The Significance of Notre Dame

Monday, April 15th, 2019, marked the day the world saw the Notre Dame Cathedral catch fire. Its recent devastation has shaken the people of Paris, France, as well as many across the world.

The fire occurred during Easter week, the holiest week in the year to many Christians and Catholics. Temple Senior Andrea Procaccio says she couldn’t believe it at first.

“I never thought that would happen. When I first heard the news, I was like ‘so Notre Dame as in Notre Dame University right, like the University is on fire somehow-but everyone’s safe?”

Temple History Professor Barbara-Day Hickman says Notre Dame is more than just a monument, it has a deeper meaning to millions around the world.

“It is not just a building. It is a feeling, a sense of connection, an identity as a nation and as a people.

While much of the church remained intact, however, some historic parts were destroyed, much of which Temple architecture Professor Vojislav Ristic says took builders hundreds of years to complete.

“The sides, the main nave, all the flying buttresses-that was the challenge, you know, for Gothic architecture. They wanted to go very tall and going tall is a challenge and not only that, all they had for materials was masonry.”

Police officials have said an electrical short circuit could have been the cause of the fire. Nonetheless, just two days after the beginning of the destruction, millions of dollars in donations from many across the world were sent in for the reconstruction of Notre Dame.

Andrea Procaccio says although the recent events have been devastating, the faith of many has not been lost.

“We all still have the faith. It’s devastation but our faith hasn’t been lost or shaken.”

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