I went to sleep last night with images of a burning 12th Century icon in my head.
This morning my first waking thoughts were of Notre Dame de Paris, an iconic building that had stood for hundreds of years as a majestic and indestructible feature of the Paris skyline, until 6.30p.m. yesterday.
Paris is only two hundred and fifty miles from here and I feel its pain.
To watch the destruction of such an iconic, beautiful piece of history on live TV was agonising to watch.
The construction of the majestic Notre Dame was undertaken by Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris. Its foundations were first laid in 1160, the cornerstone laid in the presence of King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III and the structure was largely completed by 1260, although it has been embellished over the years.
It has watched over Paris for hundreds of years, as the history of this major European city unfolded.
Inside this magnificent building, Henry VI of England was made King of France in 1431. Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor under its stone vaulted ceiling in 1804. Throughout the years, the wars and the revolutions… Notre Dame witnessed them all.
“Hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of shattered dreams.”
A place so steeped in history, it dominated the Paris skyline for almost 856 years. Seeing it raised to the ground was heartbreaking to witness, but President Emmanuel Macron has announced that ‘Our Lady of Paris’ will be rebuilt.
“It’s part of the fate, the destiny of France, and our common project over the coming years. And I am committed to it.”