Notre Dame is not a regular building. It has been a symbol of Parisian pride and culture for centuries. A cathedral built over 800 years ago, it's more than just a religious symbol and so, when it caught fire last evening, life in Paris came to a standstill.
People took to the streets, looking helplessly at the monument as parts of it burnt to the ground. A group of people were also seen singing Ave Maria, which is a prayer to the Virgin Mary, mourning this irreparable loss.
Some were also seen exchanging prayers.
The fire started on Monday, burning about two thirds of the building and bringing down the famous spire. In a tweet, French President Emmanuel Macron said a 'part of us' burns tonight.
Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight. https://t.co/27CrJgJkJb— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019