On Tuesday, with the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris expected to reopen on Dec. 8, the outline of the spire was visible on the city skyline for the first time since the devastating fire in April 2019.
With scaffolding surrounding the re-built oak spire, authorities told AFP news that it will be visible "before Christmas." The scaffolding will remain until early next year to finish the installation of the spire cover and lead ornaments.
Construction on the building began back in the 12th century and took over 300 years to complete, according to NotreDameCathedralParis.com. It is considered by many to be "one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world."
On April 15, 2019, millions of people watched as the historic landmark burned and the iconic spire, designed by Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc in the 19th century, collapsed. However, the fire could have been much worse.
Marie-Hélène Didier, the conservator in charge of the cathedral said "it was a miracle," that none of the historically significant or irreplaceable items were destroyed and only a few pieces of glass were missing from the structure's renowned stained-glass windows.
After raising 840 million Euros (over $880 million), architect Philippe Villeneuve was tasked to restore the structure identically to its "last known state" with the goal of the famed cathedral being restored by the 2024 Summer Olympics.
According to Paris Je T'aime, the cathedral's parvis area opened to the public in May 2020, along with the archaeological crypt. In September 2022, the Pont au Double footbridge opened as well.
After the fire, French President Emmanuel Macron said of the cathedral, "Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicenter of our lives." He added, "Notre Dame is burning, and I know the sadness, and this tremor felt by so many fellow French people. But tonight, I'd like to speak of hope too."
Vowing to rebuild the structure, Macron added, "Let's be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we've built it and, throughout the centuries, let it grow and improve it. So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together."