“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”
-“The Bells of Notre Dame” ( Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1996)
Last week, on April 15, 2019, a beloved icon of almost everyone’s upbringings caught fire.
Notre-Dame de-Paris, the catholic cathedral standing in Île de la Cité, Paris, sustained enormous damage from renovation efforts gone awry, bringing down hundreds of years worth of culture and history into the flames.
While we in America may recognize the building through popular media like Disney’s hit film, the Notre-Dame isn’t just a church, it’s a member of the community that has touched so many different people’s lives in Paris.
When the flames struct the cathedral, several Parisians even started singing hymns, watching that member of their community wither away to the ashes.
The experience, to even those of us watching the events transpire online, was chilling.
Fortunately, due to the bravery of the firemen present on the scene were able to save many of the artifacts present within the church and minimize the damage as best as they could.
Now, with the Cathedral damaged, the process to rebuild has already begun. According to CBS News, $1 Billion has already flowed into donation funds to help cover the efforts.
In a slight turn of events, a combination of both newer media forms like video-games and classic reference guides like old Parisian literature will help this classic rise again from the ashes, namely Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed” Franchise and the novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.”
In the wake of all these events, there has been one positive outcome: the community surrounding the famous cathedral has grown.
The Notre-Dame isn’t just a cathedral; it’s a cultural phoenix that has gotten almost every individual from around the globe to stop, take notice and mourn as it the upper roof transformed from wood, brick and mortar to ash.
While some of the history was incarcerated along side it, like a phoenix, it gives the people of France, and the entire world a chance to rebuild that history with their own hands.