Notre-Dame de Paris (French meaning "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.
The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.
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The BBC ‘Travel Show’ 12 days ago did a story on the massive cost of saving Notre-Dame:
The cost of restoring Paris’ most visited landmark after centuries of damage is astronomical, but the French government has devised a surprising plan to raise the funds.
PARIS — A large fire broke out at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on Monday evening, causing part of the historic church’s spire to collapse as the blaze spread along its roof.
André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the cause of the fire remained unknown, and there was no immediate indication that anyone had been hurt.
UPDATE: One of the firefighters was seriously injured. Prayers.....
As I reach this part of the post, I’ve now heard on the news that they were able to save at least the façade of the Cathedral’s front entrance. This was the iconic “face” of the edifice with the two towers and that beautiful rose window. They were lucky to save that as the left hand tower was on fire as well. And thankfully because of the renovations (which were probably the cause of the fire, abetted by the wooden scaffolding), it appears most of the treasures, including the Crown of Thorns, had already been removed from the site. (There are questions about the structural integrity of what is left. But it is comforting to see the pictures that the crucifix and altar survived the inferno.)
The reason I’m posting this as a Tuesday News Day story is because of the Cathedral’s place in the greater TV Universe. Later today we’re going to conduct a memorial induction ceremony for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame to bring the Cathedral de Notre Dame into the fold, in memory of what once was. We did the same for the City of Las Vegas after the horrific massacre and for the World Trade Center after the Twin Towers were downed by terrorists.
Notre Dame deserves no less…..