Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral fire in pictures: 'Everything is burning'

The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, immortalized by Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."


                            Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral fire in pictures: 'Everything is burning'

A catastrophic fire engulfed the upper reaches of Paris' soaring Notre Dame Cathedral as it was undergoing renovations Monday, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast from the streets below. France's Interior Ministry said firefighters might not be able to save the structure.

The blaze collapsed the cathedral's spire and spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers. A spokesman said the entire wooden frame of the cathedral would likely come down, and that the vault of the edifice could be threatened too.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, immortalized by Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages as well as one of the most beloved structures in the world (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

 

The cause of the blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is "potentially linked" to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead. (Getty Images)

 

Flames shot out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral, among the most visited landmarks in the world. Hundreds of people lined up bridges around the island that houses the cathedral, watching in shock as acrid smoke rose in plumes. (Getty Images)

 

Situated on the Ile de la Cite, an island in the Seine river, the cathedral's architecture is famous for, among other things, its many gargoyles and its iconic flying buttresses. (Getty Images)

 

As the cathedral continued to burn, Parisians gathered to pray and sing hymns outside the church of Saint Julien Les Pauvres across the river from Notre Dame, as the flames lit the sky behind them. (Getty Images)

 

The cause of the blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is "potentially linked" to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead (Getty Images)

 

The cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions. (Getty Images)

 

Among the most celebrated artworks inside are its three stained-glass rose windows, placed high up on the west, north and south faces of the cathedral. (Getty Images)

 

The blaze collapsed the cathedral's spire, which climbed to a height of 295 feet (AP Photo)