The Disastrous Notre Dame Cathedral Fire


A view of the Notre Dame Cathedral as it is ablaze on Monday evening.

Casey Kula, Contributor

The Notre Dame Cathedral is a famous gothic cathedral located in Paris, France. Thousands of tourists come to see the detailed structure every year to discover more about its history, see the artifacts that reside inside, and to just study the beauty of the building.

Unfortunately, on the 15th of April, this historical building caught on fire, causing hundreds of years of history to go down the drain. Because of it being such an old building, the flames spread quickly onto many of the century-old beams that hold up the cathedral.

The main damage that was reported by officials is the collapsing of the roof and the iconic spire that stood tall above Paris since it was built. The firefighters, after twelve hours of battling the flames, were able to diminish the fire, leaving some of the building unharmed.

After deciphering the cause in more depth, many officials believe that the fire was started by a mere electrical short-circuit at the bottom of the cathedral’s giant spire.

While the roof may have collapsed, the firefighters were able to save some of the cathedral’s art and artifacts. One of the most memorable artifacts that were saved was the crown of thorns that many believe to be the very same crown that was laid on Jesus’ head during his crucifixion.

A tunic that was possibly worn by Louis IX was saved, and the famous rose windows did not seem to suffer tragic damage. The organ inside the building that has around 8,000 pipes does not seem to be damaged, but officials to need to make sure it still is able to function.

Though certain relics were saved, much was badly damaged or destroyed in the fire. The condition of many of the art pieces and artifacts are unknown at this time.

The cathedral’s fire occurred during Holy Week, which is a very important week to thousands upon thousands of Christians. It is most well known as the week to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his rising from the dead.

During the Good Friday service, many who would usually have the service in the cathedral stood in the shadow of the holy place. Since it is unsafe to have any kind of Easter service in the cathedral, many had to find other churches to celebrate Jesus’ return.

Multiple donors have already raised millions of dollars for its restoration. People are hopeful they will be able to rebuild Notre Dame, but there’s a concern that they won’t have enough to rebuild the entirety of it. It would an amazing feat if they do.

Junior Holly Bradshaw stated, “I think as long as it stands and looks the same, it commemorates the old building in a safer and just as important fashion.”

While it is devastating to lose so much history, it is a relief to know that much was saved, and that part of the cathedral still stands for another day in Paris and hopefully for years to come.