Notre Dame caught fire yesterday . . . the famous 850-year-old cathedral in Paris. It’s not clear what caused it, but it had been undergoing restoration efforts. It took 400 firefighters to get it under control, but not before the spire on top collapsed and two thirds of the roof was destroyed. The 2-main stone towers in front weren’t damaged. Crowds of people in Paris sang hymns outside while it happened, to show solidarity. Its world-renowned architecture: The cathedral dates back almost 1,000 years. Construction began in 1163 and took almost 200 years to complete. The building is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world.
• It’s home to relics associated with Jesus: The cathedral’s “most precious and most revered object” is the Crown of Thorns, said to have been placed upon Jesus before his crucifixion. Other relics include a fragment believed to be part of Jesus’ cross and a nail believed to have been used in the crucifixion. Salvage efforts were underway to recover precious artifacts.
Thanks to the @PompiersParis, the police and the municipal agents,” Hidalgo tweeted, “the Crown of Thorns, the Tunic of Saint Louis and several other major works are now in a safe place.” Notre Dame’s medieval roof structure, known as “the forest,” has been lost to the massive fire, according to Msgr. Patrick Chauvet, the rector of the cathedral. “The framework from the 13th century is called a forest, because it required a forest of trees to build it,” he said. The cathedral’s wooden frame, which primarily consists of oak, contains beams that date as far back as the first frame. It features trees cut down between 1160 and 1170, forming one of the oldest parts of the structure.
French President Emmanuel Macron: Paris will rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire.
French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault [[ frahn-SWAH ON-ree PEE-noh ]] ]] is pledging millions to help rebuild Notre Dame. Pinault is donating $100-million euros towards the effort to resurrect the iconic landmark. Pinault is the owner of the luxury group Kering, which owns brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Notre Dame Cathedral has sustained devastating damage from a fire that has destroyed the building’s iconic spire and roof. Fire crews say they have been able to save the building’s bell towers in the front of the cathedral.