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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Care to share your memories of visiting Notre Dame de Paris?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (31070points) 3 days ago

Sadly, Notre Dame de Paris is on fire. As of this writing, the spire has collapsed. I have numerous friends in tears at the loss. One is an organist. The other is just a church-goer.

I visited once in the late 80s and remember being greatly moved by the Rose Window. I also remember visiting the museum under the public area in front of the cathedral where medieval city structures and streets had been unearthed. It was fascinating.

Have you visited the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris? What are your memories? Have you seen it in the media of some sort like in a movie or some other use?

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16 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Oh, that’s truly terrible… it was perhaps my favorite cathedral.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have never visited there, but it is legend.

janbb's avatar

I have been there and while Chartres is perhaps my favorite cathedral, I find this unbearably sad. In some fashion it feels to me like a symbol for the collapse of western civilization which we are now experiencing. The institutions that we counted on, like democracy, are crumbling.

On top of Notre Dame’s fire, a local shore landmark building burnt down completely on Saturday so this feels like a double whammy.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I was saddened by the news that I just viewed a few minutes ago! My Friend in France who lived there for years but had moved to La Rochelle, France frequently attended Mass there.
Somewhere in my past picture files I have photographs of both the inside and outside of Notre Dame Cathedral. It is a fantastic old Church that is a Historic monument for France built in 1200’s only to burn 850 years later by an accident.
Thank God that no one was hurt!
Most of the interior is gone! Fortunately several large statues were removed before to be repaired so that they were not affected.
If the Treasury and the vaults burn so much more will be lost to people of the present and the future.
The Spire that collapsed was built in 1800“s or about 167 years ago.
It is a shame and I hope that they have not lost everything?

Inspired_2write's avatar

As a side note: Ken Follett’s book ( and DVD movie) is the back story of how and why the Notre Dame Cathedral was built and the struggles to find funding in the 12th century etc.

I read the book and also purchased the DVD movie set.
It was extremely interesting and written and engaging the reader so well.
Some of you on Fluther may remember this as it came out in 2002.

link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5043.The_Pillars_of_the_Earth

Demosthenes's avatar

I have been there more than once and it was shocking seeing the news this morning. I really hope it was an accident. I am thinking now of a photo of me and my dad standing in front of the Cathedral. The memory is significant because it was one of the few times where I was on a trip with just my dad, exploring Europe’s cultural sites together. It was an excellent trip and it’s so sad to see a significant piece of European culture die.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What was in the cathedral?

JLeslie's avatar

I have no memories to share since I have never been there, but I want to say this is a devastating event. So very sad. In a way it feels similar to watching the World Trade Center towers come down. Not that I am saying it was terrorism, but only saying not having it there in the skyline will be an empty hole in the hearts of the people of Paris, of France, and of the world. This week, Holy Week, it seems especially tragic.

ucme's avatar

I went while on holiday as a kid with my Aunt travelling through France & Spain.
Genuinely believed I would see the hunchback & remember feeling a little upset when I, of course, did not.
On a related note, this fire smacks of an insurance job as only days previous a host of historical statues were removed from the main location which has been gutted.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Where did you hear that @ucme?

ucme's avatar

Well the fraudulent aspect is purely an early hunch, regarding the statues, heard on Sky News report.

janbb's avatar

They are undergoing renovations which would account for the statues’ removal potentially. I doubt they could have enough insurance coverage for a full restoration so that is an unlikely scenario. Plus there is the danger of the srrounding ile de la cité goung up in flames.

Dutchess_III's avatar

All that was removed were statues of the apostles. There is still plenty of priceless stuff in there they are scrambling to save.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Dutchess_III There were many irreplaceable relics in the cathedral including the Crown of Thorns, a piece of The Cross, one of the nails used to crucify Jesus, among other things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is heartbreaking. There was a 360 of the beautiful interior on FB. My gosh. It was stunning.

josie's avatar

I’ve seen it a few times, been inside twice.

It was an amazing building. But everything inside those walls was very old wood carved and cut into shapes with a lot of surface area. With many centuries of varnish, etc covering the surface. Dry on the inside, volatile on the outside.

I am little surprised that, whatever happened, activity was not super restricted and monitored to keep any kind of fire away from it-repairs or not.

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