Notre Dame Cathedral Burning

I don't want to believe it's true. What a tragedy for one of the most elegant and iconic structures built by humans. Its cornerstone was laid in 1163, and it opened in 1345. Generations have been awed by it.

The spire has fallen and firefighters are racing to fight back the flames before the bells fall.

Cause as yet unknown.

Latest CNN update (approx 23:10 Paris time) is that the fire is cooling, the main towers are not in danger, and current efforts are to move some of the priceless art to safety. Much of the artwork had already been removed due to construction on the spire.

Really sad. Such an immensely huge loss whenever historic buildings or places are ruined.

Last I've heard is that they have stopped the fire from spreading now, hopefully that remains true.

I also read that they got all of the art/treasures out early.

So that's good if true.

Ugh that’s awful! And on a selfish note, I am going to Paris for the first time this summer and was really looking forward to seeing it. I did visit the WTC 3 months before they went down but not nearly the historic significance of Norte Dame.

Guardian report from a few minutes ago:

A French official and the Paris fire chief have told the Associated Press that they think Notre Dame Cathedral’s landmark rectangular towers have been saved from the fire that caused horrific damage.

Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez says that authorities remain “prudent” but are “much more optimistic” than they were earlier tonight.

Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet says that a major accomplishment of the hundreds of firefighters was stopping the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry.

Gallet says two-thirds of Notre Dame’s roofing “has been ravaged.” He says one firefighter was injured, adding that fire crews will keep working overnight to cool down the structure.

It is very strange that I don't feel I have skin in the game but the cathedral burning down really has me in the dumps today.

fangblackbone wrote:

It is very strange that I don't feel I have skin in the game but the cathedral burning down really has me in the dumps today.

Conversely, I'm finding it hard to summon up any feelings about it. Like, I'm mentally shrugging and thinking "well, it had a good run".

It's one of those "hmmm, am I a sociopath?" feelings.

It had an impressive run. Seems the stone structure is still intact so they may be able to salvage something out of the mess.

#BREAKING Notre-Dame's main structure is "saved and preserved" after fire.#NotreDame #Paris pic.twitter.com/eToNspGZXv

— Notre-Dame Cathedral (@CathedraleNotre) April 15, 2019

Click through to the tweet to see video.

I just went down there, I had to see. I’m absolutely heartbroken. It will never be the same.

I wonder if we even know the techniques used in creating it, anymore? We might not be able to rebuild the damaged bits in the same way that they were originally built.

Depending on how bad the damage is, you could kind of think of it in Ship of Theseus terms; with the big renovation going anyway, they were obviously replacing parts of the original. They'd just be replacing a fair bit more than they originally planned. But, can they do it in an authentic way? That could be an issue.

edit: and then, of course, do they redesign that section to be more fire resistant? Is it still Notre Dame if they do that? That's tricky.

edit with more info: Ars Technica has a good article, Notre Dame Cathedral will never be the same, but it can be rebuilt

The recent fire is the worst damage Notre Dame has suffered so far in its history, but it's not the first: the cathedral has an 800-year history of remodeling, damage, and rebuilding. Its life is an order of magnitude longer than ours, and in a couple of centuries, the tragedy of today's fire may be another part of the long story woven into the building's fabric.

Louis XIV and his son Louis XV had it drastically remodeled in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1786, architects removed the original spire after centuries of wind had weakened its oak frame. During the French Revolution, revolutionary forces destroyed most of the statuary, and the cathedral was rededicated to the atheist Cult of Reason and the deist Cult of the Supreme Being (a pet project of Maximilien Robespierre). Napoleon returned the cathedral to the Roman Catholic Church after his rise to power in 1801, but 30 years later, Notre Dame had fallen into disrepair, and many Parisians regarded it as a crumbling old eyesore.

But The Hunchback of Notre Dame transformed the sorely neglected cathedral into a beloved Paris landmark again. It launched Lassus and Viollet-le-Duc's 25-year process of restoration, which included reconstructing the spire that collapsed in the April 15 fire.

In other words: that's not even the first time the spire has been rebuilt. If I understand the dates in that passage correctly, the one that just fell down was built sometime between 1830 and 1850.

So, yeah, a big deal, and the worst thing in the 800-year history of the building, but not the end.

Of course we know how it was built, this isn’t the Pyramids at Gizeh!

I’m going to be turning off the internet for a bit. Too many people trying to make this about them, it’s hard to take in all I’m reading.

Eleima wrote:

Of course we know how it was built, this isn’t the Pyramids at Gizeh!

I’m going to be turning off the internet for a bit. Too many people trying to make this about them, it’s hard to take in all I’m reading.

IMAGE(http://www.openminds.tv/wp-content/uploads/I-am-not-saying.jpg)

We already know who can rebuild it
IMAGE(https://adventuregamers.com/images/screenshots/32659/poe3e.jpg)

Standing along side France as they mourn today.

Eleima wrote:

Of course we know how it was built, this isn’t the Pyramids at Gizeh!

When you don't make things by hand for enough centuries, the relevant skills are lost. We don't have teams of masons that know how to make stone blocks with hammers and chisels; we'd do it with machines. We could replace damaged stonework, but would it be the same thing and have the same feel? An expert in the Ars article there kinda didn't think so:

Today, the stone that makes up the cathedral would be cut using machinery, not by hand by small armies of stonemasons as in the 12th century. "Nineteenth-century and 20th-century Gothic buildings always look a little dead, because the stone doesn't bear the same marks of the mason's hand," Murray told Ars Technica.

Fortunately, though, it sounds like maybe the stone itself wasn't much affected. Duplicating the steeple and roof should still be known techniques, assuming that proper timber can be sourced.

I wonder if they'll use lead roof tiles, again? That doesn't seem like the smartest idea.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/4hPXxJg.jpg)

The firefighters did a heroic job. That could have been so very much worse.

Malor wrote:

When you don't make things by hand for enough centuries, the relevant skills are lost. We don't have teams of masons that know how to make stone blocks with hammers and chisels; we'd do it with machines. We could replace damaged stonework, but would it be the same thing and have the same feel?

It can never be exactly the same, but we don't have to use machines for everything. Those skills were never lost, or at least not to the degree you are implying.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Y5eeQdQ.jpg)

A tragedy to but sure but also apparently a very unifying event. I heard on KLOVE this morning that they have already raised over a $1 billion to rebuild that damaged parts.

Okay so one thing I don't understand is that they claim that the cathedral has fallen into disrepair and had trouble with donations for repairs for decades. Yet, it is a Catholic cathedral, and a hallmark of one of the wealthiest and far reaching organizations in the world.

I wonder if people are mistaking reverence for bragging kind of like how people tried to shame people for posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee when he died. I think it is natural to say and show you been there when a place is destroyed. People just want to share their memories of the place.

fangblackbone wrote:

Okay so one thing I don't understand is that they claim that the cathedral has fallen into disrepair and had trouble with donations for repairs for decades. Yet, it is a Catholic cathedral, and a hallmark of one of the wealthiest and far reaching organizations in the world.

I read somewhere (geeze hope this is not in this thread lol) that the French govt owns it but leases it to the church for free so there are always "battles" on who is responsible for paying upkeep. Also telling that from what I read this morning out of that 1 billion donated ZERO is from the church.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

I wonder if people are mistaking reverence for bragging kind of like how people tried to shame people for posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee when he died. I think it is natural to say and show you been there when a place is destroyed. People just want to share their memories of the place.

I'm sure that's happening too, but a lot of social media posts around major events are essentially:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ebQPTrc.jpg)

Baron Of Hell wrote:

I wonder if people are mistaking reverence for bragging kind of like how people tried to shame people for posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee when he died. I think it is natural to say and show you been there when a place is destroyed. People just want to share their memories of the place.

Agreed.

My boyfriend was deeply affected by it burning. He spent four months in Paris and it is one of the most special times in his life. And he was so excited by the prospect of being able to show it to me. His tears weren't crocodile tears.

I got teary at work about it. When I was there last year, I visited it by myself. My friend had been before and wasn't feeling well that day. I spent a lot of time just standing there staring at the rose windows. I accidentally made eye contact with a random stranger staring at the rose window on the opposite side and we gave each other big dumb grins.

Please don't assume people are posting memories as a subtle way of bragging about their travel experiences. First of all it places Paris on a weird pedestal (trés chic!) and second, visiting Notre Dame isn't an elephant hunt.

If you've been there and seen it personally, and thought it was beautiful, of course you would try to share the sense of loss. That's not making it about you, that's just sharing your experience of having seen it, trying to communicate something of what was destroyed. (or, in this case, damaged.)

I did the same thing about eighteen months ago, when Santa Rosa was on fire. I know that area very well, and seeing at least one place where I worked for several years be burned to the ground was a hell of a shock. Homes burned to the ground about two blocks away from somewhere I used to live. So, yeah, I talked about it a fair bit.

If I'd ever visited Notre Dame, I'd probably be trying to share whatever impressions I'd gathered of the place. This would have nothing to do with 'gee whiz I went to France, ain't I great?'

Well, I climbed around the inside and outside of Notre Dame Cathedral in Assassin's Creed Unity, should I share my pictures?

You are somewhat joking but I have seen several articles that say that the 3d models they used for the game may be of great help.

Assassin’s Creed video game may be used to rebuild Notre Dame cathedral

So your pictures may be of significance.