Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral

Simran Patel

In the late summer of 2016, I toured the famed Notre Dame Cathedral, climbed the 387 steps to the stop, and stood eye-to-eye with the crouching gargoyles and towering spire. I saw the city of Paris as if I became the unique architecture itself, a view only achievable from the highest standpoint possible. From that moment on, I was convinced that pictures never paled to the real experience. A mere camera lens couldn’t possibly capture years worth of “literacy, war, liberation.” But as of this evening, perhaps, pictures may serve as our only record of what was once was there: a living, breathing piece of French history.


On April 15th, 2019, the rooftop of the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire. With it, the hearts of thousands of people burned a well, as they witnessed a piece of their dear country, their pride, crumble in despair. The cathedral has existed for over 800 years, serving not only as of the #1 tourist attraction in Paris but as a defining aspect of the city that holds enormous religious and sentimental value. As I write this, firefighters rush to douse the flames and salvage the irreplaceable items inside, in hopes of saving the cathedral as it toes the line of permanent death.


The spire collapses.


Parisians sing ‘Ave Maria’ in the streets and observe the fire from a distance.


Drone flies over Notre Dame Cathedral, capturing the scene from above.