Truly Sad…

The Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire yesterday evening, and has massive damage.

Reports, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

The loss is just incredible, not only in terms of the damage to the cathedral itself, but to the artifacts that were in there.

Atoma [CC BY-SA 2.5 (]

I remember touring it in 1969, and was fascinated by not only the flying buttresses, but the beautiful stained glass and the history of it being removed during WWII then reinstalled. You can go HERE for updates from the official Notre Dame site.

I don’t care what religion you are, this is a great loss for ALL of us… I truly hope they will rebuild it, but I know I won’t see it done in my lifetime. 🙁


Truly Sad… — 17 Comments

  1. It will be rebuilt. Several billionaires have already pledged almost 500 million to that effort. The French President has said that it will be rebuilt. I just hope that it is possible to rebuild it. We will know after the engineers get to look at it. Fire destroys more than just the wood framing. All the mortar for the stonework will have to be tested to see if it’s still viable.

    • Kudos to those billionaires and anyone else commuted to helping pay for the restoration of such a great landmark. Have I missed where the Vatican has pledged millions from its substantial coffers to aid in the effort?

  2. Rebuilding will be a tremendous effort — and I, for one, don’t care where the money comes from. If one is moved to contribute a few dollars — or a few hundred million, as one can, that is good.

    To Ray’s comment — it isn’t so much the mortar (there is very little in a Gothic cathedral, and its just to even out contact), it’s the effect of great heat on the limestone itself, which weakens it. However, from the pictures I’m seeing this morning, it looks as though the fire was mostly above the vaulting and infill — which means the walls may not have been affected. Some of the infill has fallen, but only in one place (the crossing, under the tower) does it look like vaulting failed. But it will be weeks or months before the structural assessment can be done.

    It also looks, though, as though a good bit of the glass particularly in the chancel is gone. I can’t really tell about the three great rose windows… I pray they survived.

  3. It was sad watching the flames last night. I’m fortunate enough to have been twice.

  4. Just so they don’t hire an architect that wants to “improve” one of the icons of High Gothic. That idiot that designed the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre should be banned from consideration.

  5. One of the most amazing and miraculous pictures from the fire is when they went to the altar and took the photo of the altar area and the main cross. All still standing, all looking not damaged.

    It being Holy Week, one wonders… One wonders if the Hand of God didn’t intervene in the works of Man. How else would the altar area survive?

  6. Come on all, way deep down we know who is setting all these church fire in France but we mustn’t talk about it! NOT PC you understand, mustn’t inflame the populace!

    Jim, you can remove this if you want with absolutely no hard feelings !

  7. A few related items:
    The Paris Fire chaplain that saved many of the relics is also the Paris Fire chaplain who ran into the Bataclan nightclub to administer , and Rites, and who survived at least one ambush while serving in Afghanistan as a French Army chaplain…

    As Bobbi pointed out, Notre Dame belongs to the French government, not the Catholic Church. FWIW…

    There have been hundreds of attacks (arson/vandalism/etc.) on churches all over France in the past several years. That said, it is entirely plausible that this fire was caused by an electrical short. 800 year old structure, structure consisting of multiple forests worth of 800 year old rafters…