1. Building was an 182-year process
2. It’s home to many relics
The most famous relic located in Notre-Dame is the crown of thorns believed to have been placed upon Jesus Christ during his scourging. The cathedral also contains a piece of the true cross and one of the nails used in the crucifixion, plus relics of many French saints. Initial reports suggest that the relics were saved from the blaze.
3. It’s not actually owned by the Archdiocese of Paris
Due to France’s laws regarding secularization, the French government owns all churches built before 1905, including Notre-Dame. The government lets the Archdiocese of Paris use the building for free, and will continue to do so in perpetuity. The Archdiocese of Paris is responsible for the upkeep of the church, as well as for paying employees.