Notre-dame de paris’ spire is back on the cathedral


The spire of Notre-Dame de Paris has now risen above the skyline of the city, one year before the scheduled reopening of the restored cathedral on December 8th, 2024. The update on the work carried out was given by the public establishment Rebâtir Notre Dame de Paris. After two years dedicated to securing the building, project studies, then preparing the site, the restoration work in France is in full swing with a progressive update following the installation of the spire.

notre-dame paris cathedral spire
images by David Bordes



A few tweaks may have taken place, but the spire is still in accordance with the original design by Viollet-le-Duc, as seen through its solid oak frame topped with the golden crown and cross. In a few days, the rooster is set to be placed on the summit to complete the elevation of the spire to 96 meters in height, the rightful altitude of its original counterpart. The new spire of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral is anchored 30 meters from the ground above the transept crossing and is made of around 1,000 pieces of wood.


To install it on top of the cathedral, the design team had to erect a 600-ton scaffolding with 48 levels for the assembly. The arrow was cut in a workshop in Lorraine before placing the spire on top of the cathedral and rising again, four years after its fall. Before the spire, the Statue of Christ returned to the top of the South gable wall in November 2023 and the timber framework of the cathedral’s nave has been rebuilt.

notre-dame paris cathedral spire
the scheduled opening of the cathdral is on December 8th, 2024



Original spire design by Viollet-le-Duc


It was on July 9, 2020, when French President Emmanuel Macron said that the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral should be rebuilt exactly as it was before it burned down. For a brief overview, the original design by Viollet-le-Duc was decorated with a layer of 16 copper statues, an octagonal stem pierced with quatrefoils, and a needle surmounted by a rooster. Winged chimeras, birds, floral motifs, and pearls surrounded the spire, which was made entirely of lead apart from the copper statues.


The new spire of the restored Notre-Dame de Paris experienced a rebirth with its eight faces, each decorated with nearly 200 hooks and floral motifs, 16 pinnacles, 32 gargoyles, 16 bay arches, and 8 quatrefoils. They are all inspired by the medieval aesthetic brought back to life in honor of Viollet-le-Duc’s design. A group of companies and carpenters set up a common workshop in Lorraine to carry out the wood sculpture work and reach the completion of the spire, ornate with a golden crown and cross.

notre-dame paris cathedral spire
before the spire, the the Statue of Christ returned to the top of the South gable wall in November 2023



Proposals to restore notre-dame de paris cathedral


Before the cathedral’s scheduled opening on December 8th, 2024, several studios and architectural firms imagined and proposed their own restoration design for the burned-down Notre-Dame de Paris. Studio NAB envisioned an educational and inclusive greenhouse on the roof of the cathedral topped with an apiary to replace the spire, housing a large number of beehives. Here, greenery and nature would flourish, a similar concept to the architectural firm’s Who Cares?!, but outside a luxurious apartment right on the roof of the cathedral.


Even Vincent Callebaut suggested uniting Notre-Dame de Paris’ nave, roof, and spire by installing a kaleidoscopic glass canopy on top. Trnsfrm also imagined a site-specific glasswork for the spire and roof of the cathedral, but in this case, the multicolored, stained glass roof twists as it rises and points to the sky. Studio DRIFT chimes in too by proposing to sustainably rebuild Notre-Dame de Paris using recycled ocean plastic, including its spire.

notre-dame paris cathedral spire
the timber framework of the cathedral’s nave has also been rebuilt

notre-dame paris cathedral spire
the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral is set for its schedule opening, following the installation of its spire



project info:


name: Spire of Notre-Dame de Paris

cathedral: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

restoration: Rebâtir Notre-Dame de Paris 

opening: December 8th, 2024