- Paris was struck in its very heart as flames devastated the roof of Notre-Dame, the medieval cathedral made famous by Victor Hugo.
Importance of Notre-Dam
- The iconic cathedral has been deeply enmeshed in Paris’s history since construction began at the end of the 12th century; historians generally ascribe the date 1163 and lasted more than two centuries to 1345.
- For French Catholics it has particular resonance, as the resting place of the crown of thorns believed to have been placed on Jesus’ head before his crucifixion.
- For centuries France’s kings and queens were married and buried there.
- Its massive tenor bell announced the liberation of the city from Nazi control on August 24, 1944, ending the dark years under German rule in World War II.
- Napoleon was crowned emperor in Notre-Dame in 1804, and the joyous thanksgiving ceremony after the Liberation of Paris in 1944 took place there, led by Charles de Gaulle.