The frame

The framing of Notre-Dame de Paris is certainly one of the oldest structures in Paris with that of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre (1147).

The framing of Notre-Dame de Paris is certainly one of the oldest structures in Paris with that of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre (1147) which is the main vestige of the great Abbey of the ladies of Montmartre founded by Queen Adelaide of Savoy , wife of King Louis VI the fat; and, also, elements of that of Saint-Germain des Prés (1160-1170).

This set is given the romantic name of forest due to large number of beams It was necessary to use to put it in place, each beam coming from a different tree. It's an oak frame. Its dimensions are impressive: more than 100 m in length, 13 m in width in the nave, 40 m in the transept and 10 m in height.

Technically, with Gothic, the setting up of warheads necessitated steep roofs; Notre-Dame de Paris are 55 °. Moreover, the scarcity of large timber, due to deforestation and urban development at that time, made it necessary to use lower and therefore lighter-section timber that allowed the elevation of the frames and the increase of their slope.

In the choir there was a first frame with wood slaughtered around 1160-1170 (it is estimated that some may have 300 to 400 years, which brings us to the 8Th or 9Th centuries!!!). This first frame has disappeared, but wood has been reused in the second frame set up in 1220. They're still here today.. Why this second frame?
– Fire is not impossible.
– But above all, raising the gutter wall of 2.70 m in the choir to bring it into conformity with that of the nave.
– And also, enlarging the tall Windows.

In the nave, the frame is set up between 1220 and 1240. Indeed, the work of the nave began in 1182, after the consecration of the choir. Some even think from 1175, before the consecration. The work stopped after the fourth span leaving the nave unfinished while the elevation of the façade was begun in 1208. The work of the nave will be resumed in 1218 to counter the façade.


On this frame is a lead roofing consisting of 1326 tables of 5 mm thick weighing 210 tonnes. In the 11th and 12Th centuries, the roofs of flat-tiled churches were covered because of the abundant deposits of clay. Paris, being far from such deposits, he preferred the lead. In 1196, Bishop Maurice de Sully bequeathed by testament 5 000 pounds for the purchase of lead.

If the structures of the choir and the nave have crossed the centuries, the transepts and the Arrow were redone in the mid-nineteenth century during the great restoration campaign of the Cathedral under the direction of The Duke. Carried out according to the principles then in force, it differs from the structure of the choir and the nave, in particular as regards the dimensions of the beams which are far more imposing than those of the middle ages and more spaced.



ND-Paris _ 3236


ND-Paris _3225r

ND-Paris _ 3213

ND-Paris _3207r


ND-Paris _9736r

ND-Paris _ 7280 (2)

ND-Paris _ 7167

ND-Paris _ 7151 (1)

ND-Paris-11_ 7150

ND-Paris _ 6542


Light a candle at Notre-Dame