Paris : Notre-Dame Cathedral goes up in Flames
At 6:30 p.m on Monday night a Fire engulfed Paris's most iconic building , the Notre-Dame Cathedral . Up to 500 firefighters battled the blaze for five hours . By 11pm the Fire had been extinguished but the Cathedral had suffered significant damage including the collapse of two thirds of the entire roof and the destruction of its spire . Firefighters managed to save the two towers , one firefighter was seriously injured .
The Catholic Cathedral is the seat of the archbishop of Paris , its construction began in 1163, during the reign of King Louis VII, and was completed in 1345 . In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution and much of its religious imagery was destroyed. In 1804, the cathedral was the site of the Coronation of Napoleon I as Emperor of France and witnessed the funerals of several presidents of the Third French Republic.
In 1831, the cathedral became the setting for victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The Cathedral measures 130 meters long, 48 meters wide and 35 meters high and is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture . 12 million people visit Notre-Dame annually, making it the most visited monuments in Paris .
The Fire follows a spate of vandalism of Churches accross France including a recent fire in Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, human excrement smeared on the wall in Notre-Dame-des-Enfants church in Nîmes and vandalism of the organ at Saint-Denis basilica outside Paris, where all but three of France’s kings are buried. Figures released by French police showed that 875 of France’s 42,258 churches were vandalised last year. Thefts were reported in a further 129.
Last Night , Leaders from around the world expressed their sympathy with the people of Paris .
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 15, 2019