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Our Lady of Paris, Notre Dame, will live on as the Soul of France (slideshows)

Written By | Apr 16, 2019
Fire, Christ, Notre Dame, Christianity,

Image by Jacquie Kubin for @CommDigiNews

Traveling means being able to view in awe the splendor of Notre Dame, sitting on the Île de la Cité with the Seine River on the left and right banks of the island. Did you know that is where politics in both France and America got the designation of being left or right?

There are things you remember.  Important personal milestones.  Incredible places – like the Pyramids of Egypt, or the Volcanoes of Nicaragua. Pompeii.

And Notre Dame.

Seeking the soul of a place

Traveling to other countries, I seek out the soul of the place and the people.  And one of those places I look are the oldest structures – the churches.  From modest buildings of wood to the grandest Basillica’s, they are each the soul of the place, the people and the history of the region.




The Petite chapelle de Tadoussac, Canada and a Venice Church – Images by @JacquieKubin Exclusive to CommDigiNews

Reports are that the structure of Notre Dame is intact, if not heavily damaged. That much of the treasures inside are intact, including the 18th-century organ that boasts 8,000 pipes, miraculously left unscathed. The altar with the remarkable “Pietà” a sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary holding her dead son Jesus Christ.  The Gold Cross shining through the smoke a symbol to all that this place, is a holy place.

The Crown of Thrones is safe. And much of the relics, sans those in the spire, have been saved. But we can pray that they may yet be found.

There should be a collective expression of gratitude for the French First Responders. Those who so bravely charged ahead to save this most venerated icon of religion and western history.
  • The main alter, which survived the fire features “Pietà” a sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary holding her dead son Jesus Christ - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • From the Fourteenth century, the North (pictured) and South Chancel screens depict the accounts in the four gospels of the New Testament. - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Detail on multi-level, ornate alter stand used to hold Bibles. - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Detail from an ornate multi-level alter Bible stand - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Our Lady of Paris - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Notre Dame - the Mausoleum of Claude-Henry Harcourt - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Interior Statue at Notre Dame - Notre Dame Rose Window - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • The cross hangs over the candles for the dead at Notre Dame - note the shadow. Notre Dame Rose Window - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission

While horrific it could have been much worse. Almost as the hand of God came down to protect what man would destroy – even if just accidentally.

Reports are that much of the exterior stonework has survived, but it will require restoration.  Which is how all this mess started.   Notre Dame in Paris is known for its remarkable Gothic architecture and flying buttresses that allowed for the central nave, with its soaring ceiling to stand.

The nave at Notre Dame Paris. Image by Dennis Jarvis for Flickr – Follow at https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/

The iconic Rose Windows, celebrated in book, movies, and song, somehow survived.  The stained glass that did not will be repaired when possible.  Recreated when not.

  • One of the many magnificent stained glass windows that turn the Basillica into a rainbow of color and awe. - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Chapel of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Chapel of the Holy Sacrament - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Notre Dame Stained Glass Windows - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Notre Dame side chapel in prayer - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Notre Dame Rose Window - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission

The biggest destruction is too the roof and the upper floors.  And the spire.  But, in a fortuitous moment, the 16 copper statues of the Twelve Apostles and four New Testament evangelists escaped.  Cranes had removed them a few days before the fire, and they are safely in storage awaiting restoration.

Best ice cream in Paris? Try Berthillon on Ile Saint-Louis

And according to reports out of Paris, the Gargoyles, Grotesques and Gothic grandeur of the exterior will need cleaning. But like all things, like Paris,  should survive.

  • Ornately carved Gothic Nested Arch depicts Mary, Christ, and the heavenly angel above the portal (door) of the Virgin Mary - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Notre Dame Grotesques. Some are decoration while others are useful drain pipes to take water off the building and flat surfaces. - - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Grotesque that serves as a water drain - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Carvings from the exterior wall of Kings and Queens - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • One of Notre Dame's many Gargoyles - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • The Virgin Mary and Christ Child with angels outside the Rose Window above the front entrance of Notre Dame - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • France, Notre Dame, Evil, Karen Hagestadt Cacy,
    Statue outside the chapel at Notre Dame _ - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • Exterior Details of the Gothic Architecture of Notre Dame - Notre Dame Rose Window - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • The exterior of large Stained glass window at the back of Notre Dame - Notre Dame Rose Window - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission
  • The rear exterior of Notre Dame - Notre Dame Rose Window - image by @JacquieKubin (2012) for CommDigiNews - all rights reserved Use only with permission

Notre Dame will continue, but the Lady of Paris will be different.  Not worse, not better, just different.  My only hope is that the people of France, who have become more secular, will return to the church. Support the church. (Read: Cathedrals, Like People, Die Of Broken Hearts)

For her grand-cathedrals, like Notre Dame, and humble churches, make Europe unique and important.  They are windows into the soul of Western history and the importance of faith to the people and their evolution.  May these younger generations take more care.




Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.