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Strasbourg Cathedral

In April 2019 the world looked on in horror as the roof of Notre Dame de Paris, one of the most famous churches in the world, went up in flames. It was a stark reminder that fires, which have plagued European cities throughout the ages, can still do serious damage to priceless treasures of our cultural patrimony.

Some 400 kilometres to the south the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Strasbourg is a slightly less famous, yet equally magnificent, examples of French Gothic church architecture. Started in 1015 and not completed until 1439, Strasbourg Cathedral is unique in its shape and houses a world famous astronomical clock and a grand organ, parts of which date back to the 13th century.

Today the cathedral and its maintenance are overseen by various authorities which cooperate to preserve this ancient building. The French state approves and finances restoration works while the clergy is in charge of daily routine operations including the organ, the astronomical clock and religious events. The third partner – the Fondation de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame – has been in existence for some 800 years and employs stonemasons and sculptors who look after the upper parts and the exterior of the cathedral. It recently became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage organisation.

The building continues to draw tens of thousands of the faithful, as well as tourists, music lovers and history buffs to its breathtaking interior.

Laurent Weyl was one of 200 photographers awarded a grant by the French Ministry of Culture to document 200 aspects of culture nationwide and was given exclusive access to hidden parts of the cathedral and some of its most important sacred possessions.
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