Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Fire at Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Paris
As it Was
Much has been written about Notre Dame and the fire. I know that it is almost anti-climatic for me to write something, but now that the embers have cooled in Paris and the extent of the damage is known, I have been reflecting upon the edifice and my own personal experience confronting history inside of the building. 

Notre Dame on Fire
April 2019
I was fortunate to have visited Notre Dame twice during the early 1990s, while living in Europe, I enjoyed visiting Paris and Notre Dame, in addition to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre among the many other attractions in Paris. Caricatures of my three children still hand in our house that were drawn during a visit to Montmartre. They were much younger then, of course.

It was back in the day when cameras still used film and we never really knew how the pictures we snapped looked until after processing and printing. I have them somewhere, but failed to find them before writing this blog entry.

The Coronation of Napoleon
I remember standing in the cathedral, amazed by the sheer size of the place. Seeing where Napoleon once stood and crowned himself emperor was breathtaking as was the painting, Coronation of Napoleon,  by David of the scene which is in the Louvre. I also was able to walk among the gargoyles atop one of the towers of the cathedral and look out over Paris. One day, I had hoped to return to Paris and retrace my steps and visit the cathedral again, however, that will not likely now happen. 

Watching the news, during the fire, I was there in spirit with the Parisians singing hymns and mourning the loss one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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