Hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze, which broke out at around 6.30pm local time (4.30pm GMT), and were able to save the main structure of the building and its two bell towers.
However, the cathedral’s famous spire, which stood tall over the building, collapsed into the flames as much of the roof collapsed.
Firefighters remained at the scene on Tuesday morning (16 April) and a salvage operation is under way to save as many of the precious artefacts and artwork displayed at Notre-Dame.
While the cause of the fire is yet unclear, some officials in Paris have focused their attentions on ongoing renovation works to preserve the stone structure.
The Paris prosecutor has launched an investigation. One firefighter was seriously hurt responding to the incident.
French president Emmanuel Macron described the fire as a “terrible tragedy” and vowed to launch a national subscription to have the monument rebuilt.