Builders Haven’t Finished Reconstructing Notre-Dame Cathedral—But Lego Fans Can

Lego is selling a 4,383-piece model of the historic structure ahead of the upcoming Paris Olympics

Lego-Notre Dame
Lego enthusiasts can now build their own Notre-Dame Cathedral, complete with rose windows and the iconic spire. Lego

Lego has just released a model of Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral. The new set arrives less than two months before the beginning of the 2024 Paris Olympics—and five years after a fire severely damaged the historic structure.

The 4,383-piece cathedral debuted on June 1. Although Lego is best known for its children’s toys, its new Notre-Dame set is actually meant for adults. The model features the building’s iconic windows, rooftop spire, columns, arches and even surrounding trees.

“In designing the Lego Architecture Notre-Dame de Paris, we tried to bring it to life by not only capturing its outward appearance, but the way and the stages in which the original was built,” says Lego designer Rok Žgalin Kobe in a statement. “We wanted Lego fans to retrace the architectural journey and evolution of this landmark during its construction, to encourage a deeper appreciation for its real-life counterpart.”

Lego Notre-Dame Box
The set includes 4,383 pieces and costs $229.99. Lego

Construction on Notre-Dame Cathedral began in 1163 and took nearly two centuries to complete. The limestone Gothic structure was built in phases, with the high altar, choir and western façade completed first. Over the years, the building has seen many additions and modifications—including ongoing reconstruction since the 2019 fire. Le Monde reports that the cathedral is scheduled to reopen on December 8, 2024.

The new Lego set is not cheap: Customers interested in building their own Notre-Dame will need to shell out $229.99. Beginning in 2020, Lego has been creating more sets marketed for adults; now, around 20 percent of sets for sale are meant for “adult fans of Lego” or AFOLs, according to the New York Times Jenny Gross.

“I don’t see Lego as a toy,” Sonia Hudson, a 50-year-old intensive care doctor and AFOL, tells the Times. “I see it as a building medium. I could build with wood, I could build with clay, but if I got it wrong I’d have to start all over again.”

In addition to a model of an iconic Paris building, the toy company is also releasing a set of the city’s most famous painting: Beginning in October, customers will be able to build a Lego Mona Lisa and hang it on their wall in a detachable frame. According to My Modern Met’s Elizabeth Beiser, the 1,503-piece set includes “new hues” that show “what a freshly painted Mona Lisa would have looked like 500 years ago.”

Lego Notre-Dame and Mona Lisa
Lego released its Mona Lisa and Notre-Dame sets to celebrate Parisian history and culture ahead of the 2024 Olympics. Lego

“A culmination of da Vinci’s lifelong study of science and nature, the Mona Lisa is packed with stories and details that we thoroughly enjoyed researching and implementing,” says Lego designer Milan Madge in the statement. “We’re excited for Lego fans and art lovers to explore more about this enigmatic artwork.”

Both sets are billed as tributes to the history and heritage of Paris. The Notre-Dame model comes with a removable roof so that builders can inspect its interior columns and rose windows.

“Once you complete it, you can actually look through the front door,” Žgalin Kobe tells the Times. “You get the sense of the space, the sense of majesty that comes with it.”

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