This blog is about my travels. At home in New Zealand, in other parts of Oceania, North, Central and South America and in Europe.
Off I headed for the day to one of the landmarks of Paris, the famous Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral. Built in 1163, this cathedral has withstood countless events in history (revolutions, the bombings in world wars) for the most part of 1,000 years. So many legends surround it. Saint Denis, the patron saint of Paris is said to have been decapitated by pagans at the top of Montmartre. He walked with his head to the site of Notre Dame where he finally collapsed. The spot (just in front of the Cathedral steps) is considered to be the heart of Paris. It took a long time to queue to get in! But I was glad I did, it was full of ancient artworks, and the soaring gothic beams and the beautiful rose glass windows were so atmospheric. To top it off it was Palm Sunday so there was incense floating through the air and the swirls of it were catching in the coloured beams of light coming through the windows. My only regret was that I couldn't go up to the towers (because it was palm Sunday). I decided to go up them another day.
The next day I did head back to Notre Dame, I had planned to go up to the top of the towers that day, but the queue was long, and instead I took some photos of the gargoyles on the outside of the building. It was a hot and sunny day, so I decided to head to the Sainte-Chapelle nearby, so that I could see the famous stained glass windows there when they looked their best. I went to see some more sights in the afternoon. I got back to my accommodation in the evening, and found out the shocking news that a fire had broken out in the tower at Notre Dame! It's pretty scary to think that a building you had been in just the day before (and walked around on the same day) was on fire, but even worse when it's such a beautiful and historic one!!! It was all very sad, and even a bit scary. If I had of gone in and gone up the towers, maybe the fire had started even then(?). It had been a hot day, so I could see how a small spark could have set it off.
The day after I had booked a ticket to see Versailles, but the day after that, the fire had been put out and I went to see what had happened to the Cathedral. There were crowds of people craning to see what had happened. The whole area on the Island was fenced off by the police. I saw some sleek black limousines get waved through the barricade, maybe they were the people offering to donate large amounts of money for the Cathedral's repair?! There were news crews everywhere broadcasting the news about the fire in the famous Cathedral. The good news was that the stone part of the building was okay, and that also a lot of the treasures that are usually kept inside had been put elsewhere so they were safe. So despite all the damage, beautiful Notre Dame cathedral will be able to be repaired to it's former glory! It sounds like it will take a while though, so I feel very lucky that I was able to see it when I did!
I am a traveller from New Zealand. My blog is to inform friends and family about my adventures. I hope you enjoy it!