PJ and I are devastated by the fire at the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, but the news is not all bad.
This photograph was tweeted by https://twitter.com/areinaud/status/1117916691353067521?s=20 and is the first shot I’ve seen from inside the fire zone.
As you can see, most of the vaults on the western side are intact and the wall structure of the rest appears good. Not sure about damage done to the windows. The damage done by the fire was enough to collapse the vaults to the east, but firefighters appear to have controlled the fire enough to save the western vaulting. We should have known the strength of Gothic vaulting. During the time of July 15-18, 1918, the retreating Germans shelled the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Reims with 16,000 shells, inflicting massive damage. But the quadripartite vaulting withstood direct hits from German 105mm artillery shells without collapsing. As we all know, the cathedral was rebuilt, even though inestimable treasures were lost. If you are interested in more, read this story.
So while the losses are massive, the genius of the medieval builder has once again been proven.
For a little solace, may I proffer some Maria Callas?