What's inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
After a massive fire broke out at Notre Dame Cathedral Monday, it was clear the exterior of the structure had been devastated. But as the fire continued to burn for hours, people feared artifacts and priceless art inside may have also been destroyed.
Notre Dame was undergoing renovations at the time of the fire; scaffolding was visible amid the flames around the building's roof and spire. On Thursday, 16 religious statues were removed from the peak for the first time in over a century to be taken for cleaning, and therefore escaped the blaze. The statues represented the 12 apostles and four evangelists.
As firefighters tried to stamp out the growing flames, Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told BFMTV first responders were trying to salvage the art and other priceless pieces stored in the cathedral.
What exactly is housed inside Notre Dame Cathedral?
The 850-year-old cathedral is home to irreplaceable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions. Among the most celebrated artworks inside are its three stained-glass rose windows, placed high up on the west, north and south faces of the cathedral.
Its priceless treasures also include a Catholic relic, the crown of thorns, which is only occasionally displayed, including on Fridays during Lent. The crown was believed to be placed on Jesus' head leading up to his crucifixion.
A piece of the true cross, the cross on which Jesus was said to be crucified, was also kept inside the Notre Dame.
The cathedral was immortalized in Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," published in 1831. Its gargoyles and bell towers were featured by the Disney movie of the same name.
The crypt, which housed numerous Gallo-Roman artifacts and remains of a house from Lutèce, the Roman city that stood where modern Paris is now. The organ inside was one of the most famous in the world. Installed in the 13th century, it has five keyboards and 8,000 pipes. Its fate is not yet known.
The treasury inside the Notre Dame also includes artwork, silverware, and other relics.
Read the latest on the fire at Notre Dame, which at time of publication was still burning.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.