PARIS, France — The last embers have turned from red to black and left behind a shell of the building's former beauty — but the Notre Dame Cathedral is no stranger to tragedy.
The Paris cathedral on Monday was ravaged by a catastrophic fire that destroyed most the roof. French officials are looking into the cause of the fire.
The cathedral has been rebuilt every single time it's faced tragedy.
This time will be no different: The building that houses treasures like the Crown of Thorns, the rose windows and the great organ will once again stand tall.
Here's a brief look at the Notre Dame Cathedral's history of tragedies
Construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral, located on a small island in the middle of the River Seine in Paris, began in 1163.
Construction wouldn't fully finish until 182 years later, in 1345, when the flying buttresses were added during the reign of King Louis VII. (Some argue construction actually finished in 1257.)
Hundreds of years later, neglect had left the cathedral in disrepair, but Napoleon spared it from being demolished after he was crowned emperor in 1804.
During World War II, rumors flew that German Nazi soldiers were planning to destroy the stained glass. To protect it, the glass was removed and reinstalled after the war.
In the 1990s, the cathedral underwent a major renovation that involved replacing much of the exterior and statues. A 1992 New York Times article attributed the restoration effort to pollution, saying the building's exterior was being "eaten away" by sulfur from car fumes, heating oil and factory smoke.
Notre Dame's architecture is considered by many to be one of history's finest examples of French Gothic style. French Gothic architecture emerged in 12th Century France and is characterized by height, flying buttresses and enormous stained glass windows.
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