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bobruss

Notre Dame destroyed by fire

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Sad to see one of the great examples of Gothic architecture burning out of control in Paris.

It doesn't look like much will be left.

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Tragic. Just saw the spire collapse.
Also, they interrupted "Jeopardy!" to provide live coverage.

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Houston tore down an entire parking garage due to a fire of this similar magnitude. Looks like the towers are ok but they may very well have to tear down an entire section and rebuild it from scratch.

 

So sorry for Paris. I feel like out of all the cities in the world, Paris cannot get a break... so much tragedy there the past couple of years.

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Apparently there has been a wave of vandalism against churches recently in France.  They don't know if that's the case yet here, but they do know it for some other incidents.

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Via CNN:

Mass was being celebrated at the cathedral when the fire broke out.


François-Xavier Lochet, 70, was attending Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday when a loud alarm went off just as the congregation began the Universal Prayer -- it was so loud Lochet could barely understand the messages in French and English.

Most of those who heard it, however, just stood there as visitors began to be ushered out of the cathedral. That was until, Lochet said, a police officer approached a priest and told him, "This is no joke. You've got to get out." 

Lochet began walking back to his mother's home when he turned around and saw smoke.

"Nobody was paying attention," he said. "I stopped and I took my phone out and I waited." 

Soon, smoke began billowing out from the cathedral.

"To me. I felt like crying," he said. "This is my most favorite church probably in the world. To me, as a kid, I climbed the towers when I was 12 years old."

He could not help but think about the countless craftsmen who devoted their entire lives to constructing the church, even those who helped renovate it. He'd often go to Mass, or just to listen to the cathedral's organs.

"It's a huge piece of history of Europe," he said. "Gone."

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Such a tragedy and loss of our world's heritage.

 

It was undergoing some kind of fairly significant work, was covered with scaffolding, I'm hoping it was a simple construction-related accident and not something sinister, and I know some bronze statues had been removed for safe keeping during the construction, hopefully other priceless artifacts were also removed.

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11 minutes ago, Reefmonkey said:

Such a tragedy and loss of our world's heritage.

 

It was undergoing some kind of fairly significant work, was covered with scaffolding, I'm hoping it was a simple construction-related accident and not something sinister, and I know some bronze statues had been removed for safe keeping during the construction, hopefully other priceless artifacts were also removed.

 

According to this tweet from earlier today, all of the artwork was saved:
 

 

Also, quoting another tweet from one of the French news channels: "The two towers of the belfry north of Notre-Dame are saved. The structure of Notre-Dame is saved in its entirety"

Edited by mkultra25

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My family has been involved with Paris for at least three centuries. It was where my wife I went for our honeymoon. It sickened my heart to see this. But it will be rebuilt. Paris is a beauty and a shining star among the world's cities and Notre Dame is an important part of the heritage and beauty of this splendid city. 

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Now comes the rebuilding. Would not want to be the people inspecting the inside due to its instability.  Hope the walls hold up. Going to be interesting to watch how quickly this is restored. French bureaucracy has a historical reputation for being stifling.  Perhaps they have improved the bureaucracy since the Ancien regime.  Hope so.

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Just saw some photos and video of the interior on CNN. Looks like the stone vaulting broke through in only a couple small places. The floor area mostly had the usual chairs but there were piles of stone rubble in a couple places with some burnt wooden beams lying on them. So the burnt wooden timbers of the roof must mostly be lying on the stone vaulting, with a few having broken through.

 

Compare this to Reims cathedral, which had its entire roof and vaulting destroyed in WWII and even one side of the nave demolished, so that the whole place was wide open. Here is a picture of the inside today; non-specialists wouldn't know the difference from the original:

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=reims+cathedral+interior&rlz=1C1GCEB_enUS782US782&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVuvL9hNXhAhUBjq0KHUQUDksQ_AUIDigB&biw=1680&bih=939#imgrc=hj9-G-L-grOZaM:

 

The point being, this is fixable, and mostly a matter of just rebuilding the wooden frame roof as well as the mostly wooden spire, which had already been rebuilt in the 19th century. The roof will be a feat, though; I read that 5,000 oak trees were used for the original roof. Proper period-appropriate timber-framing would require well-selected trees without knots, years to season the wood after hewing by hand, joints carved by mallet and chisel. How far they go in this direction remains to be seen.

 

These things happen to cathedrals. They are always needing renovation and reconstruction. Notre Dame suffered much worse in the French Revolution. 

Edited by H-Town Man
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