On April 15th, 2019, the Notre Dame was found to be on fire. The Notre Dame is the most famous Gothic Cathedral from the Middle Ages and to many, the heart of Paris. It has been around for the past 856 years and is known for its impressive architecture.
So when the Notre Dame started to burn, the Parisians were devastated. The fire started at the center of the cathedral’s roof towards the base of its iconic spiral. Investigators are still trying the figure out the cause of the fire that ravaged this historical monument for at least 12 hours. At this time, the cause of the fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short.
Many of the priceless artifacts being kept in the Notre Dame were able to be moved to the Louvre before the fire reached the area. Some of these items include the Crown Of Thorns (the crown Jesus was believed to be wearing at his crucifixion) and the Tunic of St. Louis (it is said to have belonged to King Louis IX). The cathedral’s famous organ, which was built in 1403, also survived the fire. Many of the statues inside the Notre Dame were also stored for safekeeping before the fire struck due to renovations that were currently taking place. In addition to these items, the cathedrals’ famous stained glass also survived the fire. However, many irreplaceable works didn’t survive the flames. The Parisian government believes that 5-10% of the artwork was destroyed.
One of our Harvest teachers, Ms. Hoxsie, happened to be in Paris when the fire started. “Right before the fire started it was perfectly normal,” she said. “There were lots of tourists and the sky was perfectly clear.” She wasn’t at the Notre Dame when the fire started and didn’t go to see the fire in person. She was in her flat when the fire struck. “I woke up to texts and calls from friends and family asking if I was okay. I learned that Notre Dame was burning through the texts.” After responding to everyone saying that she was fine, Ms. Hoxsie turned on the news. “It was in French which made it hard to understand, but I could see the shocked looks on peoples’ faces.” She says that when the steeple fell she could hear peoples’ gasps through the walls of her flat. “The Notre Dame is the heart of France, and it’s huge that they almost lost it,” she said.
The president of France has promised that the Notre Dame will be rebuilt within the next 5 years.