Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris begun construction in 1163 and is the most visited monument in all of France. Nearly 12 million natives and visitors walk through the church each year. From the stong gargolyles to the stained glass Notre is one of the truly great architectual masterpieces in the world. A literal and figurative center of the city, Notre Dame’s significance and maning for the city of Paris and the world is immeasurable.
When it went up in flames Monday afternoon it was a hard hit for many groups in the world and even the common traveler. A fire spread through the building’s roof and spire leaving it to ashes, but most of the structure still remains. The fire was believed to have been started accidently as much needed renovations were being made to the building. There was fear during the night that the blaze could take down the whole structure but after hours of dousing the building with water the bell towers were saved. By midnight President Macron informed to the world that the worst of the fire had been avoided and promised that the cathedral would rise again.
The fire itself started just minutes after the building closed for tourists, which is why an investigation has been opened to see if arson could have been the cause. No deaths were reported but there was one injury from a firefighter. The heat from the fire was said to have been felt from across the River Seine. The renovation that had been underway was due to decades of deterioration from pollution, acid raina and simply old age. Luckily due to renovations many of pieces had already been removed during the prior week and the cathedral’s collection of relics and other sacred items are most likely unharmed. Many of the pieces are now being sent to the famous Louvre Museum, which holds many of the world’s most famous art pieces.
Notre Dame has withstood the test of time making through some the world’s most violent and memorable events such as the French Revolution, two world wars and Adolf Hitler’s plan to demolish the structure in 1944. Sadly so much of it was taken down in just hours. Pope Francis sent out prayers of hope to the cathedral wich he said was “a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.”
Even though renovation and repair will follow the losses to Notre Dame are incalculable and unrecoverable, not only do you lose some of those feature that a 900 year old structure but also the history of it which can’t be replaced. The largest loss from the fire was the spire, which was added in the 19th century with the famous gargoyles. For now the spire and roof were the worst of the losses and reconstruction will begin shortly. Still the loss of these original features will forever be remembered and loved.