I’d planned another Nigella Diaries update today, but in the early hours of Tuesday morning, I woke to a BBC news update on my phone. The fact that I woke in the middle of the night isn’t unusual – I’m a dreadful sleeper – nor is the BBC update as these days I get a lot of my news from them and when I wake in the middle of the night I tend to take notice of any updates that have come through. It was the subject of the news that was of concern – Notre Dame was on fire.
We’ve visited Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, to give it its full title, a couple of times – but then so do over 12 million people a year. The most recent was a fabulously blue day last May when Grant and I spent 3 weeks in France. Sitting down showing Sarah the photos the other evening reminded me of a few things:
- the grandeur of the structure
- the magnificence of the art (and artefacts) within
- the presence of Notre Dame on the pointy end of Île de la Cité and
- in contrast to every other church we’d visited – and we visited a lot of them while in France – how noisy it was inside. Yes, it was awe-inspiring, but in a different way to the cathedrals at Reims or Orleans or the basilica at Lyon. Despite their size and grandeur, those still had a sense of peace and quiet. Notre Dame felt too important for that – and too busy. Notre Dame also had a feeling of power and might which the others didn’t have.
It also reminded me that I’d never blogged the Paris part of that trip and, therefore never published these photos. So here they are…some of them, anyway…
As an aside, they say most of the art was saved and Notre Dame will be rebuilt – the fire of this week adding another chapter to the story of the structure.
The stained glass
From the water
From Shakespeare & Co