The Notre Dame cathedral caught fire on Monday, and though Parisian firefighters risked life and limb to save it from total destruction, the damage has been catastrophic – and heartbreaking. The sight of the spire collapsing in flames on this 850-year old historical site has sent international shockwaves of grief and loss. Notre Dame is a world-renowned marvel of Gothic architecture, and has been photographed in movies for nearly as long as the medium has existed. As we come to terms with what has been lost, and plans are made to rebuild the structure, we take a look at 24 times the cathedral has been captured or rendered in glory in cinema.
(1956) The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The 1956 version of the Victor Hugo novel, which ignited renewed interest and restoration in the cathedral after publication, starred Anthony Quinn and had the rare distinction of filming a few shots at Notre Dame itself.
(1996) The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This dark, highly dramatic Disney animation feature was responsible for introducing a new generation of viewers to the historic site and story.
(1923) The Hunchback of Notre Dame
But where would be without the original? Its box office success established Universal as a major studio in Hollywood and created the Universal classic monsters, while turning Lon Chaney into the patron saint of horror. The filmmakers spent lavishly to re-create the cathedral in Hollywood, a sort of running challenge that carried into the opulent 1939 remake.
Linguini and Colette rollerskate on a bridge over the Seine.
(2004) Before Sunset
Reunited lovers Jesse and Celine hop on a river boat, passing Notre Dame as they philosophize on life and love.
(2006) The Devil Wears Prada
Anne Hathaway and Simon Baker give in to their attractions as they wander the Parisian streets at night, with the side of the cathedral in view behind them.
A visit to Notre Dame goes awry for young Amelie when a suicide jumper leaps from the roof and lands on her mother.
(2011) Midnight in Paris
Owen Wilson takes a moment to see where (and when) his life is headed on the benches in front of Notre Dame, with then-French First Lady Carla Bruni.
(1985) European Vacation
The Griswold children share a tender moment across the water from the grounds.
A fresh-faced Colin Firth saunters down the Seine embankment in this adaptation of the romance novel by Alexandre Dumas fil.
(2015) The Walk
Before he crossed the gap between the World Trade Center buildings, Philippe Petit (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) did a suspended walk between the two towers of the cathedral.
(1970) The Aristocats
The sneaky Edgar drugs some felines and takes them on a motorcycle trip to the countryside, passing this familiar site in transit.
(2011) Cars 2
Pixar surprised audiences by turning the Cars sequel into an globe-trotting spy comedy, which took a brief moment to use Notre Dame as part of some establishing shots.
(2012) A Cat in Paris
The climax of this minxy family comedy is set on a series of cranes near Notre Dame’s rooftop.
Count Your Blessings (1959)
A comedy set during World War II, starring Deborah Kerr, Rossano Brazzi, and Maurice Chevalier.
(2007) La Verite Ou Presque
A moment from this LGBTQ comedy of manners, also known as True Enough.
(2011) The Muppets
Kermit’s quest to get the band back together takes him all over the world, including Paris, which included this shot of the cathedral.
(1967) The Night of the Generals
A decades-spanning crime epic, starring Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, and Tom Courtenay.
(1992) Bitter Moon
The twisted characters of Roman Polanski’s erotic thriller take a seat in front of Notre Dame and wait for nighttime.
(1961) Paris Blues
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward fall in love just outside the cathedral grounds.
(2000) Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Need to crash a wedding at Notre Dame? Better get your Reptar ready!
(2011) Three Musketeers
Paul W.S. Anderson’s adaptation of the Alexander Dumas classic noisily stages a fight on Notre Dame’s rooftops.
(2004) Van Helsing
One of Hugh Jackman’s first orders of business is taking down Mr. Hyde (or Dr. Jekyll fame) here.
(2017) Beauty and the Beast
A book in the Beast’s lair literally transports Belle to her Parisian childhood, where the towers glimmer in the moonlight.