The upper regions of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris were a veritable forest of ancient oak beams, an immense stack of tinder just waiting for a spark to set off the great conflagration. That’s why no electric wires were run into the loft — to reduce the chance of fire.
The following video clip is an excerpt from a documentary about Notre Dame that aired last year. Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
|00:00||Phillip Villeneuve takes us 300 steps higher above the heart of the nave. Into Notre Dame’s frame.|
|00:10||An area not accessible to the public, without electricity to prevent fire.|
|00:19||The odor announces to us that everything here is made of wood.|
|00:37||Notre Dame’s framework of beams is like a forest. Yes, it is a mythical place, it is like a dream.|
|00:43||It is a treasure of the 12th and 13th centuries that is still intact.|
|00:48||Why do you call it a forest? —Because an enormous amount of oak was used here.|
|00:53||The amount corresponds to a forest and so that’s we refer to it as the forest.|
|00:57||That means there are still beams here from the 12th century? — Of course.|
|01:00||Yes there are. That’s it exactly. This is what makes the framework of Notre Dame of Paris a|
|01:04||huge treasure and of great interest. And then you also have the Viollet-le-Duc, which is a spire that|
|01:09||fascinates any carpenter, journeyman or architect. They dream of this spire. They dream of seeing it.|
|01:13||You just have to come see it.|
|01:20||The Viollet-le-Duc is a feat of genius from 1859, an adornment resting on these beams. The spire.