Paris, France, Apr 15, 2019 / 12:34 pm
Firefighters in Paris are battling a fire in the roof of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, which threatens to destroy one of Europe's oldest and most recognizable Catholic cathedrals. The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Construction on the Gothic-style cathedral began over 850 years ago and took nearly 200 years to fully complete.
Notre-Dame was built on the ruins of two earlier churches which were themselves built over a temple dedicated to the Roman God Jupiter. Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone for the cathedral in 1163, and the high altar was consecrated 26 years later.
The 223 foot-high towers were built between 1210 and 1250, and the church was officially completed in 1345.
The central spire- the epicenter of the April 15 fire- was added during a 19th century renovation.