A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, though firefighters saved the main bell towers and outer walls from collapse before bringing the blaze under control.
Thousands of Parisians and tourists watched in horror from nearby streets cordoned off by the police as flames engulfed the building and officials tried to save as much as they could of the cathedral's countless treasures, built up over centuries. "@emmanuelMacron, we stand at the sides of the French people", wrote the Greek prime minister.
"We actually just had some visitors from the United Kingdom, from York Minster cathedral, who came to see how we were implementing our quake repairs and our fire and life safety repairs", he said. Image © Matthew WarnerNotre Dame Cathedral - West Facade portal.
One firefighter has been seriously injured while working to contain the blaze. Firefighters continued working through the night to cool the building and secure the monument, as residual sparks sprinkled down from the gaping hole where the spire used to be.
The blaze started about 2.30am, Melbourne time.
Nearby buildings were evacuated as fears mounted that the structure could collapse.
Thick clouds of smoke filled the skies above the capital as the cathedral burned.
Yvette, a French-American student, told Al Jazeera she rushed to the scene to see the cathedral one last time "while it was still here".
French firefighters say they have managed to stop the fire from spreading to the northern tower, saving the church from "total destruction".
Trump Predicts The Two Dems He Believes Will Be 'Finalists'
According to BuzzFeed News , the analysis showed there's no rush to whittle down the large Democratic field of 2020 candidates. Fox News could never be mistaken for a liberal news channel.
Flames in the roof were visible through at least two holes in the vaulted stone ceiling, but apart from that there was little obvious damage to the interior.
Local church leaders opened the cathedral for people to visit and pray after the devastating fire.
Late Monday, signs pointed to the fire nearing an end as lights could be seen through the windows moving around the front of the cathedral, apparently investigators inspecting the scene.
The fire destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark, whose spectacular Gothic spire collapsed before the eyes of horrified onlookers on a previously pristine early spring evening.
As the famed Cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire in Paris Monday, people in France are grieving. But he said the cathedral will be rebuilt and that an worldwide fundraising campaign will be launched.
"The history is so strong in Paris", he said. The place where we survived epidemics, wars, liberation.
The name Notre-Dame de Paris, which translates to "Our Lady of Paris", began its construction in 1163 and took almost 200 years to complete. Its architecture is renowned for, among other things, its many gargoyles and iconic flying buttresses. 12 million people reportedly visit the monument every year, making it one of the biggest tourist attractions in Paris. Its priceless treasures also include a Catholic relic, the crown of thorns, which is only occasionally displayed, including on Fridays during Lent.
"It's not one relic, not one piece of glass - it's the totality", said Barbara Drake Boehm, senior curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval Cloisters branch in NY, her voice shaking as she tried to put into words what the cathedral meant.