The magnificent church on the Seine River, which was built in 1160, took a hundred years to complete in 1260, about 760 years ago.
Even in love movies, Notre Dame, as the eternal landmark of Paris, has become a symbol of emotional loyalty. No one can really imagine that Notre Dame in Paris will disappear one day.
However, a huge disaster hit Paris at 6:30 p.m. local time on the 15th (about 0:30 p.m. Beijing time on the 16th). The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was erecting scaffolding for repairs, was caught in a fire and smoke covered the sky along the Seine River.
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Photo Source: Twitter Screenshots
The fire spread quickly and was difficult to control. As tense crowds watched, the iconic spire of Notre Dame in Paris burned and collapsed.
A moment when the spire broke
As of 3:30 a.m. Beijing time on the 16th, the fire continued.
According to videos sent by witnesses, many French citizens could not help crying when they witnessed such a tragic situation. Video shows that onlookers even sang prayer songs for Notre Dame in Paris.
French President Mark Ron also interrupted an important TV speech that was under way to update the French on the fire situation.
Notre Dames fire engulfed Paris, and the excitement swept through France, Marklon said. At this moment, I feel very sad that a small part of our hearts has been burnt down by the fire.
According to the translation and dictation of each minor edition by Chinese friends traveling to France, the French local TV host said in live broadcast that it is expected that the renovation of Notre Dame will take at least 8-10 years, during which time it will not be open to the public.
That is to say, visitors to Paris in the next ten years will not be able to experience the magnificent art of the church.
Flames shocked Paris
The fire broke out around 6:30 p.m. local time, and French President Mark Long had to cancel an important policy speech on the yellow vest demonstration.
Witnesses said that the last group of tourists were waiting in line at the gate for a visit to Notre Dame in Paris. The door of Notre Dame suddenly closed and no staff came out to explain the reason. Soon, at the top of the cathedral, the choking white smoke began to rise.
The smoke began to turn grey and then black, clearly indicating that the cathedral was on fire, and scaffolding built for maintenance work was soon covered. The orange flame began to rush out of the church spire, and the intensity of the flame increased rapidly.
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Witnesses said French police began to rush inside the church, whistling and calling loudly to remind tourists to evacuate. By this time the flame had soared into the clouds and overflowed from the doors and windows of the cathedral.
Tourists and residents are stuck in a sluggish state, pulling out their mobile phones to call their relatives to report safety. Thousands of onlookers gathered by the Seine River and squeezed into the nearby Hotelde Ville Square, panting, covering their mouths in horror and wiping their tears.
In the fire, the flames tilted the churchs iconic spire to one side and then collapsed onto the burning roof, which allowed the fire to spread rapidly to the cathedral. Soot and ash continue to fall on the onlookers.
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Pierre Guillaume, 45, marketing director, said, Its like losing a family member. For me, there are many wonderful memories locked in the fire.
Older local ladies wept and lamented the loss of artistic treasures. Thousands of years of history have been erased. Paris is like a part of death.
As night fell, Parisians gathered spontaneously to commemorate the loss of Notre Dame.
400 firefighters put into action
After the fire, the French Ministry of the Interior said that 400 firefighters were fighting the fire.
French government spokesman Andre Finno said that the exact cause of the fire was not known and there was no evidence that anyone was injured in the fire.
Paris Mayor Anne Idalgo said on Twitter that
A terrible fire has attacked the cathedral. Firefighters in Paris are trying their best to stop the fire. Please respect the safe border.
The Paris Public Prosecutors Office said it had begun investigating the cause of the fire. Police in Paris warned people to stay away from the area around the cathedral. At about 8:30 p.m. local time, the Paris City Hall announced that all roads in and out of Notre Dames downtown island had been closed.
Notre Dame de Paris is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation project worth 6 million euros. Just last week, the crane temporarily lifted several statues on the steeple, showing that the renovation work is not small.
Glenn Cobbett, an associate professor of fire science at John Jay College in New York, speculates that open fire construction may be one of the risk factors for fire. Cobbett believes that the flames on the torch, sparks from welders and other flammable materials on scaffolding pose potential hazards. The roof of Notre Dame in Paris is a wooden structure with a very high height, which brings great difficulty to ground fire fighting.
Vincent Dunn, former director of the New York City Fire Department, said that fire hoses could not reach the top of such a cathedral, and firefighters who walked to the top of the cathedral had to climb on winding steps, which would take a lot of time.
Millennium Treasure Mrs. Paris
Notre Dame de Paris (also known as Madame Paris) and the fate of the city of Paris have been closely linked.
Photo Source of the West Side Atrium of Notre Dame in Paris: Wikipedia
During the reign of Louis VII, the population and importance of the medieval city of Paris grew day by day and became the new political and economic center of the French Kingdom. In order to highlight Pariss urban status, Louis VII in 1160 ordered the local bishop to start building Notre Dame in Paris on the ruins of a Roman church.
The construction of the cathedral continued until 1260, when two 13th century bell towers were completed. Notre Dame de Paris underwent major renovation and construction in the 17th and 18th centuries, adding stone carvings and stained glass as seen today.
Portrait of Notre Dame in the 16th Century
The 387 steps leading to the tower can take visitors to the top of the church and enjoy the reliefs of mysterious creatures. Among the most famous are Chimeras monster statues, which seem to overlook the scenery of Paris.
Photo Source: Wikipedia
In 1831, Victor Hugo, a French literary hero, used the cathedral as the background of his novel. Garcimodo, the bellringer, was feared by Parisians for his deformity, but he found shelter in the Bell Tower of Notre Dame in Paris. So many artistic crystals were destroyed by the fire, French President Mark Long said, Like all French compatriots, tonight I am very sad to see part of our hearts burnt down. The burning of Notre Dame has also broken our hearts, said German Foreign Minister Maas. We pray for our French friends that no one will be hurt by the fire. Source: Liable Editor of Daily Economic News: Liu Yuxin_NBJS7825
In 1831, Victor Hugo, a French literary hero, used the cathedral as the background of his novel. Garcimodo, the bellringer, was feared by Parisians for his deformity, but he found shelter in the Bell Tower of Notre Dame in Paris.
So many artistic crystals were destroyed by the fire, French President Mark Long said, Like all French compatriots, tonight I am very sad to see part of our hearts burnt down.
The burning of Notre Dame has also broken our hearts, said German Foreign Minister Maas. We pray for our French friends that no one will be hurt by the fire.