Firefighters tonight continue to battle a major blaze at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France, that has already caused the spire to collapse. A cathedral spokesman said the entire wooden interior was burning and is likely to be destroyed, raising concerns about the much-loved landmark’s future. The building has suffered “colossal damages”, according to Emmanuel Gregoire, the deputy mayor of Paris. Fire teams are also attempting to remove priceless works of art as they try to douse the flames at the Gothic cathedral.
Where is Notre Dame cathedral in Paris?
Notre Dame is located in Notre Dame square on the island of Ile de la Cite in the middle of the River Seine.
The island forms part of the 4th arrondissement in central Paris, an area home to an abundance of museums, churches, cafes, bars and shops.
Notre Dame dates back to the 12th century and is famed for its French Gothic architecture.
The cathedral was the setting for Victor Hugo’s classic novel, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, written in 1831.
Said to be Paris’s most popular attraction, the celebrated landmark is visited by 13 million tourists every year.
Its iconic exterior is dominated by its 13th-century bell towers.
The cathedral celebrated its 850th jubilee in 2013.
What is the cause of the fire?
The cause of the fire is not immediately known, but French media has suggested it could be linked to ongoing restorations.
The 800-year-old building was in the middle of renovations when the fire started at 6pm BST (7pm local time).
A statue of Saint John was removed from the cathedral’s spire by a crane before the work began.
President Emmanuel Macron has arrived at the scene after earlier cancelling a planned television address to the nation.
He tweeted earlier: “Our Lady of Paris in flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thought for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I’m sad tonight to see this part of us burn.”
The fire has shocked witnesses at the scene and the rest of the world who watched its rapid spread on social media.
Ashley Huntington, 21, an American university student studying in Paris, said: “Our class ran what was supposed to be 30 minutes walking but we probably got here in 20 running.
“You could just get close and see the smoke. The smoke is everywhere in the sky. It seems like more pieces of the scaffolding are currently falling.”
Source: Read Full Article