Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. An Indescribable and Horrible Beauty


A few days ago Le Figaro published a picture from inside Notre Dame Cathedral at the moment the area above the altar caught fire and began to rain down hot lead from the 856-year-old roof. It is simultaneously horrifying and mesmerizingly beautiful.

If it were not for the knowledge of the destruction to come, this 1/30th of second would look like the very glory of God Himself over the cross. And maybe it was, as a test to the nation of France and the entire Western world.

It will take perhaps 20 years before Notre-Dame de Paris is restored. Pray that we all don’t lose interest before then.

Morning in Paris, the city awakes
To the bells of Notre Dame
The fisherman fishes, the bakerman bakes
To the bells of Notre Dame
To the big bells as loud as the thunder
To the little bells soft as a psalm
And some say the soul of the city is
The toll of the bells
The bells of Notre Dame…
— Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz

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There are 9 comments.

  1. Judge Mental Member

    A single frame from a security camera?

    • #1
    • November 3, 2019, at 6:49 PM PST
  2. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Post author

    Judge Mental: A single frame from a security camera?

    I wish I knew. The story is behind a paywall but someone tweeted out the picture which is how I became aware of it.


    • #2
    • November 3, 2019, at 6:51 PM PST
  3. Arahant Member

    Reminds me of St. Paul’s in London back in 1666.

    • #3
    • November 3, 2019, at 6:52 PM PST
  4. MarciN Member

    This was the last choir music performed before the fire:

    • #4
    • November 3, 2019, at 7:39 PM PST
  5. Mountie Member

    One wit said that it would take a hundred years to return to its original glory making Kieth Richards the only man alive today that would see it when it is finished. 

    • #5
    • November 3, 2019, at 9:02 PM PST
  6. James Gawron Thatcher


    Paris is not for burning. The French may yet find their true heart. Sometimes you’ve got to lose everything to appreciate it. Like Notre Dame. Like Freedom.



    • #6
    • November 4, 2019, at 8:12 AM PST
  7. The Reticulator Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Reminds me of St. Paul’s in London back in 1666.

    You were there? Well, I suppose Joliet was not really an option back then.

    • #7
    • November 4, 2019, at 2:38 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Mendel Member

    EJHill: It will take perhaps 20 years before Notre-Dame de Paris is restored.

    If the Frauenkirche in Dresden could go from this

    to this

    in only 21 years, I sure hope they can put a roof back onto Notre Dame in less than 20. But probably nobody (at least in the public world) knows the true extent of the damage at the moment.

    EJHill: Pray that we all don’t lose interest before then.

    Since it is (or was) the most-visited attraction in the most-visited city in the world, I think there’s reason to be hopeful. I was recently in Paris, and hadn’t realized how visible Notre Dame is from so many parts of the city – if it doesn’t get repaired, it will be a real sore thumb.

    • #8
    • November 4, 2019, at 4:06 PM PST
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    20 years? 20 years?

    We can build a tower scaping the sky on two!

    • #9
    • November 5, 2019, at 5:31 AM PST
    • 1 like