In the early hours of dusk, tourists and locals were shocked to see the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral on fire. UNESCO World Heritage Site and Paris’ famous Notre-Dame Cathedral was covered in flames. The fire ate its way through the roof, making it collapse along with the iconic spire of the structure. Four-hundred firefighters stood rooted in hopes to save the gorgeous cathedral. And, it took hours for the firefighters to gain control over the spreading fire. They were able to save most of the artefacts and the front towers of the cathedral. But, after a roaring eight-hour struggle, most of the flames died by 3 am on Tuesday. By Swastika Mukhopadhyay
Mourning the loss of a large part of their history, French president Emmanuel Macron expressed his grief. He vowed to rebuild the structure and pointed out in relief that — “The worst has been avoided.” The cause of the fire is still not determined but it is suspected that the renovation activities within the cathedral might have birthed the fire. Officials have ruled out foul play and investigations are underway.
5 things you didn’t know about Notre-Dame Cathedral
The cathedral is renowned for its breathtaking Gothic architecture and stands as a fine piece highlighting France’s rich history. But, there exist facts that are unknown to most masses. Scroll down to know more!
1. Why is Notre-Dane Cathedral specifically named Cathedral instead of Church or Basilica?
Catholic regions are governed by archbishops who operate within their own diocese. Within their jurisdiction, the archbishop has a ‘chair’ located at a particular place of worship. The Latin word for chair is Cathedra, which explains the origin of the word cathedral — the seat of the archbishop. So, to describe any religious structure, which holds the seat of the archbishop, the word ‘Cathedral’ is used.
2. The archdiocese of Paris does not own Notre-Dame.
The French government acquired ownership of all the churches built before 1905, which includes Notre Dame. The archdiocese enjoys the benefit of using the church for free and is trusted with the maintenance of the cathedral.
3. The Notre-Dame Cathedral is stated as the most visited place in all of Europe.
It has over 12-13 million visitors, annually.
4. Embedded in its rich history and spectacular designs, there exists tales of supernatural forces.
Biscornet, the smith who crafted the intricate ironwork situated at the main doors of the Cathedral, was suspected to have ‘sold his soul to the devil’. The extremely beautiful ironwork was not possible with the limited tools of the medieval times, metallurgy experts claimed. He was found unconscious at his studio with the masterpiece mysteriously completed.
5. Finally, this is not the first time that the cathedral had experienced damage.
While Monday’s fire was indeed the most destructive mishaps of all times, the cathedral has been affected during the WWII, as well. During the French revolution, the purpose of Notre-Dame was forcefully shifted to Goddess Reason — state sponsored atheistic religion. The cathedral also saw its rooms being used for wine storage at that time.