A brief reflection on Notre Dame

This photo taken on Monday April 15, 2019 shows Notre Dame cathedral burning in Paris. Firefighters declared success Tuesday April 16, 2019 morning in an over 12-hour battle to extinguish an inferno engulfing Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral that claimed its spire and roof, but spared its bell towers. (AP Photo/Vanessa Pena)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

This photo taken on Monday April 15, 2019 shows Notre Dame cathedral burning in Paris. Firefighters declared success Tuesday April 16, 2019 morning in an over 12-hour battle to extinguish an inferno engulfing Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral that claimed its spire and roof, but spared its bell towers. (AP Photo/Vanessa Pena)

Andrew Gimpel, Staff Writer

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On the evening of April 15th, 2019, a fire broke out and consumed most of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France. The 850 year old structure is a physical wonder to both secular and non-secular people, withstanding the test of time, and the state of its damages brings forth heavy hearts in all.

The history of Notre Dame is an expansive one. It was believed it was originally a Roman temple dedicated to the god Jupiter until the arrival of the French in the 4th century, with Christianity in tow. The temple was demolished and replace with a simple church, which itself would be replaced with four other churches before the cathedral we know today was finally built in 1160 by Maurice de Sully, the Bishop of Paris. The cathedral was used to house many religious relics, such as pieces from Christ’s cross.

Despite the tragedy of the fire, it was not the first time Notre Dame would face destruction. During the French Revolution, rebels attempted to drive off Catholicism from France and replace it with their Cult of Reason. Notre Dame was looted of most of its valuables and many of the statues were beheaded and destroyed.

After the war, Paris officials considered demolishing Notre Dame. In order to prevent this, Victor Hugo wrote the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1830, in which many today are most most familiar with its animated Disney adaption. Public opinion supported restoration, and it was ordered so by King Louis Philippe in 1844.

Since then, Notre Dame had stood tall through weather and war. Though damage would often take hold of the cathedral, whether through accidents or deliberate attacks, the dedication of the French citizens and people the world over would reverse it. Last month’s fire can and will  certainly be remembered as a dark day in history, but in all likely hold Notre Dame will rise again as it always has to pierce the sky.

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