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Locals react to burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Crews in Paris are still monitoring hot-spots following a devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Hundreds of years of history was at the mercy of a fiery blaze that began on the building’s roof.

With such an iconic image of France going up in flames, locals in Acadiana shared their experiences and memories that defined their visits to the cathedral.

“Just the size and the history. It’s an 800-year-old church. It’s in the middle of the city. it’s very much in the heart of the city.”

Tom Long and his wife visited Notre Dame Cathedral twice. During his last visit in 2017, he and his wife attended mass inside the church.

“It was wonderful. The organ was fantastic. I mean you could feel the building shake when the organ was playing,” Long said.

Last month, David D’aquin and his fiancé visited the cathedral.

“One of my favorite things in the church is the beautiful stained glass windows. They call them the rose windows. I’ve never seen anything like it,” D’aquin said.

D’aquin says a simple picture of the church does not do it justice.

“Your eyes see different than your iPhone camera lens does. When I realized how big of a deal it was to be there, we were in line for about 45 minutes to get into the church. It’s a beautiful piece of history. I’m devastated that it’s gone.”

“You think of things like that, that are just timeless. I mean, it survived two world wars, we think it’s there, it’s always there and it will always be there until it isn’t. Now, it’s time for the church to rebuild,” Long added.

Both men say the history and the workmanship of the church is captivating. They believe it will be impossible to replicate the original structure when the rebuilding process begins.

“You think about when this church was built, it was all done by hand,” D’aquin said.

It is work that spans hundreds of years. Work that cannot be replaced.

“You can’t replace 800-year workmanship, 800-year timbers. I hope they were able to save some of the artifacts.”

Chris Welty

Chris Welty

Chris Welty is a multimedia journalist at KATC.
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