‘It’s absolutely tragic’: Archer reacts to Notre Dame Cathedral fire


Photo credit: Remi Mathis, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

The Notre Dame Cathedral caught on fire April 15 at 5:30 p.m. “I think that it’s really sad,” sophomore Nicole Farmer said. “It’s a part of Paris being taken away.”

A crowd gathers around the burning remnants of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Some are praying, while others sing hymns such as Ave Maria. However, it’s not just Paris that watches the church burn — the world watches too.

The fire began at 5:30 p.m. on April 15 and destroyed two-thirds of the cathedral roof, though the towers remained safe. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on Monday night, affirming that the cathedral will be rebuilt and calling the fire a “terrible tragedy.”

“It’s really disappointing since we’re losing a lot of art and architectural history,” sophomore Bey Weston said. “It feels like the past world that we’ve had and that we’ve known is falling away.” 

The construction of Notre Dame Cathedral began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. The church is home to stories such as Victor Hugo’s novel “Notre-Dame of Paris” and the Disney movie based on Hugo’s novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

“Napoleon was crowned emperor there,” history teacher Nick Graham said. “If you go to Paris, it’s one of the first places many people go to. It’s a real shame, a real tragedy.”

The spire of the cathedral has fallen due to the fire, and firefighters are working to salvage any remaining art or infrastructure inside the church. Some art has already been saved, such as the crown of thorns, which is said to be the wreath that was placed on Jesus’ head before being crucified.

“Of all the churches that I’ve been at, the stained glass windows at the Notre Dame Cathedral are the most impressive ones I’ve ever seen,” Graham said. “It’s absolutely tragic.”

Thirteen million people visit the Notre Dame Cathedral every year, making it one of the most-visited landmarks in Paris. In addition to being a monument, the cathedral also offers church services such as Sunday mass.

“So much is digitalized now that something burning down like this is showing people that they need to appreciate the physical history,” sophomore Hannah Joe said. “I think it’s really sad because it’s a really amazing historical landmark that’s been around for centuries.”