Fire sparks at Notre Dame Cathedral

Camille C. '21, Writer

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On April 15, during Holy week, a massive blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris devastated large parts of the 850-year-old church. The fire started at 6:20 p.m., 25 minutes before the wooden doors were scheduled to close to visitors for the day. Later at 6:43 p.m., the fire alarm starting ringing for the second time. Twenty-three minutes later, church officials returned to the attic and found the cathedral on fire. The fire was put out completely by the morning of April 16, but the cathedral’s iconic spire fell during the hours it took to battle the blaze.

I’m telling you all tonight we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with CBS News on April 15.

People have been visiting this tourist attraction for centuries, and more visitors are arriving every year. A recent study by CBS News shows around 30,000 people visit the cathedral each day, and nearly 13 million visit each year. People all over the world traveled to see this historic sight that holds many memories from over 850 years ago.

“In the summer of 2018 my family and I traveled the lands of Europe. One place that we had stopped was the Notre Dame Cathedral. This cathedral was definitely my favorite because it had so much detail and architecture through the whole building. It is so sad to see some of that work go away in a matter of minutes,” Olivia G. ‘21 said.

Teachers in the history department are also taking effect to the recent Notre Dame Cathedral. Some had planned to take students to Paris and see the cathedral in the summer months.

“It was incredibly emotional seeing such an iconic building on fire. It was even more emotional for me seeing the people of Paris singing ‘Ave Maria’ while the fire fighters were trying to stop the fire. I have not been to Paris yet, but I am taking a group of students on a WWII tour on the Western Front to see the Notre Dame Cathedral,” history teacher Kristen Reeder said.  

“I went on the trip to Paris and we visited the Notre Dame cathedral, which was one of my favorite because of all the detail in the building. It is devastating that it sparked a fire,” Ellen. K ’21 said.

A teacher who used to live in France also was affected by the recent fire tragedy.

“While I lived in France the cathedral was one of the most beautiful places to visit, and it is tragic that it caught on fire,” Lammers said.

The cathedral received donations from different people of the world. One nearby place that donated over $100,000 was the University of Notre Dame located in Indiana.

“We are deeply saddened to see the damage to the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, a church whose exquisite Gothic architecture has for centuries raised hearts and minds to God,” University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins said in an interview with CBS News.

The cathedral is planning to start the rebuilding process soon due to the many donations given to the church.