In the Gothic magnificence of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Cecile Deleville found a refuge for her soul.
Notre Dame Cathedral would have burned to the ground in a “chain-reaction collapse” had firefighters not moved as rapidly as they did to battle the blaze racing through the beloved landmark building, a French government official said Wednesday.
Notre Dame in Paris is not the first great cathedral to suffer a devastating fire, and it probably won’t be the last.
His main job is to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, but Justice Stephen Breyer also chairs the jury of the Pritzker Prize — the world’s top honor in architecture.
Fueled by a lattice of centuries-old timbers, the fire moved hungrily across Notre Dame’s rooftop toward the cathedral’s iconic spire. It belched yellow smoke, spitting out gritty particles of wood, stone, lead and iron and wanted more. Far below, their vision obscured by fumes and tears, firefighters, priests and municipal workers passed treasures hand-to-hand, hoping the speed of desperation could outrun the flames.
The inferno that raged through Notre Dame Cathedral for more than 12 hours destroyed its spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers, and a frantic rescue effort saved the monument’s “most precious treasures,” including the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Jesus, officials said Tuesday.
In Paris’ heart, a charred and gaping hole. But also a rallying cry.
Monuments are the emotional backbone of France. That accounts for the despair over a blaze that killed no one, yet seared the collective soul. It is the power Notre Dame had — still has, despite the charred scars on its Gothic walls.
Nations expressed solidarity with France after the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral and offered their support for the recovery.
Firefighters declared success Tuesday in a more than 12-hour battle to extinguish an inferno engulfing Paris’ iconic Notre Dame cathedral that claimed its spire and roof, but spared its bell towers and the purported Crown of Christ.