One of the most famous churches in the world caught fire Monday. The church suffered major damage, including the loss of its iconic spire. 

The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the foundation which was laid by Pope Alexander III in 1163, although it took  300 years to complete. 

The name Notre Dame means “Our Lady”. 

It is the most visited monument in France. There are approximately 13 million people per year who visit the church. 

The breathtaking gothic architecture features stained glass windows and an organ that utilizes 7,800 pipes to create music that reverberates through one’s very soul. 

It literally sits at the center of Paris. There is a brass plaque stating the fact on the premises. The church is located at point zero and all locations in Paris are measured from this point. 

Notre Dame is the location of some notable moments in history. 

It is the site of the Coronation of a 10-year old King Henry VI as King of France just two years after his coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1429. 

Mary, Queen of Scots married Dauphin Francis there in 1558. 

Pope Pius VII conducted Napoleon I’s coronation there following the French Revolution. 

The Cathedral was the setting of Victor Hugo’s famous literary masterpiece, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The cathedral claims to be the home of the actual crown of thorns that Jesus wore. 

In 2015 Andrew Tallon, a professor of art at Vassar College used lasers to scan the entire cathedral. His scan allowed for construction of a near perfect digital replica that may come in handy once reconstruction begins. 

Donations are already coming in to restore the church to its former glory. 

It’s incredible how one structure has had such an impact on a nation. 

The building itself is more than just brick and mortar. It’s a symbol of something deeper for the people of France. 

It’s as if it is the substance of the entire history of the nation. 

In a way it has become all things to all people.

The millions of people who go through it’s doors all find something inspiring and life changing. 

When flames were leaping into the sky this past Monday it wasn’t just the cathedral that was going up in smoke, it was if a piece of everyone was going up with it. 

Image source [ Christopher Kramer] from San Francisco, CA, USA ”’Title:”’ Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris ”’Description:”’ Notre Dame Cathedral. From the backroads trip tak


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