One of the world’s most famous landmarks, Notre Dame Cathedral, was engulfed in flames last night as a devastating fire destroyed parts of the building.
Thousands of people watched in tears and many more took to social media to portray their shock as the 850-year-old medieval building’s spire and roof collapsed. Over 500 firefighters were called to the scene to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the building.
It is believed the main structure and bell towers have not been damaged by the fire and firefighters are currently at the cathedral recovering some of the historic artwork.
Across the world everyone is describing the event as a terrible tragedy including the French President, Emmanuel Macron.
The cause of the fire has not been confirmed; however, speculation is that it was caused by building work as sections of the building were undergoing restoration.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is the heart of France. Built during the 12th and 13th centuries the Gothic cathedral has withstood two world wars and the French Revolution. Every year it receives over 13 million visitors with a staggering 30,000 people passing through its doors daily.
Notre Dame houses priceless artefacts, including the Crown of Thorns (worn on the head of Jesus Christ at his crucifixion) and Tunic of Saint Louis (worn by Louis IX as he brought the Crown of Thorns to Paris), which have thankfully been saved and transferred into ‘safe keeping’.
The Rose Windows, Great Organ and Bells have also been saved.
A building that took over 100 years to build has been destroyed in a matter of hours and now global fundraising has commenced to save the much-loved landmark.
It is not yet known how long the Cathedral will be closed, and access to the area around the Cathedral will be restricted from some time, so bear this in mind if you are looking to travel to Paris in the near future.