On Monday, April 15, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, burned for 12 hours. The cathedral, which was first constructed in the 1100s, is a symbol of fraternity for the Parisians and for Catholics around the world.
With the week being Holy Week, the week before Easter, Notre Dame was getting ready to display its holy artifacts in preparation for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Now, those that had prepared to attend Mass at Notre Dame are shocked by the sudden tragedy.
The students from Bettendorf that visited France and Notre Dame last June are in disbelief.
“When I saw the spire fall down, I started crying,” Chloe Johnson, who felt a strong connection with Notre Dame, said. “It felt like the world was falling apart.”
Johnson feels that she did not appreciate the cathedral for what it was during her visit.
“It was such an incredible piece of history that will not be the same the next time I would see it,” Johnson said.
Eric Eastland was also moved to tears when he heard the news.
“I am so thankful I had the opportunity to see Notre Dame in all of its glory,” Eastland said.
“Every time Notre Dame has been damaged, they’ve always rebuilt it as long as the towers were standing. Now, even after the fire, the bell towers are still standing.”
Eastland is excited that the French plan to rebuild Notre Dame. However, he is sad that the renovations will take a few years.
Bei Bei Weng mourns the loss of the artwork that decorated the inside of the Notre Dame. Weng loved the stained glass windows and sculptures that were spread around Notre Dame.
“Seeing Notre Dame on fire was so sad. It’s hard to believe I was just there,” Weng said. “It’s hard to believe the cathedral has stood through wars and revolutions but an accident brought it down.”
Experts, who have just restored a 1,000-year-old cathedral in Strasbourg, say it could take more than a decade to repair the 850-year-old building.
Victor Hugo, writer of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” wrote in his novel, “The greatest products of architecture are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation's effort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius.”
The Notre Dame burning on Monday, April 15.