On Monday, the 15th of April, an immense fire has consumed the Notre Dame Cathedral, destroying and gutting its roof; firefighters said that they managed to save the stone structure’s shell from collapse.
Notre Dame Cathedral is a centuries-old landmark of Paris and the stunning country of France, and also of the world. The flames started early in the evening, and they rapidly burst through the cathedral’s roof and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed the whole roof.
The firefighters hardly battled in order to prevent one of the major bell towers to collapse. One of the firefighters got seriously injured.
The Fire Chief of Paris, named Jean-Claude Gallet, talked about the scene, saying:
We now believe that the two towers of Notre-Dame have been saved. We now consider that the main structure of Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved.
The risk that certain structures from the interior could collapse was huge, and the firefighters worked overnight in order to cool those structures down. The distraught Parisians, together with the stunned tourists watched the fire in disbelief as it was raging at Notre-Dame, which lies on the Ile de la Cite, which is a River Seine’s island, and which marks the center of the capital Paris.
The police cordon held the onlookers standing on the bridges of the river, and along the embankments, distanced.
Leaders from all over the world expressed shock, sending condolences to all the people in France. The president of the country, named Emmanuel Macron, stated that the entire nation had been distressed.
Like all our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of all of us burn.
An enormous plume of smoke also wafted all over the city, while ash also fell over an enormous area. The firefighters battled the smoke, and the falling molten drops lead to salvage priceless relics and artworks.
The crown of thorns, which is centuries-old, and made from gold and reeds, together with the tunic which Saint Louis wore, who was France’s king during the 13th century, were saved, according to the top administrative cleric of Notre-Dame, named Monsignor Patrick Chauvet. However, the firefighters struggled to save some larger paintings.
The office of the prosecutor of Paris said that it is going to investigate the cause of the fire. A few police sources also claimed that they worked on the conclusion for now, which is that the fire was accidental. One police officer, who was also near the scene of the accident, said that everything was collapsing, while the cathedral was still on fire.
The president, who canceled the address to the nation which he was supposed to give during Monday evening, also went there and talked with the officials.
The French Civil Security service responded to the suggestions of the president of the United States Donald Trump, who suggested that firefighters should act very quickly and also use flying tankers with water. The service said that the suggestion wasn’t an option because it could probably destroy the whole building.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, called Notre-Dame the symbol of France, and the European culture. Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister, also expressed her compassion with the people in France, and also the emergency services that fought this “terrible blaze.”
The Vatican even said that this fire, which happened at Christianity’s symbol of France and also around the world, caused sadness and shock, and also said that it prayed for all the firefighters.
The symbol of the city of Paris.
Anne Hidalgo, Paris’ major, said that several artworks from the cathedral were taken out safely, and were stored safely too. The cathedral Notre-Dame, dating back to the twelfth century, is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO which attracts a great number of tourists each year.
The cathedral is also the focal point of the Roman Catholics in France who actually like Christians worldwide, celebrate Holy Week, and mark the death, together with the resurrection of Christ.
Notre-Dame was also in the middle of renovations, some of its sections being under scaffolding, while last week, the bronze statues were also removed for works.
Notre-Dame, which is built over one century, beginning in 1163, is said to be in the group of the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture. It was the most renowned for the rib vaulting, stunning stained glass windows, and flying buttresses, and its number of carved stone gargoyles.
The cathedral has a roof length of 100 meters, from which the blaze consumed a huge section during the first hour, and it is one of the oldest structures of that type in Paris.
It is also the center of the Roman Catholic faith, and over the centuries, it was also the target of some political upheaval. The cathedral has been ransacked by the rioting protestant named Huguenots, during the 16th century, and then pillaged once again in the time of the French Revolution of the 1970s, leaving it in the state of semi-neglect.
The work of Hugo from 1831 led to quite a revived interest in this cathedral and major restoration which started in 1844. During that restoration, they built the wood-and-lead spire.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the Executive Commission of the European Union, tweeted:
Notre-Dame belonged to all humanity. What a tragic spectacle. What horror. I share the French nation’s sadness.
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Image Credit: Shutterstock (licensed by SOS)/By Loic Salan