Five buildings destroyed that were never rebuilt

Buildings. Credit: PA

While there remains some dispute over the timescale for Notre Dame's rebuild, what seems certain is the iconic cathedral will stand again as we know it.

The same can't be said for some other landmarks and buildings that met a similar - or worse - fate.

From fires to World War Two attack, here's a selection of famous structures that were never able to stand the same way again.

The Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace burned down less than 100 years after it was built. Credit: PA

The Crystal Palace was a huge structure made of cast-iron and plate-glass, originally built in Hyde Park for an exhibition showing off technology developed in the Industrial Revolution.

In 1854, it was moved to south London after the 1851 exhibition but it would not last beyond 1936.

In November of that year, a devastating fire destroyed the entire structure within hours – and the flames could be seen across eight counties.

Christ Church Greyfriars

Just the tower stands now at Christ Church Greyfriars. Credit: Paul Hudson / Flickr

Unlike Crystal Palace, Christ Church Greyfriars was rebuilt after it burned down.

Originally established as a monastic church as far back the 13th century, the church, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, was first destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

It was rebuilt to the designs of legendary architect Sir Christopher Wren and stood strong for nearly 300 years until bombing in the Second World War destroyed nearly all of it in December 1940.

The tower is all that’s left of the building and the ruins are now open as a public garden.

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral was never rebuilt on its original site. Credit: PA

In the same year Christ Church Greyfriars was bombed, Coventry Cathedral was another major UK landmark to fall.

This time it wasn’t a fire breaking out, but bombs from the Luftwaffe during The Blitz.

Almost the entire cathedral was destroyed, and it was never rebuilt on its original site.

Today, small parts that were left behind still stand – and a new Coventry Cathedral was built nearby, but the original site remains as a ruin.

The Twin Towers

New York's Twin Towers never came back up. Credit: PA

Perhaps the most famous landmark to fall.

The Twin Towers in New York City were an iconic part of the skyline until being dramatically toppled on September 11, 2001.

Hijacked planes struck the towers to the world's shock and dismay.

Although some called for a full rebuild, what’s left now is a memorial at Ground Zero in downtown Manhattan, near to where the towers stood.


Some of Palmyra's structures survived five millennia. Credit: AP

Another destruction of modern times wiped out a structure that had stood for around 5,000 years.

Palmyra's structures in Syria, one of which was a World UNESCO site, had wowed tourists for several millennia before Daesh brought destruction on them in 2015.

Arguably the most famous of the buildings to be wrecked was the Arch of Triumph.

While there are plans to rebuild what was destroyed, the rubble in the old city still shows the scars.