The Virgin Mary was highly revered throughout the Middle Ages.
On Monday afternoon, the world was shocked by the sight of Notre Dame cathedral in flames.
The iconic 850-year-old Paris landmark suffered extensive damage with all of its original medieval wooden roof falling to the fire, along with the 93-meter-tall spire that collapsed through the roof.
Gothic architects incorporated the latest technology — flying buttresses — to support the heavy rooftop.
Its ghoulish gargoyles multi-task: They serve as fancy rainspouts and scare away the evil spirits. Mary cradles the baby Jesus; the rose window provides a majestic halo. In fact, it faces the River Seine, and the River Seine has been called by Parisians “the mirror of the city.” Rick: Ah, it’s a great people zone.
Marvel at the Eiffel Tower — a landmark of the Industrial Age — and the grand Notre-Dame, the spiritual heart of Paris.
Explore the city’s people zones, where Parisians stroll, rollerblade, celebrate, and browse through bookstalls along the Seine. They were all, you know, very wild vendors which were all along the River Seine like that.
The Seine River splits the city into the Right Bank and the Left Bank. Most of the essential sights lie near the Notre Dame, between the Eiffel Tower, the Latin Quarter, and Montmartre — the city’s highest point. Rick: So, what is the French word for these little stalls? It comes from the name “bouquin,” which means it’s old French. Arnaud: Old books, yes, and they sell prints, you know…magazines… They all had to be regulated in the 19th century because they were so wild.
The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 — to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, and to show off at a World’s Fair. To a generation hooked on technology, it was the marvel of its day… This 900-foot-tall tower has three observation levels; the higher you go the more you pay. Thousands of iron bars and millions of rivets, all assembled in just over two years.
In an address to the nation just before midnight, President Emmanuel Macron vowed that “we will rebuild this cathedral.”Before the fire, Notre Dam was already under restoration as recent tourists might have noticed.
Funding for this restoration proved to be rather challenging to source but with the wave of emotion around Monday’s fire, money doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore.
But while the event is a cultural tragedy, there are good reasons to believe that the cathedral can be restored to its former glory almost exactly as it once stood, thanks to extensive interior and exterior 3D scans performed only a few years prior to the fire.