As reported by CNN, a catastrophic fire engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, altering the city’s skyline and threatening a potent symbol of Catholicism at the start of the Holy Week.
The fire burned for several hours, destroying the 850-years-old cathedral’s iconic spire and the roof before firefighters contained the blaze.
President Emmanuel Macron lamented the destruction of an awe-inspiring building that embodied the heart of Paris for more than 800 years. But he pledged to rebuild, starting with the launch of an international fundraising campaign.
“Notre Dame is our history, it’s our literature, it’s our imagery. It’s the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations,” he said.”
This history is ours. And it burns. It burns and I know the sadness so many of our fellow French feel.”
Watch The Notre Dame Cathedral Spire Collapses (00:30 – 00:40)
“A SYMBOL OF FRANCE”
World leaders expressed shock and sent condolences to the French people.
A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area. People watching gasped as the spire folded over onto itself and fell into the inferno.
Firefighters battled smoke and falling drops of molten lead as they tried to rescue some of Notre-Dame’s treasures.
A centuries-old crown of thorns made from reeds and gold and the tunic worn by Saint Louis, a 13th century king of France, were saved, Notre-Dame’s top administrative cleric, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, said. But firefighters struggled to take down some of the large paintings in time, he said.
It breaks our hearts to see such an iconic building being engulfed by the might of fire… The Notre Dame Cathedral is in our bucket list to visit when we have the chance but now … its gone. It’s GONE.