of Notre Dame. There are only two words, but in a world with swings. In a single moment, the Name stories and memories conjures up before the mind’s eye. The first Association is for the most probably “The hunchback of Notre-Dame”. Victor Hugo’s eerily romantic story of the ugly Quasimodo and the beautiful Esmeralda – a piece of world literature. Then the thought follows, perhaps, to the first Paris-vacation with boyfriend or girlfriend. At the time, the views went up at the majestic façade – so bright and so radiant. Even more beautiful: an Evening Stroll along the Seine, and then the glowing twin towers appear on the Île de la Cité. Notre-Dame, mon amour.

In stark contrast, the images from Monday evening. Flames from the roof of the Cathedral. Black clouds of smoke to rise in front of a deep blue sky. The fire is eating away at the roof like a moth to an old Gothic wall carpet, until you can recognize the perforated fabric structure. Only here, it is lightning fast. As the flames umzüngelte pointed tip over the tower like a felled tree, the whole extent of the fire disaster. In the Background of the video films that capture this Moment, you can hear the cries of the bystanders. Then it will glow night in Paris, and the Cathedral, as you would oven a well-stocked fireplace.


centuries-old Cathedral

Paris-expert, Ulrich Wickert explains why the fire in the Notre-Dame-meets-the French so much

Finn Rütten Notre-Dame in flames? Impossible!

The first reaction is disbelief. Notre-Dame in flames? This can’t be! A famous landmark, such identification point seems unassailable. He distinguishes himself by his resistance. As a young man to Paris and visited the Church, and in the age to return maybe once more, and she is still there, unchanged. Even more: it was before the birth is already there and you will be to the death, even that seemed certain. Therefore, the images of the burning attraction at first appear to be like something out of a disaster movie – are entirely fictional. This fire, together with terrorist attacks like the 11. September 2001 in New York, or in Paris in November 2015. The big difference is, of course, that these two events many people were killed, which makes it even more worse. But the basic trust is shattered in a similar way, because the seemingly impossible happens.

The shock for the French is correspondingly large and it is not limited to the Grande Nation. Millions of people feel affected, personally affected. “You saw the other night. Thousands stood around the Île de la Cité, and have either screamed, or cried,” says Ulrich Wickert, former ARD correspondent in Paris, has spent in the French capital, his time at school. “And then in the night, thousands of have started suddenly to sing Church songs. All the combines. When you do that?” Wickert is convinced that the fire can the French at least temporarily – after the grueling weeks with the vehement protests of the yellow-West movement. “Through this event, each division is suddenly gone, all are in mourning.”

Cathedral in flames: So, it looks after the disastrous fire in the Interior of Notre-Dame from Fullscreen

The view from the air shows the extent of the fire: the whole of The nave is in flames

©Stringer AFP As foolish acts but in this Moment of Brexit

The effect, is perhaps even France. In the past few years of right-wing populists often abused concept of “Christian Occident” has here, maybe get back some of its original meaning. Suddenly, it is the awareness of a cultural heritage of Europe, regardless of what you believe and whether you believe at all. The newspaper “The Guardian” from the Brexit split the United Kingdom, wrote on Tuesday: “How stupid it is but in a Moment like this appears to do so, we’re not all Europeans.”

The radical Brexit supporters like to talk of an alleged exceptionalism of the British, the vagina of all the countries of continental Europe. But even a cursory glance at the Westminster Abbey just in front of Big Ben can be a strong doubt: Every layman will immediately recognize the Similarity with Notre-Dame. All of the Gothic cathedrals of Europe are connected to each other and are thus representative for the common heritage.


fire in Notre-Dame

fire only after the second Alarm detected +++ as early as 600 million euros of donations for reconstruction

DPA “We know better how much we

” In France, you can lose “has been invented, the Gothic, and she was in the middle ages the export of France”, not explained by the Cologne Cathedral Builder Peter’s Feet. The Cologne Cathedral, for example, is inspired by the Cathedral of Amiens in Northern France, its architect, master Gerhard there received his education. 1914 was therefore, at the beginning of the First world war, as a special Civilization collapse, as the Germans on their advance to Paris the Cathedral of Reims.

Now Notre Dame looks like after a war. But it will not remain Even as the fire burned, has promised the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, that the Church was going to rebuilt. “Because that’s what the French expect.” And also the Europeans, could add. In the European Parliament in Strasbourg, EU Council President Donald Tusk said the day after the great fire: “I know that France could do this alone, but it’s about more than just material aid.” The fire had made it clear that in the EU more profoundly than through contracts. “Today, we understand better, what is the basis of the similarities. We know better, how much can we lose – and that we want to defend together.”

Europe deeper connected than just through contracts

As the EU sees it-the President of the Council, and many will agree with him. Others may also recognize the political calculus in it. But few will deny the target of reconstruction. Master Builder’s feet believe not, that will be a matter of decades. But this is always so when the construction of a Cathedral: It is a generational project. Whoever starts it, has the completion. He does it for his children and grandchildren, who want to drive safely all the time to Paris. Who says Paris says Notre-Dame. And Notre Dame needs to Shine again.

dho / Christoph Driessen, DPA /

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.


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