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Old 04-15-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
wodin
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Notre Dame de Paris

I have not visited Paris or her iconic cathedral, but I have been to the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Seville Spain. The beauty and wonders of art I saw there, I'm told are dwarfed by those at Notre Dame. What a horrible loss to the French and the world.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
The horrific fire that is engulfing the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is shocking and saddens us all, for this particular cathedral is not only a majestic Church, it is also a world treasure. Noble in architecture and art, it has long been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God. Our hearts go out to the Archbishop and the people of Paris, and we pray for all the people of France, entrusting all to the prayers and intercession of the Mother of God, especially the firefighters battling the fire. We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:35 PM   #3
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I was actually planning to go to Paris next week. Looks like that's one monument I'm fated not to see.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:34 AM   #4
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I'm torn between two thoughts on the fire.

One is that a majestic architectural and archeological building has been significantly damaged, nearly destroyed. The cathedral was over eight centuries old and the fact that humans in the period could even build it it was amazing given their level of technology at the time. I suspect the intense heat has weakened the stone walls considerably, and I would not be surprised if they have to tear down at least some of the walls.

On the other hand it was a monument built to one up other cities who were building their own "our town's bleep is bigger than yours" monument. It wasn't as much about any god as about pride of one city upping the other cities. It took an estimated 13,000 trees to build the timber sections, and each of those trees was probably 300 to 400 years old. It demanded ridiculous resources in a time when peasants barely subsisted and had rather short life spans. Rather than a church taking care of her flock, they were spending money on monuments. That is sad. To rebuild the cathedral will require a huge tax burden on the people of France, likely far more than the renovators will estimate. Perhaps they should just salvage what they can, and demolish the rest, and maybe build a nice museum where the demolished parts once stood. I would not approve of using that much timber when old growth trees are in such decline, and rebuilding with metal just wouldn't be the same. and here is a news flash, building with stone the way the 12th and 13th century craftsmen did, well that is a lost art.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:57 AM   #5
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here is a news flash, building with stone the way the 12th and 13th century craftsmen did, well that is a lost art.
Not so.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:11 AM   #6
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Well I respectfully disagree. The methods and craftsmanship used by masons centuries ago has been supplanted by modern methods. After a long period of time, you lose that craftsmanship since it is no longer being practiced. We might know and understand how the stone masons did their work 850 years ago, but that is a far cry from being highly experienced in those long gone methods. In the end, experience is much more valuable than knowledge when it comes to construction. Need I remind you that attempts to shore up some of the cathedral walls with flying buttresses did not go well as later builders struggled to get that correct in many cases. And the fact that flying buttresses had to be used later is a statement about the instability of the original structures and how they were constructed. We can certainly build a cathedral today out of concrete and steel and an ornamental layer of rock on the outside, but that is not true to the way in which the cathedral was originally erected.

So if they rebuild, do they stay true to the original structure? Is that eco-friendly? Not by a long shot. Do they substitute modern materials and methods such as concrete and steel, and thus build a stable, strong structure and hopefully more fire resistant? If so do they try to include familiar structural features like the later added flying buttresses, or do they leave those off since hopefully they will have a stable structure without them. The cathedral will look different without the flying buttresses, but they were not original. These and other questions will likely take years to answer as I'm sure there will be a lot of differences in opinions.

Last edited by OtinG; 04-16-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:00 PM   #7
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And don't forget modern building codes. The only reason that most (all?) ancient buildings aren't condemned and demolished is that the historians would have a hissy fit.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:41 PM   #8
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:28 PM   #9
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Notre-Dame will reign magnificent again, say Windsor Castle restorers

Quote:
France would have an easier time than Britain finding the skilled craftsmen for the job, because it could draw on the Compagnons du Tour, made up of thousands of highly skilled craftsmen in traditional construction.
Quote:
“... there’s plenty of oak available, including sessile oak which is long, straight-stemmed oak trees that they will need for these sort of projects,” he said. “In northern Europe we plant more oak than we use.”
I doubt it can be done in 5 years though.

BR
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:32 PM   #10
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According to some news sites, there have been several Catholic Churches desecrated in France since the beginning of the year.

https://www.newsweek.com/spate-attac...statue-1370800

My husband said someone on a news show brought that up, and the interview said they weren't going to "go there." I don't know if he saw this himself, or saw a reference to it online.

You would think it would be news-worthy.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:55 AM   #11
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I was just saying the other night that while the fire no doubt caused substantial damage to the Cathedral that I doubted that it was the only damage to the structure. I mean exposure to the elements and just the passing of time itself has no doubt caused a good deal of damage to it. Some of the original structure wouldn't need to be built if it were originally being built today and I wonder if they will be able to reconstruct that. I mean they had gargoyles for directing rain water and no doubt built in channels for directing boiling oil and other such defensive measures that aren't needed today. France 900 yrs ago wasn't just building churches to add to the prestige of a given city, but often times it was at war with itself or England and so such weren't just for making a city's reputation look better but they were also used to defend the citizens. If someone laid siege to your city you took shelter in the strongest built structure in the area.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:36 AM   #12
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I think this thread should be moved to the Politics and Religion forum, as this path of conversation seems rather inevitable.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:48 AM   #13
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I think this thread should be moved to the Politics and Religion forum, as this path of conversation seems rather inevitable.
This is a World Heritage Site. Surely not.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:04 PM   #14
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Well I respectfully disagree. The methods and craftsmanship used by masons centuries ago has been supplanted by modern methods. After a long period of time, you lose that craftsmanship since it is no longer being practiced. We might know and understand how the stone masons did their work 850 years ago, but that is a far cry from being highly experienced in those long gone methods
This is just plain wrong, Otin. All the great mediaeval cathedrals of Europe have permanent teams of stonemasons who maintain and repair the structure of the building. Their craftsmanship has been handed down in an unbroken line from one generation to another over the centuries. This skill was well illustrated by the repairs made to York Minster (one of the finest cathedrals in England) when a devastating fire destroyed a large part of the roof when it was struck by lightning in 1984. The skills required to repair and rebuild mediaeval buildings are alive and well.

Some pictures from the York Fire:

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Visit York Minster today and you wouldn't know there'd been a fire.

Last edited by HarryT; 04-17-2019 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
This is just plain wrong, Otin. All the great mediaeval cathedrals of Europe have permanent teams of stonemasons who maintain and repair the structure of the building. Their craftsmanship has been handed down in an unbroken line from one generation to another over the centuries. This skill was well illustrated by the repairs made to York Minster (one of the finest cathedrals in England) when a devastating fire destroyed a large part of the roof when it was struck by lightning in 1984. The skills required to repair and rebuild mediaeval buildings are alive and well.

Some pictures from the York Fire:

Attachment 170750

Attachment 170749

Visit York Minster today and you wouldn't know there'd been a fire.
I hadn't known that. Very interesting. As I recall Westmister palace (I think) had been subjected to a fire as well and probably required some restoration as a result as well. I can't recall what started the fire but I remember hearing about it on the news at the time.
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