SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. After burning for more than 13 hours, centuries of history now sit in ash, altering the city’s skyline and changing an iconic symbol.
“One of the things that’s really interesting about Notre Dame is that it had become, over its very long history, an emblem of national identity,” said Samantha Herrick, Associate Professor of History at Syracuse University.
An emblem the French connect with, and a site tourists from all over quickly become infatuated by.
Now as the city looks to rebuild, the decisions it makes will alter the city’s skyline and the experience people will have. “They’re gonna have to decide which period of its history they want to replicate or whether they want to do something completely new,” said Herrick.
While it’s difficult to watch centuries of art and history crumble to the ground, Herrick says it is part of history.
“Medieval cathedrals were constantly changing and evolving,” said Herrick. “As tragic as this is, it’s also something that would happen to these very old buildings, they would change, sometimes in response to tragedy.”
French President Emmanuel Macron wants the cathedral to be rebuilt within five years, but some architects think it will take around 20 years.