Has Notre Dame ever burned down before?

Updated April 15, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

A lot people are talking about the fire at Notre Dame. I saw some posts online saying a lot of the cathedral was already renovated before. Has Notre Dame ever burned down before?

The Answer:

Notre-Dame de Paris, the church most famously called "Notre Dame" has suffered a lot of abuse in its eight-hundred year lifespan. The famous Gothic cathedral was neglected and defaced during the unrest in France in the 1800s. After Victor Hugo published his famous book Notre-Dame de Paris, known in English asThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, the building got a major public facelift.However, the cathedral has never before burned.

This might be confused with France's other most famous cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims, which has burned downseveraltimes. It burned completely in 1211, and was damaged by another fire in 1481. The church was then burned downagaindue to the explosion of German munitions during World War I.

-The Editors

Source:, UNESCO, The New York Times