Notre Dame Cathedral fire new chapter in 850-year history, historian says

French historian Troy Feay told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto the fire that ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday is a new chapter in the long history of the “sacred site.”

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“For thousands of years, for millions of people this has been sacred space. Right in front of the Cathedral is a plaque in the ground the French call ‘Point Zero,’ where all measurements in Paris and across France are taken from in terms of distance. So this is really the heart of Paris,” he said on Tuesday.

The Notre Dame cathedral is one of the most visited tourist destinations in in the world with nearly 13 million tourists visiting the church in 2018.

Feay said these kind of structures are built to give people a sense that they are in the midst of the grandeur of the human spirit and the human drive for beauty.

“For even secular people, you have the sense that you are in the midst of the grandeur of the human spirit, the human drive for beauty, and that’s why this place is so significant. Now this fire becomes another chapter in the 850-year history of this sacred site and will add to the depths of awe and inspiration that it provides,” Feay said on “Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast.”

The French Interior Minister said the cathedral’s structure is still at risk and that state employees will need to wait 48 hours before being able to enter the church safely. The main structure along with the twin bell towers, rose stained-glass windows, crown of thorns, tunic of Saint Louis, Pietà, statues, and great organ have all been saved from the 12 plus hour blaze.


The origins of the fire remain unknown and prosecutors believe it was an accident. Over $650 Million has been pledged to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral, including donations from Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault, LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, and KKR Founder and Chief Executive Henry Kravis. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the company will join the pledge rebuild the cathedral.