dame to be structurally sound, but I doubt it will be open to visitors any time soon.

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36 of 36 Getty/Omar Havana

Notre-Dame de Paris: a visual history

Onlookers view the damage from the fire.

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