It’s the most famous cathedral in France, with its gothic style and impressive structure drawing millions of tourists from around the globe.
History buffs and Catholics would flock to admire the 858-year-old building, while children would marvel at the home of Quasimodo, the fictional Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
That was until it caught fire on this day two years ago.
The world watched in horror as Paris’ medieval Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames.
As the spire collapsed and much of the roof caved in, firefighters worked tirelessly to ensure the building survived the night.
To this day, the exact cause of the blaze remains unclear, though investigators have so far rejected suggestions of foul play.
Instead, they’ve been focusing on a short circuit or even a dropped cigarette as possible explanations.
Days after the fire, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral within the next five years, so it would be ready in time for when Paris hosts the 2024 summer Olympics.
Two years on, where are we at?
Despite delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, construction work is on target to return the cathedral for worship in 2024, reported Jean-Louis Georgelin last month.
He’s the French army general picked by Mr Macron to lead the building’s restoration.
Some experts say a more realistic timeline would land closer to 2029, as actual restoration work hasn’t even started yet.
Up until now, work has focused on securing the building, including the arduous task of removing 40,000 pieces of scaffolding hardened by the fire, according to French news agency, Agence France-Presse.
This job should be finished during Europe’s summer in June/July, allowing the full restoration works to begin early next year.