Notre Dame, the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Paris partially succumbed to an unexpected outbreak of fire on 15th April. However, the main structure of the cathedral remains intact but its roof and spire collapsed. The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Notre Dame was visited by almost 13 million tourists per year making it the most visited monument in France (yes, Eiffel Tower comes second to it in terms of visitors).
What made Notre Dame so iconic?
- The medieval cathedral had a history of being more than 850 years old.
- The entire process of constructing it took 182 years from the 12th century to the 13th
- It was so big that over 6,000 worshippers can fit inside it.
- Notre Dame carried a legacy of coronation of two of the most important personalities. They changed the course of history through their actions – King Henry VI of England, and Napoleon I.
- The central spire was added to it during the 19th century restoration partially buoyed by the popularity of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” in 183; a novel by Victor Hugo.
- The cathedral’s architectural details were simply mesmerizing; the huge stained glass window being the most remarkable.
- Before this outbreak of fire, there was one more incident that led to the damage of this monumental cathedral – French Revolution. It was later restored in the 19th century by an architect named Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
The tragic incident garnered response worldwide. According to BBC, the French President Emmanuel Macron said that “the worst had been avoided” as the main structure of the cathedral remains unharmed and has vowed to restore the historical monument. He further added that an international fundraising scheme will be soon launched to reconstruct the symbol of French culture:
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, tweeted:
We hope to see Notre Dame Cathedral standing tall again; beguiling everyone with its breathtaking architecture and interesting legacy.
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