Notre Dame Goes Up in Flames

A few weeks ago, on Monday, April 15, a fire alarm was heard throughout Paris, France. Flames were seen tearing through the famous cathedral known as Notre Dame. This fire seemed to have started in the upper area of the cathedral and made its way partly down. The spire on top of the cathedral completely collapsed. As people all around the world watched in shock, emergency crews rushed to the scene to make sure everyone was safe and to prevent any injuries. Some even went into the cathedral to rescue priceless artifacts from being completely destroyed. One man, Father Jean-Marc Fournier, the Chaplain of the Paris fire brigade, helped save some of these artifacts. Of the relics saved by him were the Crown of Thorns, said to have been worn by Jesus before his crucifixion, and a tunic that was once worn by St. Louis back in the thirteenth century.
The relics serve as an important part of history to people everywhere. Seeing that it took around 200 years for the cathedral to be built, and now it is over 850 years old, the cathedral houses many artifacts that cannot be replaced. The cathedral is a haven for the people of France, and all around the world. With the name of the cathedral meaning, “Our Lady of Paris”, it signifies the importance of itself to France. The cathedral is located in Paris’ fourth arrondissement on one of the two islands where the Seine river divides; in the oldest area of Paris.
The cathedral also served as the setting of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, the novel written by Victor Hugo. With its beautiful stained glass windows, the cathedral served as a symbol of beauty and faithfulness. However, during World War II, bullets ended up ruining some of the precious windows and destroyed a small part of the beauty of Notre Dame. Although the stained glass was damaged, people still dream of visiting the cathedral today.
After the fire was diminished, the cause of it was investigated. The investigators have two theories on how the fire could have started; a short-circuit, or a cigarette from some of the construction workers currently renovating the top of it. Notre Dame was under construction for renovations at the time the fire started, so the cigarette butts were found from them. But with those two theories, there are many more possible causes that may not be able to be determined due to the severity of the blaze.
Through all the devastation and demolition put on Notre Dame, many people are showing their support to the beloved cathedral. Multiple major donations have been given towards the rebuilding of the cathedral. In just two days after the tragedy, $1 billion was donated from people around the world, although mostly from the wealthy people of France. Even though these donations are helpful, the estimated amount of money needed to rebuild is betwen $330 million and $670 million. Many people are upset with the amount of donations going towards this building because of the amount of homeless people living in the streets of France. Some believe the money should be spent helping people living in poverty rather than using it all to rebuild the cathedral.
All beliefs put aside, the cathedral will be rebuilt and thrive again. People will still be able to enjoy the history and symbolism Notre Dame provides. Although it will not be the same as before, the support from everyone will keep it a symbol of faithfulness and tradition, maybe even adding more meaning to the building. Notre Dame will be known as the building of faith.

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