Notre Dame Repair Fund Hits Over $1.1 Billion In Two Days | 22 Words

The fire that ravished the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has shocked and saddened the nation to the core.

Onlookers watched in despair as the majority of the original roof was destroyed and the medieval spire collapsed before their very eyes.

People all over the world were quick to pay tribute to the historic landmark expressing how they had been left saddened by the news.

However, the country's actions have shown just how strong and resilient the people of France really are.

An appeal was launched to raise money for the restoration project. Thanks to a combination of companies and individual donors a staggering $1.1 billion has been raised.

Which means that the President's initial plan to restore the building in five years may actually become a reality.

Make sure to keep reading to watch his touching speech to the people of France below.

Notre-Dame is a medieval cathedral situated in Paris, France.

It is considered one of the most spectacular examples of French Gothic architecture ever designed.

Over 12 million people visit this stunning landmark every year.

Which makes it the most popular monument in the whole of Paris. This definitely says something considering the number of amazing monuments that Paris has to offer.

It is known for its many eye-catching features.

Including its massive, colorful rose windows and its use of the rib vault and flying buttress.

The building of the cathedral started in 1163.

It was completed in 1345, further modifications were undertaken over the next few centuries. It took over a thousand workers to complete this one of its kind building.

It is 420 ft long and 157 ft wide.

The church also has two towers which stand at 226 ft high as well as one spire that stood at 300 ft tall. In fact, the towers were the tallest structures in Paris before the Eiffel Tower was built.

Within the south tower are the notorious bells.

Of which there are ten including the bourdon which is named Emmanuel and has been used during some of the most famous events throughout French history. Including for the Te Deum for the coronation of French kings and to mark the end of WWI and WWII. It was also rung after the devastation of the Twin Towers.

There have been several modifications over the years.

During the Renaissance, the gothic style of architecture lost some of its popularity and instead, the internal pillars and walls were covered with elaborate tapestries.

During the periods when Louis XIV and Louis XV were kings, the style was altered again.

Marple features were added to the choir, the stain-glassed windows were replaced with white windows and the sanctuary was re-arranged.

Unfortunately, a lot of damage have been done to this beautiful building over the years.

In the 16th century, a group of French Protestants called the Huguenots damaged some of the statues as they thought them to be idolatrous. Also during the French Revolution in 1793, a group of anti- Royalists removed and decapitated the statues that they believed to represent kings of France.

And of course, general repairs were needed.

In the early 19th century, the cathedral became ruined and was in much need of reconstruction. The success of the book The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and the subsequent interest in the landmark, King Louis Phillipe ordered it to be restored.

This restoration took an epic 25 years.

And included the restoration of the original spire which they added the statue of Saint Thomas too. They also added the sculpture of the mythical creatures on the Galerie des Chimeres.

As you would expect, further wear and tear occurred.

Much of the stone masonry on the exterior of the cathedral had deteriorated during the 19th and 20th century because of air pollution in Paris. And by the 1980s, several turrets and gargoyles had also fallen off. Basically, the church was in need of some TLC.

In 1991, a decade long restoration project began.

With much of the exterior being replaced, electrical wires were installed to deter pigeons and the pipe organ was upgraded with a computerized system. As well as the whole west face being cleaned and restored for the Millenium celebrations.

Further work was done for the building's 850th anniversary in 2013.

Four of the bells were melted and remade into new bronze bells which were designed to sound exactly like the original bells from the 17th century.

Despite all this work, the building was still showing further signs of deterioration therefore, a proposal backed by the Archbishop of Paris was put forward.

The government decided it would be a good idea to start a new renovation programme estimated to cost a whopping 100 million euros. A six million euro renovation project had begun by late 2018.

All was going well until...

The cathedral tragically caught fire on Monday, April, 15 at 18.30pm.

The blaze was said to have struck quickly with great ferocity.

The roof was engulfed in flames and the central spire soon caught fire.

Onlookers could do nothing but helplessly watch as the spire collapsed.

It must have been a truly awful sight to see, especially given the importance of this building to their nation's identity and history.

500 firefighters fought to put out the fire.

One was seriously injured during the blaze. Luckily both of the towers avoided any damage. But it could have been a lot worse. Without the firefighters' intervention, the cathedral would have been completely destroyed in under half an hour.

Pictures revealing the extent of the damage have been released.

Thankfully, many of the statues had been removed in the days prior to the fire due to the ongoing renovation work and lots of other religious artefacts were also saved.

The main structure has been kept intact.

Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said some vulnerabilities have been found. And of course, there is a lot of debris to clear up.

The iconic rooster that sat on the top of the spire has been found.

Experts say it can be restored to its former glory despite the dent caused by the fall. A definite symbol of hope.

The rooster is of great significance to the church.

It contains several religious artefacts such as one of the 70 thorne's of the Holy Crown of Jesus Christ. In fact, it is known as the spiritual lightning rod that protects those faithful to the cathedral.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Could it have stemmed from the restorations works? Or, was it something more sinister? Apparently, 50 people are currently investigating the cause and there are no signs to indicate it was an act of arson.

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the cathedral within the next five years.

He said it will be restored 'even more beautifully' than it was before and has 'urged France to come together' at this terrible time. But obviously, this will take a lot of money, especially if the work is to be completed so quickly.

So, an appeal was launched to help raise some funds.

TV personality Stephane Bern, helped launch the appeal, saying that the Notre-Dame was 'a close friend who almost disappeared.'

Many French multinational companies have already pledged a significant amount of money.

Including L'Oreal who pledged 200 million euros, oil company Total promised 100 million and LVMH luxury goods group also pledged 200 million euros.

And it's not just companies, individuals have pledged to help too.

Most notably multi-billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault who has promised a staggering 100 million euros. As well as investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere who has pledged 10 million.

Air France has also offered free flights to any expert renovators that need to travel to Paris.

Other companies such as Michelin and BNP have also vowed to help in some way.

It has now been revealed that all these generous donations have meant that the restoration fund now stands at 1 billion euros.

Which gives the people of France hope that this iconic building can be restored to its best within the five-year time frame their President suggested. We really hope it can be done.