PARIS, France — The Notre Dame Cathedral is a symbol of faith, history and French culture.
But on Monday, the Cathedral was severely damaged by a fire.
The 856-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral was undergoing a $6.8 renovation on the church’s spire, when it was engulfed in flames. Fire crews rushed to the scene, but there was severe damage to the Cathedral, and many of the relics inside of it.
The French Cathedral is known as one of the holiest places on earth, revered by people around the world of all religions. Construction on the Cathedral took nearly 200 years to complete. It began in 1163 and it opend in 1345.
This wasn’t the first time the Cathedral has seen disaster. During the French Revolution, revolutionaries damaged the Cathedral. It also survived a commune uprising in 1871 and two World Wars.
Priscilla Charrat Nelson, an assistant professor of French and Arabic at Bradley University says that communities around the country will not allow this fire to destroy the landmark’s legacy.
“Luckily it’s a very well documented monument since the Middle Ages, throughout the centuries. We have a lot of images, a lot of academic records, and even tourist photos that can help give us a good idea of what was there and how we’ll be able to proceed,” said Nelson.
“It’s not just a piece of history it’s also a monument that you interact with in your everyday life,” she continued. “Whether you go inside or not, whether you’re Catholic or not. It’s important for anyone, whether they’re Parisian or they just stayed there for a little bit.”
The country of France will not allow this fire to completely ruin one of the most revered places on earth.
Many are pledging money to help rebuild the Cathedral, and according to Forbes, over $500,000,000 has already been raised.