(Republicaninformer.com)- On April 15, 2019, a fire almost destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral, erected over 850 years ago. According to research published in the journal PLOS ONE, the building’s vaulted ceilings formerly reached a height of 105 feet, making it the highest in the world at the time.
A centuries-old mystery about the Gothic-era church was unearthed in that terrible fire that nearly destroyed one of Paris’s most famous and revered sites.
How the builders thought they could achieve such an engineering feat, building up such thin walls to such a height, has baffled experts for years, as University of Paris archaeologist and research author Maxime L’Heritier told CBS News how the builders thought they could achieve such an engineering feat. In the wake of the blaze, researchers discovered iron reinforcements, or staples, in the cathedral’s construction, ending the mystery.
The iron found throughout the imposing building is primarily responsible for its lofty stature. Thousands of metal staples, some of which date back to the early 1160s, have been discovered by archaeologists around the cathedral.
The results indicate that the widespread usage of iron in masonry may not be as recent as previously thought. Even before the restoration of Notre Dame began in the 19th century, medieval builders used the architectural style.
According to the research, this novel method was not only consistently utilized by builders over the 200 years it took to create Notre Dame but also applied to subsequent cathedrals.
Iron staples were employed in ancient times at places like the Roman Coliseum but were primarily used to secure big stone slabs on the ground level. The research found that Notre Dame is indisputably the first recognized Gothic church where iron was extensively utilized to bond rock as a genuine construction material due to the prevalence of iron staples throughout the building.
General Jean-Louis Georgelin, head of the army unit in charge of the restoration, told the Associated Press that when the spire was restored to the Paris skyline, it would be a sign that the church’s defenses had been strengthened.