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Weston, Mo., church recreates Notre Dame Cathedral – in gingerbread

One of the major news events of 2019 was the fire that devastated the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. A local church is remembering the cathedral in a creative way this Christmas.

Several members of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Weston crafted a massive replica of the cathedral out of gingerbread, and it’s nearly all edible, according to KSHB-TV. Lisa Stiffler said she is no gingerbread house rookie.

“It all started about three years ago when Father Steven Rogers asked us to recreate our church in gingerbread,” Stiffler said.

The following year, Rogers asked her to kick it up a notch and create the Vatican out of gingerbread. So this year, it only seemed right to honor Notre Dame.

Stiffler, her husband and another church member began the process in September. They started by using a one-foot, 3D puzzle to get an idea of the cathedral’s design. Stiffler multiplied those dimensions by eight and created the structure out of cardboard first, and then baked 400 to 450 pieces of gingerbread to match the pieces. In total, the creation took about 450 pounds of ingredients and 50 batches of gingerbread.

Stiffler said it took a lot of work over the last month but seeing the final product makes it all worth it. “It’s just a feel-good project,” she said. “I think so many people are going to get joy out of it, and honestly while we were making it, we got such a sense of accomplishment.”

From the doorknobs to the flying buttresses, there’s no shortage of detail. The design utilizes pretzels for railings, chocolate for gargoyles, chocolate crispies for landscaping, and it has more than 100 stained glass windows made from melted jolly ranchers. It also has more than 500 LED lights.

The final product will be on display for the church’s European dinner. Anyone can check out the gingerbread house for free. Tickets for the dinner are $10 for adults and $7 for children.