World Famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

WORLD HISTORY | April 19, 2019

Wallpaper image. Source: (wall.alphacoders.com)

A massive fire breaks out in the world famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Looking very similar to this wallpaper image related to a video game called Assassins Creed, a fire literally did take place here just recently. Coincidence or a Prophetic sign? Either way it was a devastating blow to the Cathedral on Monday, April 15, 2019 and right at the beginning of Holy Week. Over 400 firemen were on the scene working to put out the blaze that took hours to accomplish. Luckily only one person sustained injury which was one of the firemen. As of the date of this writing, it has been established as accidental but investigations are still going on.  

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Source: (tourist-destinations.net)

This picture is what the Cathedral looked like before the fire. The spire shown here was destroyed as onlookers watched it fall blazing into the engulfing flames below it. It was a somber moment as the crowd moaned in despair. Structurally though, the building is still intact and is repairable. A team of people swung into action to salvage the “treasures” inside including the Crown of Thorns that is believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ. According to early reports, all of the holy relics have been saved thanks to the many that helped to make it happen. The fire was believed to have started in the roof or attic area.   

Outside View. Source: (pixel77.com)

Located on an island, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has been well-known all over the world and throughout history. Construction on it began in 1163 ordered by Bishop Maurice de Sully and completed in 1345. Louis VII was reigning at the time of its construction with the first stone of this incredible gothic architecture being set by Pope Alexander III. In 1805, it was declared to be a basilica which is an honorary title for Roman Catholic churches. The layout is made in the shape of a cross and is 130 meters long.   

Gargoyle on Notre Dame Cathedral. Source: (pixel77.com)

Displays of statues of gargoyles and flying buttress around the outside of the building are just part of its gothic design. Some of these were used as waterspouts and column supports.

Many historical events have occurred inside the walls of this place. Henry VI of England was crowned here in 1431. Napoleon Bonaparte was also crowned here in December of 1804. Joan of Arc, the brave peasant girl who helped France by fighting the English troops, was given recognition in the Notre Dame Cathedral by Pope Piux X in 1909.

During the French Revolution, many items were destroyed that included treasures and various sculptures. Besides damage being done to it during the Revolution, other vandalism and damage have happened to it. Some of it was due to its becoming more modernized; while, at other times, it was to remove items that were believed to be idolatrous.  

Inside of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Source: (iliketowastemytime.com)

Inside of the cathedral were (and hopefully still are) ten bells with one of them weighing over 13 tons called Emmanuel. With massively high ceilings and huge 13th-century stained-glass windows throughout, it has always been a beautiful sight to see, along with three large rose windows at the front of the huge sanctuary. A 17th-century organ was also inside the cathedral that was considered to be one of the largest in the world, and it did still work. Hopefully, it was able to be saved as well.

A renovation projection began in 1845 to repair the damage that was done from the French Revolution. It was ordered by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and took 23 years to complete. A second restoration began in 1991 that involved cleaning and restoring the sculptures. And now another major renovation project will need to be accomplished to repair the new damage. 

Night View. Source: (lostmonuments.com)

Three holy items believed to be a part of the treasury housed at Notre Dame Cathedral include the actual crown of thorns, a piece of the True Cross, and one of the Roman nails that were used in the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. There were also three portals that displayed Gothic artwork which included the Virgin Mary, the Last Judgment, and the life of St. Anne. These items have been moved to a new location for safe-keeping until renovations can be completed. 

Notre Dame Cathedral at Night. Source: (french.cultureextourism.com)

This magnificent night-time view of Notre Dame Cathedral has been used for Sunday mass by the Roman Catholic Church and the seat of the Archbishop of Paris for many years.

There was a 140 step staircase that led up to the historical bell tower that was set to ring automatically. From this height, a beautiful view of Paris could also be seen. Millions of visitors have come to visit this historical site. Unfortunately, now it will most likely be a good long while before visitors will be able to come and enjoy a majestic view like this one.

Tags: churches | France | Notre Dame Cathedral | Paris

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