Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame Cathedral Paris or Notre Dame de Paris (Meaning ‘Our Lady of Paris’ in French) is a Gothic cathedral located in Paris, France. It is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages and is distinguished for its size, antiquity, and architectural interest.

Work to build the cathedral started in the 12th century and it took 300 years to finish the entire construction. As time passed, different periodic influences such as Renaissance was integrated in the design.

Over its vast history the Cathedral has suffered considerable damage from the French Revolution to the recent fire. In 1909 Joan of Arc was beatified in the Notre Dame Cathedral by Pope Pius X. The Cathedral of Notre Dame is probably best known for its relation to the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame,.


My Take

As I have travelled the world, I have tried to understand culture and sentiment associated with a particular tradition. When the fire devastated the cathedral in 2019, the French through the government and private entities pledged to restore the cathedral. There were many memes that floated around the internet about this ‘frivolous’ expense while Amazon was burning too. My view is that for millions, the cathedral is extremely sentimental. We may not understand the deep sentiment. We may not agree with the sentiment. But we must respect the sentiment. Restoration of an icon is essential to the preservation of our history and our humanity. It can be done mutually exclusive to the protection of the Amazon forests. We must work hard to protect our ecosystems but this can be done along with the protection of our history and culture.

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