Paris' iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral is on fire

Apr 15 2019, 5:27 pm

One of Paris’ most iconic landmarks is currently being engulfed in flames.

A fire broke out around 6:50 pm CET on April 15 at the Notre-Dame Cathedral on the Île de la Cité, located in the 4th arrondissement. Onlookers have shared images and videos on social media.

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The Notre Dame marks the heart of the city for locals and tourists alike, and is the most visited monument in Paris. The cathedral sees 12 million visitors a year — nearly double the people who visit the Eiffel Tower.

The 850-year-old historical monument is known for being as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside, and tourists love to marvel at the gargoyle sculptures and stained glass ceilings. The 422 steps of the towers lead to incredible panoramic views of the Île de la Cité, the cathedral itself and Paris.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is known by many due to the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, a Victor Hugo novel that was published in 1831 and adapted by Disney in 1996.

The cause of the massive blaze is not yet known, but local media — quoting the Paris fire brigade — suggested it could be “potentially linked” to the $6.8-million renovation project that is underway on the peak of the building.

Paris’ mayor Anne Hidalgo is calling it a “terrible fire” and asked locals to respect the security perimeters around the scene.

The iconic spire at the front of the cathedral collapsed at approximately 8 pm CET.

As of midnight CET, the Notre-Dame Cathedral’s main structure has been reported as safe, and France has vowed to rebuild. Read the update here.

 

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