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Tribute to Notre Dame. A place of contemplation and solace against all odds

(Benoit Tessier/Reuters) Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, April 15, 2019.
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The city and the people of Paris have endured many trials. For 850 years however Notre Dame has always been there. A place of prayer, contemplation and solace. A place to find peace and reconnect with each other.

Charles Meryon, Abside de Notre-Dame (c. 1850)

The following anecdote is only one of many. As the Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris states, back in June 1426 Paris endured a terrible flood. People were dancing and chanting around the bonfires of St. John’s Eve when the water rose so quickly and so high that the bonfires were extinguished. The flood lasted several days and the people of Paris held a procession towards Notre Dame to cast away the natural disaster. Most of the crops were lost and tragically another flood totally covered the Île de la Cité the following year, killing horses that couldn’t be saved in time and drowned.

Heures d’Étienne Chevalier, enluminées par Jean Fouquet
© 1984 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It is sad to see a monument that endured so many odds and helped countless generations of people to face tragedies and disasters go down in flames. My thoughts go to the first responders and the firemen that are saving the cathedral in this very moment.

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