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“Our Lady”



It took nearly 200 years to build…and less than a day to nearly completely burn.

Notre Dame

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“Fire, it’s not impossible.”

As we await more details about what started the blaze Monday early evening at the world famous cathedral, this above quote was taken, translated, from the church’s website describing its double-layered wooden framework called  “The Forest." 1,300 original oak beams from the 12th century frame the church - the equivalent of 52 acres.
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Important Dates:

  • 1163: year commonly believed the first corner stone was laid under Pope Alexander
  • 1831: Victor Hugo published novel “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” suddenly heightening the profile of the run-down cathedral. Some credit him as the catalyst behind its restoration.
  • 1909: Joan of Arc beatified in the church (Catholic naming of a saint)
Current Events

Current Context

  • Fire broke out during a Catholic Holy Week, a particularly busy time at any cathedral.
  • French Pres. Emmanuel Macron postponed a major policy speech Mon. night to address protests that have rocked France for weeks, challenging those in power & current policy.
  • So far, fire described as an accident.
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“If God intervened (in the blaze) it was in the courage of the firefighters.”

Philippe Marsset, the vicar general of Notre Dame. Firefighters reportedly helped save some of the valuable art in the cathedral; one was seriously injured. Officials are on site investigating the cause of the blaze. Pres. Macron has vowed to rebuild the cathedral and prominent French business leaders have already started to pledge hundreds-of-millions of dollars for repair.
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As devastating as this fire is, Notre-Dame, has a layered history. Many hands touched the original design and multiple restorations took place hundreds of years apart. It’s a collage of design & architecture a "House of God and the House of Men."

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