The Notre Dame Cathedral, a major church that has long been an enduring iconic symbol of Paris, France, has experienced a severe fire that has caused heavy damage.
Fire broke out Monday evening in Paris at the historic church, with the spire of the large sanctuary eventually falling over amid the blaze.
Many were quick to post video and photos of the fast-moving fire as it consumed the cathedral, despite large numbers of fire fighters being on the scene.
French President Emmanuel Macron canceled a planned speech for that evening and took to Twitter to express his sadness over the Notre Dame fire.
“Notre Dame of Paris in flames. Emotion for a whole nation. Thoughts for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn,” stated Macron, as reported by CNN.
A cathedral spokesperson told French media that the damage was “colossal” and that “nothing will remain from the frame” of the structure.
Completed in the 13th century and French for "Our Lady," Notre Dame has endured its share of tumultuous history, from the French Revolution to German occupation during the Second World War.
“In its history, Notre Dame has endured destruction and subsequent restoration in many periods,” explained notredamecathedralparis.com. “In the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed a lot of the cathedral’s contents.”
“The cathedral was converted into a storage warehouse for food, during the French Revolution, and the heads of many of Notre Dame’s statues were removed.”
Over 10 million people visit the notable Cathedral every year, which is located on the Ile de la Cite, a small island inside of Paris.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Vice President Mike Pence said that it was “heartbreaking to see a house of God in flames.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters on the scene and all the people of Paris,” tweeted Pence.
First lady Melania Trump also tweeted about the fire, stating “My heart breaks for the people of Paris after seeing the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Praying for everyone’s safety.”
David French, prominent conservative columnist with the National Review, spoke about how he and his wife were married within sight of the very spire that collapsed on Monday.
“It’s impossible to estimate the number of people who have experienced significant, transcendent moments at Notre Dame. I’ll never forget praying there the morning of my wedding,” tweeted French.
Former secretary of state and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton took to social media to offer her condolences.
“My heart goes out to Paris. Notre Dame is a symbol of our ability as human beings to unite for a higher purpose—to build breathtaking spaces for worship that no one person could have built on their own. I wish France strength and shared purpose as they grieve and rebuild,” stated Clinton.