Notre Dame has stood for over 800 years.
856, to be exact.
To put that into perspective: That's hundreds of years of conflicts, invasions, leaders, plagues, crusades, etc.
It was damaged, defaced, and looted during the French Revolution.
In the mid-1800s it underwent 20 years of renovations and was back to form.
It survived World War I.
It survived World War II.
Through wars, invasions, and even Hitler, it remained.
For over 850 years it was a symbol of Paris, of French history, even of world history.
And then the fire happened.
In a few hours, part of it burned down.
But we have to remember this isn't the first time something like this has happened in history.
The Monte Cassino monastery was completely destroyed during World War II — this is what it looked like before the war:
And this is what it looked like after the war:
It was rebuilt.
The Dresden Frauenkirche in Germany was destroyed during World War II.
It was rebuilt with new and old stones from the original.
Even the White House burned down in 1812.
Basically, what happened was an almost unthinkable tragedy.
But history is definitely on our side.
This wasn't the first time and will certainly not be the last time something like this happens.
Pictures taken early Tuesday morning show the main structure is still intact.
As President Obama said: "It's in our nature to mourn when we see history lost — but it's also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can."
One of the photos in an earlier version of this post wasn't of Notre Dame, but that's fixed now.