With Netflix’s Notre-Dame, la Part du Feu (or Notre-Dame, the Fire Part) living up to its name in every way, we can see just how important the cathedral really is.
Because this six-part original not only takes place on the night the famous Gothic monument burned down, but also shows how the tragedy affected many different people in Paris. But now if you just want to know how much of the intricate plot of this French drama is based on real people, events or situations, we have all the information you need.
Is Notre Dame based on real events?
The film Notre-Dame is based in part on a true story, as it was made in collaboration with the Paris fire brigade and the well-known journalist Romain Gubert. After all, it was largely based on his 2019 book, La Nuit de Notre-Dame (or The Night of Notre Dame), which documents how hard the firefighters worked on April 15, 2019. That day around 6:30 p.m., a fire broke out just under the roof of the religious and cultural landmark. The fire, which may have been caused by a short in a power cable, threatened to burn down the entire place.
In reality, the first group of rescuers got there almost immediately, just like the show shows, but it wasn’t enough because the fire was so bad. So more than 400 men and women risked their lives to ensure the situation is resolved quickly. Luckily no one was injured in the process. There were a few close calls and the temperature in the cathedral reached 800 degrees Celsius and the firefighters had to fetch water from the Seine, but no one died.
We should also say that most of the fire fighting was done from the ground rather than from high up because people were afraid of doing more damage to the structure. The amazing spire of the building eventually collapsed, but 15 hours later, on the morning of April 16, 2019, the fire was extinguished and no one was seriously injured. Because of this, people believe that Notre Dame will return to its amazing glory by 2024. There were also a few small areas that didn’t take too much damage from fire or heat.
The reason we said the story was “partially” based on real events is because the characters are fictional. They’re inspired by real people’s actions, but they’re not exactly like them. Recently, director Hervé Hadmar said, “This show is very romantic.” “Sometimes you could almost call it melodic, which goes without saying. I wanted to address that and be with the characters that were going through things that night.”
That’s why, before choosing his final characters, he looked at real photos of that fateful evening in 2019 and “rotated the camera 180 degrees on all these people. My co-author and I tried to imagine what her life was like. So we wrote down 20 to 25 different people. In the end we didn’t have any and only kept six or seven.”
Hervé Hadmar also said: “The fire of Notre-Dame is one of the things that can bring us together. They say something about our time and I thought we all had a fire inside that we needed to put out. Our Lady on Fire is a bit symbolic of our society which is also on fire.
The new Netflix drama series Notre-Dame follows how a major fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris changes the lives of firefighters and the people who live there.
General Ducourt, a fire chief about to retire, Alice, one of Ducourt’s associates who has just lost her boyfriend in a fire, and Max, a man who wants to find his daughter are the main characters.
The French-language miniseries stars Roschdy Zem, Caroline Proust, Megan Northam, Simon Abkarian and Alice Isaaz, among others, and all episodes will appear simultaneously on the streaming service.
But is the story true and are the characters based on people who actually lived? Read on to find out everything you need to know about whether the film Notre Dame is based on a true story or not.
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Is the story in Notre-Dame based on a real one?
The story is based on the real fire that broke out in Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019. It’s not certain what started the fire, but it’s likely that an electrical short was to blame.
Because the 850-year-old building was religiously and culturally important to France and its people, the fire was a major event in French history.
Firefighters worked hard for 15 hours to put out the blaze and no one was killed.
There was concern that the cathedral and its spiers would remain standing, but they did. Businesses and citizens have pledged millions of euros to restore the building to its former glory. The work is expected to be completed in 2024.
This is the second project inspired by fire this year. Jean-Jacques Annaud’s disaster film Notre-Dame on Fire hit British cinemas in July 2022.
Are the people in Notre-Dame from real life?
The series’ official synopsis states it is “about the fates of men and women, each with their own fire to quench.”
“As the firefighters in Paris try to stop the fire from spreading through the cathedral, the show also follows the characters going through the mangle. They have to fight, love, meet, hate, smile at, or help each other so that they end up having a chance to start all over again.”
One of the show’s loglines states that the stories are “inspired by true stories of French firefighters.” This means that details from the show are definitely drawn from real life.
But it looks like the characters themselves are made up. They are based on the actions of real people, but are not real people themselves.
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Before Christianity came to France, a Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter is said to have stood on the site of Notre-Dame. The column of sailors found under the cathedral in 1710 bears witness to this. In the 4th or 5th century, the Saint Étienne Cathedral, a large early Christian church, was built near the royal palace. The entrance was about 40 meters (130 ft) west of the west front of Notre-current Dame, and the apse was about where the west front is now. It was about half the size of the later Notre-Dame. It was 70 meters long and divided into a nave and four aisles by marble columns. Mosaics were used to decorate the interior.
The last church before Notre-Dame Cathedral was a Romanesque conversion of Saint-Étienne. Although enlarged and modified, the growing population of Paris made it clear that the church was not big enough.
Before the work of Jacques-Germain Soufflot in the 18th century, the Church of Saint-John-le-Rond, a baptistery built around 452, was on the north side of the west front of Notre-Dame.
In 1160 Maurice de Sully, the Bishop of Paris, decided to build a new, much larger church. He quickly demolished the old cathedral and decided to reuse its parts. Sully decided that the new church should be built in the Gothic style first used in the Royal Abbey of Saint Denis in the late 1130s.
The historian Jean de Saint-Victor wrote in the Memorial Historiarum that the construction of Notre-Dame began between March 24 and April 25, 1163, when King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III. laid the foundation. Bishops Maurice de Sully and Eudes de Sully (who were not related to Maurice) built the church in four stages, according to masters whose names are lost. Analysis of vault stones that fell in the 2019 fire shows they were quarried in Vexin, a county northwest of Paris, and likely brought across the Seine by ferry.
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc drew a cross section of the double buttresses and buttresses of the nave as they would have looked from 1220 to 1230.
The first part of the project was the construction of the choir and its two aisles. Robert of Torigni says that the choir was completed in 1177 and the high altar consecrated on May 19, 1182 by Cardinal Henri de Chateau-Marcay, papal legate in Paris, and Maurice de Sully. [did not pass verification] From 1182 to 1190 the four sections of the nave behind the choir and their aisles were built up to the level of the clerestory. It started after the choir was finished, but ended before the last part of the nave was finished. From 1190 the foundations of the facade were erected and the first traverses completed. In 1185, while the cathedral was still under construction, Heraclius of Caesarea launched the Third Crusade.
During the construction of the Sainte-Chapelle, Louis IX. the crown of thorns, a nail from the cross, and a small piece of the cross, which he bought for a lot of money from the Latin emperor Baldwin II, into the cathedral. After Louis died, an undershirt believed to have belonged to him was added to the relic collection.
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