Paris, France, Apr 16, 2019 / 15:21 pm
Following a massive fire that engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, the church’s three iconic rose windows were unharmed, French reports have confirmed.
One of the most recognizable images of the landmark cathedral, the windows are themselves one of Notre Dame’s greatest treasures. Rose windows, a hallmark of gothic architecture, arrange hundreds of panes of stained glass within carved stone tracework, fanning out from a central image.
Flames engulfed the roof and spire of the cathedral on April 16, in what officials are currently investigating as an “involuntary fire.” Some 400 firefighters battled the blaze for hours before extinguishing it. Authorities are still determining the extent of the damage caused.
When the fire first broke out, there were concerns that the windows had been destroyed, either melted in the heat of the fire or blasted by the water of the fire hoses. Initial reports suggested that at least one of the windows had been ruined or fallen out. However, overnight it became clear that all three windows had made it through the blaze intact.
The roses, which crown the north, west, and south sides of the cathedral, have survived numerous ransackings, the French Revolution, two world wars, and now a massive fire.
The west rose is the oldest of the windows, and was constructed around the year 1225. Though now the smallest of the three, it was the largest rose window in the world at the time it was created. Its glass images are arranged into 15 “petals” that encircle an image of Mary holding the infant Jesus.
Located behind the grand organ, it was completely restored in the nineteenth century.
The north and south roses were built around 1250-1260 and face each other across the cathedral transepts.