Notre Dame Cathedral: 5 things you should know

A fire has blazed through Notre Dame Cathedral, the 856-year-old Parisian monument, on April 15, 2019, doing irreparable damage to the gothic masterpiece. Here are five facts about this iconic Paris landmark.

1. The cornerstone of Notre-Dame de Paris, meaning “Our Lady of Paris,” was laid in 1163. Under the direction of Maurice de Sully, the site was where a pagan temple once stood.
2. According to Notre Dame’s website, its towers stand 220 feet tall and the building is more than 400 feet long. Notre Dame Cathedral is almost 52,000 square feet.
3. Around 13 million people visit Notre Dame Cathedral every year, according to That’s an average of 30,000 people every day.
4. Victor Hugo’s famous novel, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame,’ was published in 1831. Its main character is a bellringer named Quasimodo, who falls in love with a street dancer named Esmeralda.
5. The cathedral was devastated during the French Revolution in the 1790s. Many of the religious icons were destroyed during the looting.

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