The Notre-Dame Cathedral fire has been the headline of all media stations recently. This is after a monstrous fire caught the roof and spire of the historic building. The fire that was characterised by billowing smoke is said to have started on Monday and lasted for more than eight hours before it was extinguished. This is a significant loss to Catholics all over the world since the cathedral had a massive significance to the believers.
Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Paris. Its age is estimated to eight hundred and fifty years. The Notre-Dame Cathedral fire that started on Monday is said to have razed down the better part of the structure. The cause of the fire is yet to be established. However, reports from the fire department show that the building was under renovation. According to their report, the fire is likely to have started from an area where scaffolding had been erected around the structure and its spire. There were no reported casualties, although the incident injured a few people, among them, a firefighter.
Monday was not a very good day for the French people. This is after the headlines of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire topped the headlines. To make the situation worse, this fire comes just a few days before the Easter celebrations and on the Holy Week. The believers have been devastated by the whole ordeal, especially for the fact that the cathedral would have been used during the Easter celebration.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral holds an essential value to the French Catholic believers and the world at large. The structure does not only have an iconic meaning as a church, but it is also a famous tourist attraction site. The church is the most visited tourist attraction site in Paris. The church is also the other most distinguished church, after the Vatican church; hence, it is the focal point for the Catholics in Paris. It also served as the seat of the bishop of Paris ever since it was built.
The Cathedral’s construction started in the 12th Century, and it took the builders two Centuries for them to bring it to completion. The church suffered destruction during the French revolution but still survived. Unfortunately, the fire has caused enormous damage, and it would be difficult to rebuild the Cathedral since most of the sculptures had been razed down by the fire.
What caused the fire?
The fire that razed down the spire and roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral has been the headlines of nearly all media houses. The fire is said to have a likelihood of being connected to the renovations, which were going on. The renovation process is estimated to have cost $6.8 million.
The fire was a big tragedy for the people of Paris, and they took it to social media to post their devastations. Among those that posted about the incident is the French President Emmanuel Macron. He posted on his twitter account, terming the event as a national emergency. His tweet read; "Our Lady of Paris in flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thought for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn,"
Among those that joined the citizens of France is the Former US President Barack Obama. In his twitter post, he expressed his sympathy.
Why was the Notre-Dame Cathedral unique to France?
The iconic cathedral held a paramount significance to France. It was not only a religious centre but also a tourist attraction site. The gothic nature of the church, the flying buttresses, carved gargoyles, and its stained glass windows were the reason why most people would travel from all over the world to come to visit the church.
The church also housed the most ancient artefacts and relics of the Catholic Church. The church also had precious catholic artworks, statues, and paintings. Firefighters tried their best to rescue some of these important artefacts, although some were burnt down. Among those that were successfully saved is a crown of thorns that was made using gold and reeds. This crown is a couple of centuries old. Some of the statues were rescued earlier on during a restoration process that was part of the renovation project. Among them is a set of copper statues that represented the twelve apostles.
‘Everything is burning.'
The incident caused panic among those that watched it raze down. According to the spokesperson of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Andre Finot, the fire began at around 6.45 pm. That was a few minutes after the church was closed down. This explains why there were no casualties. He, however, stated that fire spread first due to the windy conditions. The positioning of the Cathedral along the River Seine posed a challenge as firefighters tried to contain the fire.
Within less than fifteen minutes, the spire lost stability due to the fire and fell. A few minutes later, the better part of the roof also collapsed. This series of events made the security department scared that they opted to evacuate those that were in the area near the church. In devastation, Andre Finot stated, “Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame.”
It is so saddening that this historical monument had to be razed down in such a way. What was once a beautiful and antique structure has been reduced to flames. What is more devastating is that the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire had to come on the Holy Week. We are hopeful that the fire spared some of the valuable historical parts.