There were about 2000 people inside Notre Dame when the fire started, but everybody was evacuated very efficiently. No injuries, no deaths. You have to look hard for a bit of good news.
Also, an emergency team was able to save the various treasures inside, such as the Crown of Thorns. Not the big paintings, of course, and the stained glass windows are gone...
Reims cathedral was destroyed in WW1 and Rouen cathedral was destroyed in WW2. Both of them look just fine now. Notre Dame will also look fine some day, but not for at least 20 years. A national subscription for the reconstruction has already been started.
France has more important things to do than call out Fox News - remember the No Go zones within Paris? But the lack of support to religious heritage buildings is a flat-out lie.
At least it is a beautiful spring day here - I'm so sad about this, and an old friend is dying - will probably die this week. He is elderly, but was always in remarkable shape and kept swimming several times a week. Pretty much all news coverange here is of this sad story. We of course have one of the many Notre Dames in the world, but it dates back only to the early 19th century. There are older churches here, of course. Most people here think that Basilique Notre-Dame is our cathedral, but the actual cathedral is Marie, Reine du Monde - yep, another BVM.
The support from the main organisation of French Muslims reminds me of a funny story a Moroccan friend in Paris told us. He was originally from a small village near Fes, and some "plouc" friends from his village, as he called them with affection, were visiting Paris for the first time. And when they visited Notre-Dame, naturally they took their shoes off, as in mosques.
What I'm wondering is how the major industrialists in France (Pinault, Bouygues, Arnault, Bettencourt...) can pledge to give 800 million euros in less than 12 hours when there is still hunger and disease all over the world.
I know that Notre Dame is incredibly symbolic and it is super important to fix it as quickly as possibly, but if they were to match those figures for Notre Dame with an equal amount of aid to the needy, they would still have more than 90% of their money left over.
Thank god for flying buttresses. Without them, all of the back walls would have collapsed.
This Cathedral was one of the first buildings to use Flying buttresses. All up it took 200 years to build. The restoration had better be a tad faster.
Another great invention were the vaulted ceilings inside. These were invented with the precise purpose of protecting the building in case the roof burned. All of the older churches just had wooden roofs with no protection. Most of the ceiling of Notre Dame survived and therefore most of the interior survived. Those architects were geniuses.
Actually, Notre Dame "only" took 107 years to build (1163-1270) although I'm sure they continued to tweak all sorts of details over the years, as in the Viollet-le-Duc renovation. The French always remember this 107 year number, because there is an expression that is used to say when you are becoming impatient: "I'm not going to wait 107 years for it!"
We knew we could count on you, Kerouac! Yours are the first pictures I've seen of the aftermath, although moments earlier I saw this picture online. It depicts Notre Dame in 1726 and very much resembles your second shot in reply #18.
The picture of the blasted and blackened rose window really brings home how devastated the building is.
I got wry satisfaction from the municipal boards' choice of messages from the last real president of the US and from Sadiq "Voice of Reason" Khan.
Fascinating information about how the flying buttresses and vaulted ceilings protected Notre Dame from even more damage.
He was originally from a small village near Fes, and some "plouc" friends from his village, as he called them with affection, were visiting Paris for the first time. And when they visited Notre-Dame, naturally they took their shoes off, as in mosques.
My grandmother visited us when we lived in Savannah & we drove around its beautiful downtown squares. Then we mercilessly teased her after she piously crossed herself in front of a stately, obviously ecclesiastical building which was actually a synagogue.
.. if they were to match those figures for Notre Dame with an equal amount of aid to the needy, they would still have more than 90% of their money left over.
Of course Notre Dame should be rebuilt, but you make an excellent point about how entities with so much excess money could splash some of it around to those who have none. Even Harry & Meghan showed how the regular public's emotional response to people and events in the news can be turned to the greater good.