Tragedy engulf’s Paris On The 15th Of April 2019 As Fire Consumes Cathedral Of Notre Dame

The steeple of the Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris collapses on April 15, 2019. AFP/Getty Images

Grown men can be seen shedding tears as they witnessed the destruction by fire of a Parisian treasure, the Notre Dame Cathedral that sits on an Island, Île de la Cité, in the center of Paris on the River Seine. This is a site that has been visited by locals and tourists for centuries. It’s estimated that in 2019, around 30,000 people visited the church daily. The fire appears to have started in the early evening, after tourists had left the church area.

I count myself among the many tourists who has been blessed to be able to tour this magnificent French Gothic Architectural wonder in all its splendor in the 1980s.

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NOTRE DAME BEFORE TRAGEDY HIT
NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL’S INTERIOR POST FIRE

Initially, there was hope when it was just the spire that was engulfed in flames and as about 400 firemen did battle, but when the roof caved in with the 295 foot spire, reality hit, that the Notre Dame Cathedral would be lost for now to France and the world. I can hear the voices on the ground, crying “noooo” over and over again as the inevitable happened. Then there were thousands of onlookers who observed the developing tragedy in silence.

We here in the USA stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in France, in our shared grief over this tragic, unexpected loss.

But after 11:15 PM in France, there’a glimmer of hope as firefighters could be seen on roof. According to the local fire inspector and police, it looks like the main structure, itself has been saved.

Singing of religious hymns has broken out among the crowds.

Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty Images

The French prosecutor and the police have started an investigation to determine how the fire was started.

Here are the details…

“As per 4/15/2019 Reuters’ report, “Fire devastates Notre-Dame Cathedral, centuries-old Parisian landmark” by Sybille de la Hamaide and Julie Carriat:

“Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday (4/15/2019) in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, a searing loss for the city and for France.”

“Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the entire roof.”

“A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area. Parisians watched on, many of them lost for words.”

Firefighters douse flames rising from the roof
Bertrand Guay / AFP / Getty Images
A man watches the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral burn.
Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP / Getty Images
Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP / Getty Images

“Like all our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of all of us burn,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.”

“Basically the whole rooftop is gone. I see no hope for the building,” said witness Jacek Poltorak, watching the fire from a fifth-floor balcony two blocks from the southern facade of the cathedral, one of France’s most visited sites.”

“Firefighters tried to contain the blaze with water hoses and cleared the area around Notre-Dame, which sits on an island in the River Seine and marks the very centre of Paris. Witnesses said the whole island was being evacuated.”

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Image result for photos of notre dame in paris before fire

A picture taken on March 27, 2019, weeks before the fire.
This is Notre Dame before the fire/ Ludovic Marin / AFP / Getty Images

SYMBOL OF PARIS

The cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, features in Victor Hugo’s classic novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts millions of tourists every year.

“I have a lot of friends who live abroad and every time they come I tell them to go to Notre-Dame,” said witness Samantha Silva, with tears in her eyes.

“I’ve visited it so many times, but it will never be the same. It’s a real symbol of Paris.”

“The cathedral was in the midst of renovations, with some sections under scaffolding, and bronze statues were removed last week for works.”

Image result for images paris city map for tourists

“Built over a century starting in 1163, Notre-Dame is considered to be among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture.”

“It is renowned for its rib vaulting, flying buttresses and stunning stained glass windows, as well as its many carved stone gargoyles.”

“Its 100-metre-long (330-foot) roof, of which a large section was consumed in the first hour of the blaze, was one of the oldest such structures in Paris.”

“There are a lot of art works inside … it’s a real tragedy,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told reporters at the scene.”

“A centre of Roman Catholic faith, over the centuries Notre-Dame has also been a target of political upheaval.”

Image result for photos of notre dame in paris before fire
NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL

“It was ransacked by rioting Protestant Huguenots in the 16th century, pillaged again during the French Revolution of the 1790s and left in a state of semi-neglect. Hugo’s 1831 work led to revived interest in the cathedral and a major – partly botched – restoration that began in 1844.”

“The wood-and-lead spire was built during that restoration, according to the cathedral’s website.”

“UNESCO said in a tweet it was “closely monitoring the situation and is standing by France’s side to safeguard and restore this invaluable heritage”.

The Saint-Michel bridge, the Hôtel-Dieu, and the Notre-Dame cathedral before 1857.
The Saint-Michel bridge, the Hôtel-Dieu, and the Notre-Dame cathedral before 1857. The Saint-Michel bridge, the Hôtel-Dieu, and the Notre-Dame cathedral before 1857. BEFORE 1857 / Roger Viollet / Getty Images/ BUZZFEED
Interior of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame as drawn by Thomas Allom from France Illustrated, 1845.
Interior of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame as drawn by Thomas Allom from France Illustrated, 1845./ Time Life Pictures / The Life Picture Collection / Getty Images/ BUZZFEED
Notre-Dame Cathedral, France, late 19th or early 20th century. The Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was begun in the 12th century. The western facade was built between c1200 and 1225.
Notre-Dame Cathedral, France, late 19th or early 20th century. The Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was begun in the 12th century. The western facade was built between c1200 and 1225./ GETTY/ BUZZFEED
The Rose window at the Cathedral.
ROSE WINDOW/ GETTY/ BUZZFEED
U.S. soldiers fill the pews of Notre Dame Cathedral during the GI memorial service for US President Roosevelt on April 16, 1945.
U.S. soldiers fill the pews of Notre Dame Cathedral during the GI memorial service for US President Roosevelt on April 16, 1945./ MORSE AP/ BUZZFEED

On the 15th of April, France’s leader President Emmanuel Macron tweeted the following:

“Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight.”

10 comments

    • Dear Nan,

      I’m sure the French welcomed President Trump’s advice. But there’s good news. It looks like the local firefighters were able to save the main structure.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

    • Dear Mary,

      This was a heart breaker. Almost anyone who has visited Paris has toured the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It’s sort of like NYC’s twin towers. It was part of the landscape, something that’s iconic to that city.

      I’ve no doubt, this tragedy will be turned around to benefit France. President macron has said he has received pledges from French citizens alone for 1/2 billion dollars which will help with the rebuilding/ reconstruction. From what I can tell the Rose window was spared.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • And our idiot in charge wants them to fly water tankers over the Cathedral and they better hurry. He makes a clueless statement and his cult rejoices.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    … and I also watched!! … On the 15th of April, France’s leader President Emmanuel Macron tweeted the following: “Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Horty,

      This was a shocker. It was hard to watch this.

      But there’s good news. President Macron has announced that he has received pledges from French citizens for 1/2 billion dollars which will help with the rebuilding/reconstruction efforts.

      Thanks a million for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hug, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

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