Before and after photos of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire show devastating damage to the iconic site

The 850-year-old Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, caught fire on Monday evening to the horror of onlookers in Paris and around the world.

Firefighters worked through the night to extinguish the blaze. According to The New York Times, the building was found to be structurally sound, but it will never be the same.

Here’s what the Notre-Dame Cathedral looked like before and after the fire.


The Notre-Dame Cathedral’s spire used to be visible for miles.

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The Notre-Dame Cathedral’s spire.
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Petr Kovalenkov/Shutterstock

Construction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral began in 1163, but it wasn’t completed until 1345.


The spire collapsed after sustaining heavy damage from the fire.

The spire’s collapse was caught on video. It was initially added to the cathedral as a bell tower in 1852.


At 226 feet high, the cathedral’s two towers were the tallest structures in Paris until the Eiffel Tower was constructed in 1889.

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The cathedral towers.
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Maziarz/ Shutterstock

Before the fire, visitors could climb up hundreds of steps to a gallery at the top.


The towers are reportedly still standing.

The fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet said he believed “that the two towers of Notre-Dame have been saved.”


The Notre-Dame’s Gothic rose windows date back to the 13th century.

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The circular rose window.
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iShauni/Shutterstock

The Notre-Dame has three rose windows.


The rose windows glowed red during the fire.

According to CNN, the cathedral’s rose windows are safe.


The ceiling of the cathedral was made of wood from the 13th century.

The Notre-Dame had previously been referred to as a “forest” because its roof was made of more than 13,000 oak trees.


The combination of wood and limestone, both flammable materials, made the structure burn extremely quickly.

The cathedral was built primarily of limestone, which is a flammable stone and easily crumbled in some parts of the building.


Notre-Dame was a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with flying buttresses, arches, and rib vaults.

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The interior of the Notre-Dame Cathedral before the fire.
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Brian Kinney/Shutterstock

The roof of the cathedral was 115 feet high.


The wooden ceiling burned up completely, leaving gaping holes in the arches.

The Notre-Dame had been undergoing renovations before the fire.


Before the fire, tourists and worshipers gathered in the cathedral’s pews.

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Inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
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muratart/Shutterstock

About 13 million people visit the Notre-Dame every year, according to The New York Times.


In the aftermath, the only people inside the church were firefighters.

Firefighters worked through the night to extinguish the fire.