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Notre-Dame is burning!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cheetah, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The structure is a maybe. The basic building material is stone. Stone doesn't burn, and is not really affected by fire. But there is some iron in the construction of cathedrals of that era, because they were just learning to build open airy places with spans like that, and they often used some iron to stabilize it. This can be damaged if the fire is too hot. Also the mortar between the stones can be weakened. Now there's a good chance that the stone walls will be sufficiently intact. But it's not a certainty.
     
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  2. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Considering the massive heat and damage, I wonder if they'll ever find out what actually caused it. Pretty obvious it must be tied to the renovation, but I mean exactly what caused it.

    I find it hard to believe much from the inside has survived, unless it was physically removed. A fire of that size will consume everything. Thankfully it sounds like they have managed to save the structure itself, and both towers. From what I read, one of the towers had begun burning too, but maybe that was incorrect and they managed to contain it. Presumably the firefighters that were inside were trying to contain the fire from spreading to those parts of the structure.

    We'll know much more tomorrow, but the loss is catastrophic nonetheless. Just glad they (hopefully) managed to save the vault and 'deeper' structures.

    Just glad they managed to get out a lot of the artwork.
     
  3. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    Just saw it at TV. It is like a pool of fire. Nothing that remained could survive that.

    I guess all the not removable altarpieces and such are gone. I think the choir organ was specially ancient and valuable.
     
  4. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    The rose windows are probably lost too, and they were from the 13th century. Very sad :sad: Stuff like that is irreplaceable.
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    This seems similar to what we've had in this region on occasion, called mill fires. Mill fires are old buildings with brick walls, and wood interiors, so sorta like this. Thing about them is that the wood inside is both massive, and very old and dry. So it burns excessively well. While the masonry walls contain the heat, but have enough windows to let in all the air the fire needs. It's an extremely difficult type of fire to fight. The fuel load is just too high, and access limited.
     
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  6. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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  7. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Well, from that article, perhaps a modern replica would be best using what can be salvaged from the fire.
     
  8. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    Stone doesn't burn, but heat can generate cracks which could eventually lead to the structure collapse. That's why the 450 firefighters who were there were heavily watering the stone, to cool down its temperature. The most fragile elements were obviously the towers, so another priority was to avoid the fire to spread to them.

    However, you're indeed right, with such violent fires, what could cause the most damage to the stones isn't necessarily fire, but it could be water as well. That's the reason why, contrary to what the US fire expert Donald Trump twitted, water bombing could not be an option.

    Once the roof wooden framework was set into fire, it turned into a giant pyre of several hundreds of tons of 13th century oak trees, generating really impressive flames. At this stage, there was nothing left to be saved than the stone structure of the building.


    Notre-Dame survived the wars of religions, it survived the French Revolution, the Commune of Paris and the world wars. In 800 years, it has known several smaller fires but never something as big as tonight. I don't know why but I needed to be there, and the only thing I've seen was such a huge and powerful building burning in a fire which, from the outside, really felt stronger than it. This was so impressive that I really feared for the structure. Over time we accept the idea that we are dust and dust we shall return, but I've always expected Notre-Dame to stand. Never a single second I thought my futile life could survive it, and this has led me to a huge despair.

    I'm glad now that most reports confirm the structure is saved and the towers as well. We shall rebuild it. I'm an atheist, but there is some kind of cosmic force invading me which tells me that nothing is more important than to rebuild it. After all, we are on the Civilization forum, what hopes can we have in humanity if it's not able to fight for its civilization heritage to survive the test of time?

    According to recent news I just heard, most of the inside is preserved. Apparently there is actually a structure of “double roof”, with the wooden framework sustained on the stone vault. There is a giant hole at the level of the 90-meter spine, which collapsed within it, but the stone vault is not fully destroyed. I hope so much this is true.

     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  9. Imaus

    Imaus King

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    This would be the time where we would see a modern roof come about. The wood replaced by a huge glass canopy, white-metal catwalks, a modern, enlarged spire that might be a tower of its own. Though everyone keeps vouching for a 1:1 replica. It's not like the Cathedral builders had an qualms of updating or modernizing it, or other cathedrals, before.
     
  10. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I heard the the organ has been saved!
     
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  11. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Unfortunately, the forum rules prevent me from explaining to you exactly where you can shove your idea... :gripe:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  12. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    no
     
  13. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Thank you for the updates news and the very detailed picture.
    I am an atheist too, but I still love old buildings like this with so much history and "soul". Have sadly not been to the Notre Dame, but it's pretty powerful to be present in some of the glorious places. Much the same when I visited the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus many years ago. Such a wonderful, open and peaceful place, with history going back thousands of years.

    Notre Dame will be rebuilt and it won't be quite the same due to all the treasures lost -- but maybe something good can come out of this as well. Money for restoration will surely not be an issue now, although it will take years or even decades to get it back to how it was.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  14. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    I think they were talking about the artwork on the roof, statues removed before the restoration work.

    Most of the wood structures inside were part of a (most likely reconstructed) choir. At least judging by the appearance it was not original. It was right in the middle of the church, will still be there unless the nave collapsed.

    The really important old artwork in the building itself are the sculptures in the main facade and some of the glass. The glass is probably gone...

    Stone cracks, and depending on what margins the builders put into the strength of the building, it can lead to collapse. These vaulted stone roofs might collapse even under the weight of the water poured to put out the fire. If it didn't collapse the church's contents will be recoverable apart from the stained glass.
    I think it'll survive (survived?), it's early gothic, buildings were still rather strong. Lighter later gothic architecture is rather frail.
     
  15. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Yes, that is the usual way old cathedrals are built. Some have just a wooden roof but Notre-dame definitely has (had?) a vaulted ceiling. Fires can consume the interior, or the roof, but the walls and the structure remains. Damaged, but standing. When vaults collapse it's usually because a tower collapsed upon them. In this case the spire, that would be some tons of burning wood. Hopefully it hasn't destroyed the whole vault of the nave. What side did it fall towards?

    The side chapels are probably fine. The central choir-thing is probably wrecked. Or may have been set on fire by the debris from the spire.
    I've seen my share of burnt and rebuilt cathedrals. They're tough to destroy in fires, these old buildings. You lose the contents but the structure remains. Don't worry, you'll see it rebuilt again.
     
  16. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I think I read that the glass is indeed destroyed.
     
  17. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    Only one channel here (CNN) is now covering the fire, an the anchors have been reduced to asking each other how they feel. :rolleyes:

    Hopefully, dawn will shed more light on what's going on.
     
  18. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Looking at those pictures at the end of the fire, the cathedral's windows are dark. My guess is that the interior did not burn. Perhaps the spire didn't even collapse any section of the vault?

    Edit: seen a photo of the interior, finally: two holes, where the spire stood and a smaller one, limited damage. Looking good for reconstruction. That's one well-built cathedral!

    People at the Musée de Cluny and some other institutions probably have good records on Notre-dame's stained glass windows. Whatever was broken can hopefully be put together from the pieces.

    It's too bad that the fire couldn't have destroyed Viollet le Duc's stupid additions without also destroying the medieval facade. One could hope that his horrible cement-like late-romantic statures in the roof might have broken to pieces, some good out of the disaster.
    If they're going to do a large restoration they could pull those pieces of the original statues sadly displayed in the museum just a few miles away and rebuilt them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  19. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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  20. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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