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Burnt heart of Paris: fierce blaze tears through 850-year-old iconic Notre Dame Cathedral

April 16, 11:23 UTC+3

The top part of the spire and the clock of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral have collapsed because of the fire

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The Notre Dame Cathedral as seen at sunrise while firefighters put out remaining pockets of the blaze, Paris
The Notre Dame Cathedral as seen at sunrise while firefighters put out remaining pockets of the blaze, Paris
The Notre Dame Cathedral as seen at sunrise while firefighters put out remaining pockets of the blaze, Paris
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
A catastrophic fire engulfed Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as horrorstruck tourists and Parisians looked on from the streets below
A catastrophic fire engulfed Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as horrorstruck tourists and Parisians looked on from the streets below
A catastrophic fire engulfed Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as horrorstruck tourists and Parisians looked on from the streets below
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
A firefighter standing in an aerial lift near the burnt roof after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
A firefighter standing in an aerial lift near the burnt roof after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
A firefighter standing in an aerial lift near the burnt roof after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
The fire is believed to have broken out because of the renovation works underway at the cathedral
The fire is believed to have broken out because of the renovation works underway at the cathedral
The fire is believed to have broken out because of the renovation works underway at the cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
Fire fighters standing in an aerial lift after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
Fire fighters standing in an aerial lift after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
Fire fighters standing in an aerial lift after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
A view of the scaffolding after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
A view of the scaffolding after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
A view of the scaffolding after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
Firefighters operating on the Notre Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris
Firefighters operating on the Notre Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris
Firefighters operating on the Notre Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
The top part of the spire and the clock of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral have collapsed as a result of the fire
The top part of the spire and the clock of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral have collapsed as a result of the fire
The top part of the spire and the clock of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral have collapsed as a result of the fire
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
French firemen entering the Notre-Dame Cathedral
French firemen entering the Notre-Dame Cathedral
French firemen entering the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
General view of the interior of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
General view of the interior of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
General view of the interior of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
Notre Dame cathedral is seen after the fire in Paris
Notre Dame cathedral is seen after the fire in Paris
Notre Dame cathedral is seen after the fire in Paris
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
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The Notre Dame Cathedral as seen at sunrise while firefighters put out remaining pockets of the blaze, Paris
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
A catastrophic fire engulfed Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as horrorstruck tourists and Parisians looked on from the streets below
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
A firefighter standing in an aerial lift near the burnt roof after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
The fire is believed to have broken out because of the renovation works underway at the cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
Fire fighters standing in an aerial lift after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
A view of the scaffolding after a massive fire destroyed the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
Firefighters operating on the Notre Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
The top part of the spire and the clock of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral have collapsed as a result of the fire
© EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
French firemen entering the Notre-Dame Cathedral
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
General view of the interior of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
General view of the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire
© EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT
Notre Dame cathedral is seen after the fire in Paris
© AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu

A fire broke out at Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15 at around 7 pm local time. The blaze is believed to have erupted because of the renovation works underway at the historic site. The top part of the spire and the clock of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral have collapsed because of the fire.

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is one of the most recognized symbols of France and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its foundation stone was laid in 1163 and the construction was completed in the 13th century. One of the world’s most priceless relics, Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns, which was brought to the cathedral in August 1239, was miraculously saved. 

Heartbreaking photos showing the fiery destruction of the 850-year-old historic cathedral can be viewed in this gallery.

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