France’s iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in flames

Staff Writer | Apr 16, 2019
Paris’s most visited landmark, the 700-year old Cathedral of Notre-Dame, has been devastated by fire.

Notre Dame de Paris caught fire last night, suffering significant damage, including the collapse of the main spire and the entire roof. The cause of the fire was not known, but is thought to be linked to ongoing renovation work.

By late last night, the fire had left only the two towers and the stone walls of the nave standing, but the strength and heat of the fire was feared likely to cause further structural damage.

"Our Lady of Paris", or Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colourful rose windows, and the abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.

The cathedral was begun in 1160 and largely completed by 1260. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed.

Soon after the publication of Victor Hugo's novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831, popular interest in the building revived. 

Twelve million people visit Notre Dame yearly, making it the most visited monument in Paris.

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