PARIS — Notre-Dame cathedral, the symbol of the beauty […]

PARIS — Notre-Dame cathedral, the symbol of the beauty and history of Paris, was scarred by an extensive fire on Monday evening that caused its delicate spire to collapse, bruised the Parisian skies with smoke and further disheartened a city already back on its heels after weeks of violent protests.


The spectacle of flames leaping from the cathedral’s wooden roof — its spire glowing red then turning into a virtual cinder — stunned thousands of onlookers who gathered along the banks of the Seine and packed into the plaza of the nearby Hôtel de Ville, gasping and covering their mouths in horror and wiping away tears.

火焰在大教堂的木制屋顶上熊熊燃烧,尖顶闪耀着红光,然后几乎化为灰烬,成千上万的旁观者聚集在塞纳河两岸和巴黎市政厅附近的广场,眼前的一幕令他们目瞪口呆, 有人倒吸冷气,有人惊恐地捂住嘴,有人流下眼泪。

“It is like losing a member of one’s own family,” said Pierre Guillaume Bonnet, a 45-year-old marketing director. “For me there are so many memories tied up in it.”

“感觉就像失去了家庭成员,”45岁的营销总监皮埃尔·纪尧姆·博内(Pierre Guillaume Bonnet)说。“对我来说,这里有太多的回忆。”

Around 500 firefighters battled the blaze for nearly five hours. By 11 p.m. Paris time, the structure had been “saved and preserved as a whole,” the fire chief, Jean-Claude Gallet, said. The two magnificent towers soaring above the skyline had been spared, he said, but two-thirds of the roof was destroyed.

大约500名消防员与大火搏斗了近5个小时。巴黎时间晚11点,消防队长让-克劳德·加莱(Jean-Claude Gallet)表示,这座建筑“整体上得到了保护和保存”。他说,高耸于地平线的两座宏伟塔楼幸免于难,但三分之二的屋顶被毁。

“The worst has been avoided even though the battle is not completely won,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a brief and solemn speech at Notre-Dame on Monday night, vowing that the cathedral would be rebuilt.

“虽然战斗没有完全获胜,但是避免了最糟糕的情况,”法国总统埃马纽埃尔·马克龙(Emmanuel Macron)周一晚间在圣母院发表了简短而庄重的讲话,发誓将重建大教堂。

“This is the place where we have lived all of our great moments, the epicenter of our lives,” he said. “It is the cathedral of all the French.”


The cause of the fire was not immediately known, officials said. But it appeared to have begun in the interior network of wooden beams, many dating back to the Middle Ages and nicknamed “the forest,” said the cathedral’s rector, Msgr. Patrick Chauvet.

官员表示,起火原因尚不清楚。但教堂主教帕特里克·肖维(Patrick Chauvet)说,火势似乎是从圣母院内部的木梁结构开始的,很多木梁可以追溯到中世纪,绰号“森林”。

No one was killed, officials said, but a firefighter was seriously injured.


The fire broke out about 6:30 p.m., upending Mr. Macron’s plans to deliver an important policy speech about trying to heal the country from months of “Yellow Vest” demonstrations that had already defaced major landmarks in the capital and disfigured some of its wealthiest streets.


The tragedy seemed to underscore the challenges heaped before his administration, which has struggled to reconcile the formidable weight of France’s ideals and storied past with the necessity for change to meet the demands of the 21st century.


A jewel of medieval Gothic architecture built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre-Dame is a landmark not only for Paris, where it squats firmly yet gracefully at its very center, but for all the world. The cathedral is visited by about 30,000 people a day and around 13 million people a year.


For centuries France’s kings and queens were married and buried there. Napoleon was crowned emperor in Notre-Dame in 1804, and the joyous thanksgiving ceremony after the Liberation of Paris in 1944 took place there, led by Charles de Gaulle.

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