Paris citizens joined together to sing the "Ave Maria" outside the Notre Dame Cathedral as the historic landmark burned Monday, into early Tuesday morning.
Twitter users posted several videos of crowds gathering outside the building, which has stood for more than 800 years. In one video, a group is heard singing "Ave Maria" in unison. In other videos, people are heard changing prayers.
The view from St Michele. As night falls, a group of people are singing while everyone else is taking photos and watch in shock. All feels eerie. #NotreDame #notredamedeparis pic.twitter.com/f5HAwGkmWN— Andrei Popoviciu (@AndreiPopoviciu) April 15, 2019
The fire started Monday in Paris, burning about two-thirds of the cathedral's roof and forcing the famous spire to tumble over. Thankfully, the famous bell towers were saved, as were the many relics and artworks inside.
A Paris police spokesman told CNN the fire is now under control and Interior Minister secretary Laurent Nunez confirmed the two towers were saved. However, the damage was done to the "cathedral of all French people," as French President Emmanuel Macron put it.
Ave Maria pic.twitter.com/lb6Y5XV05a— Ignacio Gil (@Inaki_Gil) April 15, 2019
Macron said he will start an international fundraising to rebuild the cathedral, made famous by Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
"Notre Dame is our history, it's our literature, it's our imagery. It's the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations," Macron said, reports CNN. "This history is ours. And it burns. It burns and I know the sadness so many of our fellow French feel."
According to the Associated Press, the Paris prosecutors' office ruled out arson and possible terror-related motives as the cause for the fire. Instead, they believe an accident started the blaze.
The fire caused international sadness, as the Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most visited places in the world. During an event in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump called it a "terrible, terrible fire."
"I will tell you, the fire that they are having at the Notre Dame cathedral is something like few people have witnessed," the president said. "It is one of the great treasures of the world. The greatest artists in the world. Probably, if you think about it, I would say it might be greater than almost any museum in the world and it’s burning very badly. Looks like it’s burning to the ground."
Construction on the church began in 1163 and was completed in 1345.
Photo Credit: Twitter / @AndreiPopoviciu