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If We Look At The Past, Then There's Hope For Notre Dame

If anything, history has taught us that Notre Dame can survive.

Notre Dame has stood for over 800 years.

Universal History Archive / Getty Images

856, to be exact.

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To put that into perspective: That's hundreds of years of conflicts, invasions, leaders, plagues, crusades, etc.

Universal History Archive / Getty Images

It was damaged, defaced, and looted during the French Revolution.

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In the mid-1800s it underwent 20 years of renovations and was back to form.

Science & Society Picture Librar / Getty Images

It survived World War I.

AP Photo

It survived World War II.

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Through wars, invasions, and even Hitler, it remained.

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For over 850 years it was a symbol of Paris, of French history, even of world history.

Alain Jocard / AFP / Getty Images

And then the fire happened.

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In a few hours, part of it burned down.

Philippe Lopez / AFP / Getty Images

But we have to remember this isn't the first time something like this has happened in history.

Thomas Samson / AFP / Getty Images

The Monte Cassino monastery was completely destroyed during World War II — this is what it looked like before the war:

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

And this is what it looked like after the war:

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It was rebuilt.

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The Dresden Frauenkirche in Germany was destroyed during World War II.

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It was rebuilt with new and old stones from the original.

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Even the White House burned down in 1812.

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Basically, what happened was an almost unthinkable tragedy.

Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP / Getty Images

But history is definitely on our side.

Kay-paris Fernandes / Getty Images

This wasn't the first time and will certainly not be the last time something like this happens.

As a French citizen, I am very saddened about the tragic fire in the Paris Notre Dame cathedral – but here is a thought that makes me feel better: we can rebuild it! 🇫🇷💪🏽We did it with the Reims cathedral in France, that faced fire and war (85% destroyed)

Pictures taken early Tuesday morning show the main structure is still intact.

AP Images

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.