Cathedral in flames: Notre-Dame – a priceless landmark

Cathedral in flames
:Notre-Dame – an invaluable landmark

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  • Birgit Holzer
notre dame early evening

View of the burning cathedral Notre-Dame

Photo:

AFP

Paris –

Notre-Dame in flames. One of the most important landmarks of the French capital, a proud 96 meters high, more than 850 years old and therefore invaluable – burning brightly. Great was the horror, as in the evening on the Internet the shocking pictures and videos spread from the fire. A huge column of smoke hovered over the structure and smoked the whole neighborhood on the Parisian city island le de la Cit, which is popular with tourists and not only symbolically represents the heart of the French metropolis: Exactly from the square in front of the cathedral, from the twelfth to Built in the 14th century, the distance between Paris and other cities is measured. This fact alone says a lot about the central importance of Notre-Dame.

Paris Cathedral Notre-Dame is on fire

ND tower collapse

The middle pinnacle at the moment of collapse.

Notre Dame Deletion

The fire department tries to fight the flames.

Notre Dame 5

Large parts of the cathedral have already fallen victim to the fire.

Notre Dame 4

Notre-Dame is wrapped in fire and smoke.

Devastating fire in one of the world's most famous landmarks, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: Thibault Camus / AP

Devastating fire in one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: Thibault Camus / AP

Flames and smoke rise from one of the world's most famous landmarks, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: AP

Flames and smoke rise from one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: AP

The Paris Cathedral Notre-Dame is on fire. Photo: Lori Hinant / AP

The Paris Cathedral Notre-Dame is on fire. Photo: Lori Hinant / AP

A huge column of smoke stands over one of the world's most famous landmarks - Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: Lori Hinant / AP

A huge column of smoke stands over one of the world’s most famous landmarks – Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: Lori Hinant / AP

The mayor of the French capital speaks of a "terrible fire". Photo: Matthias Wagner

The mayor of the French capital speaks of a “terrible fire”. Photo: Matthias Wagner

A huge column of smoke stands over one of the world's most famous landmarks - Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: Juan Cristobal Cruz Revueltas

A huge column of smoke stands over one of the world’s most famous landmarks – Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photo: Juan Cristobal Cruz Revueltas

The pinnacle was eaten by the fire in less than an hour and plunged into the depths. Soon the flames also attacked the main clock tower behind the two twin towers and the roof over the nave.

Extent of damage still unclear

The exact extent of the damage to the external structure as well as to the interior, which is predominantly made of wood, will only become known in the coming days and weeks. But they threaten to be dramatic. “There will be nothing left of the beamwork, which dates from the 19th century on one side and the 13th century on the other,” said the spokesman for the cathedral, Andr Finot. At 6.30 pm they heard the alarm. He could not be sure that at the time of the fire, which probably came from the roof, nobody was in the building. At first, nothing was known about possible injuries.

The cause also seemed unclear; In the evening, the Paris prosecutor initiated an investigation. In the French media, experts primarily linked up with the costly renovation work that is currently being carried out on the roof of the historic building, with a total cost of around 120 million euros, albeit before the fire. Just a few days ago, a 100-meter high crane lifted 16 copper statues from the towers as part of the renovation. The responsible chief architect, Philippe Villeneuve, could not give any explanation for possible reasons in a first reaction, but express only his absolute horror. “It’s a disaster I’m crying for. Such a disaster is unimaginable, “he told the newspaper” Le Parisien. “At the time of the fire, no worker had been to the construction site.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo complained in the short message service Twitter, the “terrible fire”, which the fire-brigade tries to bring under control: “we are locally mobilized, in close connection with the diocese of Paris.”

Ask them all to keep to the specified safety distance, she warned. A part of the city island, on which there is also an emergency hospital, was evacuated, the area around the building closed off. Shocked, sometimes weeping, tourists and city dwellers stood behind the barriers, staring in disbelief at the fire spectacle, which destroyed the unique structure with every passing minute. Around 400 firefighters were on duty whose first crews had arrived within ten minutes of discovering the fire. Not only were they trying to extinguish them through large water hoses, but they also had noticeable problems in dealing with the angry flames. It was said that they should also save some of the many works of art from destruction inside.

Macron: “Sorry to see this part of us burn”

President Emmanuel Macron, who said on Twitter that he was “saddened to see this part of us burning” and “underlined the emotion of an entire nation,” rushed to the scene, as did Prime Minister douard Philippe and Archbishop Michel Aupetit in order to get an idea of it, but above all to show the Frenchman that he is on hand. Earlier that afternoon, Macron had recorded a 20-minute televised telecast that would have aired yesterday at 8 pm at the main news time: In the much-anticipated speech, he announced political and social measures to draw conclusions from the previously organized civil debates that took place in Reaction to which had been organized by the protest movement of the “yellow vests”. Her charisma has been postponed.

Former mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delano said he was devastated: Notre-Dame belonged to “Catholics and all humanity, the French and the rest of the world.” Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay said her organization was “invaluable” alongside France for the restoration of this heritage. There were shattered reactions from around the world, including those from the US president, who called for “swift action” via Twitter.

With around 13 million guests a year, the cathedral, which Victor Hugo has honored in his work “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, is one of the most visited monuments in the world and one of the main tourist attractions in Paris. It took almost 200 years to complete the church, which was built in the Gothic style and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Around 2000 trade fairs are held there every year. The fire catastrophe takes place a few days before Easter, where there are always great services and usually all 10,000 seats are occupied. This year the holidays in France’s capital will be overshadowed.