#WATWB: The Light of Hope and Restoration

Construction on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris began in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. Over the next 859 years, Notre Dame was desecrated during the French Revolution, progressively stripped of original decoration, works of art and religious imagery, and considered for demolition after the Napoleonic Wars.

On the evening of April 15, 2019, while undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caught fire. Burning for approximately 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the flèche (the timber spire over the crossing) and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling.

The people of France were devastated by the destruction of this iconic symbol of faith. However, immediately after the fire, President Emmanuel Macron promised that Notre-Dame would be restored, and called for the work to be completed within five years.

There’s much more to this story and you’re probably wondering how this tragic event could be good news for #WATWB. Well, I found hope for Notre Dame’s in an episode on ABC News. David Muir was granted an inside look at what remained inside the cathedral, which you can watch here.

Tour of Notre Dame

I was amazed at how much of the cathedral survived, from the pipe organ to the 42′ rose window to the golden cross that stood as a symbol of survival through the morning ash and smoke. Timing saved the 12 apostles and I have no idea how the sheet music from Easter remains unscathed.

They are all symbols of hope.

While there is already discussion and disagreement over Notre Dame’s future and the method of restoration, the Cathedral’s light of faith continues to shine forward. Having already survived wars and desecration over eight decades, there is no question that Notre Dame will one day be restored and reopened to the public and people of France.

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-whiteThe “We are the World” Blogfest is in its third year of a heartfelt journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Damyanti Biswas, Simon Falk, Shilpa Garg, Mary J. Giese , and Dan Antion welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Please SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST in the linky list that opens up in a new window:

Click HERE to be part of the Light.

23 responses to #WATWB: The Light of Hope and Restoration

  1. M-R says:

    I followed the terrible fire on-line, remembering how much time Chic and I had spent at and in the close vicinity of Notre Dame during our several Parisian stays.
    We have all now to start hoping that whomever is the decision-maker on the architectural competition submissions is not a mad modernist. I agree that it’s not realistic to do a complete re-make (and that’s not real restoration, anyway): but I’ve seen one or two sketches that make my toes curl …

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I agree with you M-R. They need to somehow blend a modern re-build with the feel of the Notre Dame that was standing before the fire. I don’t think Parisians would accept anything less.
      I’m glad that you and Chic had the experience of Notre Dame. I think it would have given me chills or goosebumps or at least a feeling of awe.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    It is remarkable how much survived that horrible fire. So many firefighters risked their lives to save as much as possible, I hope clearer heads will prevail and restoration plans can proceed without petty bickering.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I know, Dan. When they showed the cathedral in full blaze, I didn’t think there would be anything left. I’m still marveling at how the sheet music and gold cross survived. Divine intervention? I hope they will be able to incorporate what’s left into a beautifully restored cathedral.

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    I too have been lucky enough to have visited Notre-Dame on several occasions – the last one being just 12 days after the fire. I was happy to see the scaffolding and it appeared the roof had been covered to protect whatever had survived from the elements. It’s incredible that sheet music would have survived such a terrible inferno.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It must have been humbling to see the aftermath of the fire, especially since you had been there many times before. I imagine that they are taking great care of what remains so that it can be part of the cathedral again when it’s restored and I hope to are able to visit again after the restoration…which will be interesting.

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        The part I truly don’t get are the people taking selfies with the cathedral in the background. Why?
        I understand wanting to take selfies, but why at the site of a disaster? That’s just wrong.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Because people are more interested in themselves and social media than in paying respect.

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        Gilles noticed something on this trip I hadn’t and he kept pointing it out to me … girls/women (some young, some definitely not) who were constantly ‘checking’ themselves in the mirror on their phone. On transit, in museums, in restaurants – it was really distracting. At first I was convinced they were taking photos, but it quickly became apparent they weren’t. They were always looking at themselves.

        The narcissism seems to be epidemic.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Wow, that’s certainly not something I would do. I look at my phone too much for other reasons and definitely do not want to look at my own mug. Unless I have something green stuck between my teeth. 😁

  4. JoAnna says:

    It fills me with so much hope to know how much of the cathedral remains and the work to restore it.

  5. hilarymb says:

    Hi Mary – that fire was dreadful to see … thankfully it perhaps wasn’t quite as bad as it could have been … a great deal was in store, while the repairs were being carried out – before the fire. There’s an idea about having a “green proposal” for the repairs … a 21st century update for the ancient cathedral … which appeals to me. I’m sure they’ll rebuild it – we’ve had some appalling fires of buildings here … York Cathedral, WIndsor Castle and they’ve been repairing Canterbury Cathedral as the stone work was failing, after Victorian attempts to repair. It’s getting the decision made – still quite early. Great post for #WAWTB … cheers Hilary


    • bikerchick57 says:

      Hi Hillary! I’ve seen the green proposal and it’s very interesting. I would prefer that it not look antiseptic or too modern for its surroundings. There’s a small community in my area that put up a steel and window skyrise smack dab in the middle of the downtown, when most of the other buildings are old/original brick buildings and the city tried to add to this with cobblestone walks and lamp posts. The skyrise looks ridiculous and I wonder why the city planners allowed that. Anyhow, I hope we keep the fires away from our historic buildings so that rebuilding or restoration is not a concern. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Susan Scott says:

    Sadly the link didn’t work Mary ‘an error occurred’ … but it was wonderful to read and see about the restoration that took place almost immediately after the devastating fire. Thank heavens The Rose Window was one of the many artefacts saved. Edward Rutherford wrote a book, ‘Paris’ which I read last year and it describes in great historical detail in novel form the building of Notre-Dame. Thank you for this post and for co-hosting!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Hmmm…the link sems to be working for me. Not sure why you received an eror message.
      The rose window is gorgeous! Writing this post alone has been educational for me. There were many things I did not know about the cathedral – it’s history and the beautiful things inside.

  7. Shelley says:

    I was amazed to hear what did remain after the fire. I’m so glad to hear of the restoration efforts and timeline to complete. My youngest saw it in person on a foreign exchange student adventure. She was pleased to hear what remained as well.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It’s so good that there is restoration in the future rather than being left with a pile of rubble and total disaster.

      • Shelley says:

        I agree. It is nice to witness a community taking pride in restoring what means a lot to their history and their future.

  8. John Maberry says:

    Living in America as I do, there’s nothing here made by humans that is of such age. As my wife and I slowly move into our traveling years abroad, it will amaze us seeing such magnificence that still endures centuries after construction. It is encouraging (although not too surprising) that so many people, businesses and more are stepping up to restore Notre Dame.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Enjoy those traveling years and the centuries old, historic places you’ll see in other countries. It’s sad when we see 100+ years old buildings in the US destroyed by fire or natural disaster, but they are baby structures in comparison to places like the cathedral.

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