For more than 850 years, the Notre-Dame Cathedral has stood sentinel in the centre of Paris, a signpost of the city’s culture and heritage.
It’s where kings and queens were married; where the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte took place; and where England’s Henry VI was crowned king of France.
Notre-Dame also hosted the funeral of Charles de Gaulle, a rare honour for the leader who steered France’s resistance during the war. Its massive tenor bell announced the liberation of the city from Nazi control on Aug 24, 1944, ending the dark years under German rule in World War II.
On Monday (April 15), Paris was struck in its very heart as flames devoured the roof of Notre-Dame, the medieval cathedral made famous by author and poet Victor Hugo, its two massive towers flanked with gargoyles instantly recognisable even by people who have never visited the city.
The global heritage site is visited by nearly 14 million tourists and Catholic faithfuls each year.
Take a look at the historic cathedral in all its splendour, as it was before the devastating fire that took place on April 15/16. – AFP Relaxnews
Some of StarLifestyle’s reporters have also shared their own personal pictures of Notre-Dame Cathedral, taken over the years. If you would like to share your pictures with us, do tag us on Instagram (@starlifestylemy).