The Burning of Notre Dame Cathedral

Sad Time — The Loss of an Eternal Lady

One of the most notable monuments in Paris (and in all of Europe for that matter) is the Notre Dame Cathedral. This Catholic treasure is over 800 years old. It is located on a small island called the Ile de la Cite in the middle of the River Seine. The building of the cathedral was completed over the course of 200 years; it was started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345.

As is the case with most notable historical monuments, The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris has its own share of both the glorious and the tragic historical moments that will forever remain indelible in the mind of people everywhere. Among them is the crowning of Henry VI of England right inside the cathedral in 1431. The Cathedral was at one time in a stage of total disrepair and close to the point of being demolished, but was later saved by Napoleon who himself was crowned Emperor in 1804 inside the Cathedral.

Facts About The Cathedral’s Damage and Restoration:

In its history, Notre Dame has endured destruction and subsequent restoration in many periods. However, much of the facade and interior still are true to the original designs. In the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed a lot of the cathedral’s contents. A lot of the features on the cathedral’s exterior were removed because they were considered to be idolatrous, and tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed in the name of modernization. The cathedral was converted into a storage warehouse for food, during the French Revolution, and the heads of many of Notre Dame’s statues were removed.

Between 1845 and 1870, a first attempt at restoration took place. A good portion of the previous century’s damage done to the cathedral was repaired, and new additions were built. Most recently, a new restoration program was started in 1991 and has gone on for 20 years with a focus on cleaning up facade’s and sculptures.

Now, April 14–15, 2019

The Notre Dame Cathedral, one of Paris’s most famous landmarks, suffered significant damage from a fire today. About 400 firefighters are working to put out the fire. The main structure has been saved and preserved. The fall of the spire and a significant loss of the roof has transpired.

The 875 year old building in flames,

There was significant construction occurring at the time and they think it somehow was responsible for the fire.

There is a fabulous book, Pillars of the Earth, written by Ken Follett that takes you back to the time of the builders of these grand cathedrals.

A twelfth-century tale of the building of the mighty Gothic cathedral. This author stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. It follows a builder and his family trying to find sustainability and a life as a master builder in the time of the Renaissance. It follows his life and travails and how the art of being a master builder was passed down to the elder male children. Fantastic tale!

Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was widely used, especially for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century. Wikipedia.

The Fire And The Grief

This is so tragic. It was mostly built of timber so it burned quickly. It will be rebuilt to be more beautiful than it was. I am sure it will be built with more modern structure so something like this doesn’t happen again. Also, I am sure someone will come up with a way to bring it back to its original state. All is not loss.

What struck me so was the grieving that occurred for this historical monument. It is sad, of course, like losing a dear friend that has been there for you for 800 years. It is a modern day tragic loss. It will be back and there will be a way to help Paris and the world come to terms with this loss.