It was amazing and tragic that fire could destroy international monument so quickly. I was there long time ago. It is really an unique church with beautiful stained windows and gargolynes protecting the external walls. It will be rebuild!
Pieter, these videos of Notre Dame in flames are disturbing but also beautiful in the way. Lets hope that the Notre Dame damage would be rebuilt. Referring to Greta - I would not mix up climate change with Notre Dame, because it is becoming too political and it may repel some people from helping to rebuild
The Notre Dame is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages and is distinguished for its size, antiquity, and architectural interest. Notre-Dame lies at the eastern end of the Île de la Cité and was built on the ruins of two earlier churches, which were themselves predated by a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter.
The foundation stone was laid by Pope Alexander III in 1163, and the high altar was consecrated in 1189. The choir, the western facade, and the nave were completed by 1250, and porches, chapels, and other embellishments were added over the next 100 years.
Notre Dames West Facade
Notre-Dame Cathedral consists of a choir and apse, a short transept, and a nave flanked by double aisles and square chapels. Its central spire was added during restoration in the 19th century, replacing the original, which had been completely removed in the 18th century because of instability. The interior of the cathedral is 427 by 157 feet (130 by 48 metres) in plan, and the roof is 115 feet (35 metres) high. Two massive early Gothic towers (1210–50) crown the western facade, which is divided into three stories and has its doors adorned with fine early Gothic carvings and surmounted by a row of figures of Old Testament kings. The two towers are 223 feet (68 metres) high; the spires with which they were to be crowned were never added. At the cathedral’s east end, the apse has large clerestory windows (added 1235–70) and is supported by single-arch flying buttresses of the more daring Rayonnant Gothic style, especially notable for their boldness and grace. The cathedral’s three great rose windows alone retain their 13th-century glass.
Cities in my opinion are multi-layered human entitities with layers of architecture, historical marks, and other elements of it's history. Paris is completely being rebuild in the 19th century to become the centralised city pattern of Paris today. The Notre Dame faced many regimes, wars, civil wars, the French revolution, the Franco-Prussian War (Jul 19, 1870 – May 10, 1871), the Paris Commune (La Commune de Paris, 18 March – 28 May 1871), the First World War (1914-1918), the Interbellum years (Interwar period; November 1918 - September 1939), the Second World War (1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945; 6 years and 1 day) and the Cold War, the The May 1968 events in France (student revolt in Paris), the various terror attacks during the nineties and in the early 21th century.
The Notre-Dame survived the secularisation in Western-Europe, it survived the heavy environmental pollution in Paris and it survived the mass tourism which often threatens old churches, Cathedrals and buildings, because of the footsteps, touching millions of tourists hands (and the sour on the hands of these tourists which damage the stones and wood work of these buildings), and the Nortre Dame survived the Jellow veste movement and various democratically elected French governments. But while undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caught fire on the evening of 15 April 2019. Burning for around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the flèche (the timber spire over the crossing) and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling.
Fires, bombings and deliberate demolition by foreign invaders or internal powers changed cities, towns, villages and countries. The Second World War changed Rotterdam, Warsaw and Berlin for ever. Some buildings, churches and monuments were lost for every, others were rebuild or repaired. The Notre-Dame de Paris ("Our Lady of Paris") is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colourful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style. Major components that make Notre Dame stand out include one of the world's largest organs and its immense church bells.
The bells of Notre Dame Cathedral on display in 2013
The cathedral's construction was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I, and the funerals of many French presidents.
A ceremony of the new Republican Religion of Reason in Notre Dame, Paris, 1793. The effort to destroy the institutions of the Old Regime and create new, rationale, and just replacements was carried into the world of religion and the Church. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (July 1790) reorganized the Church, introducing such reforms as the election of priests and, more broadly, the subordination of the Church to the Revolutionary Government. During the Convention the attack on the Church went further into de-Christianization. Churches were renamed temples of reason—or de-sanctified—and a new religion of reason was introduced by the Convention. This “civil religion” was based on the belief in a Supreme Being and secular ethics. This print depicts a ceremony in this new civil religion taking place in the famous cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. The policy of radical religious change was not popular and sometimes fiercely resisted in small towns and villages.
Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831, of Victor Hugo's novel Notre-Dame de Paris (better known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The liberation of Paris was celebrated within Notre-Dame in 1944 with the singing of the Magnificat. Beginning in 1963, the cathedral's façade was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime. Another cleaning and restoration project was carried out between 1991 and 2000.
The cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris (Michel Aupetit). In 1805, Notre-Dame was given the honorary status of a minor basilica. Approximately 12 million people visit Notre-Dame annually, making it the most visited monument in Paris. The cathedral is renowned for its Lent sermons founded by the famous Dominican Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire in the 1860s. In recent years, an increasing number have been given by leading public figures and state employed academics.
Artwork, relics, and other antiques stored at the cathedral include the supposed Crown of Thorns which Jesus wore prior to his crucifixion and a piece of the cross on which he was crucified, a 13th-century organ, stained-glass windows, and bronze statues of the Twelve Apostles.
The 13th-century organ of Notre Dame de Paris
Let's hope that the original Notre Dame from before 15 April 2019 could come back after rebuilding the destroyed parts and restoring the parts that stayed but were damaged by fire, hot smoke and water. That the Notre Dame can stay the symbol of medieval Gothic architecture and a symbol of Paris and France.
Very good coverage of this tragic fire, it appears to be not all lost, but considerable damage that will take some years to repair. Of notice was different methodology in construction as the building progressed through time being built. If notice be given of one end of the building used Roman style Columns as out side wall support whilst on the opposite end, there is the use of flying buttressed support of the standing walls.
Whilst the above is a noticeable difference, it matters not a wit of the method of construction, it is the end result that matters.