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Fire at the spire of the Gothic cathedral in Rouen

Fire at the spire of the Gothic cathedral in Rouen
Fire at the spire of the Gothic cathedral in Rouen

A cloud of smoke rises from the tower of Rouen Cathedral.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, wrote Mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol on Thursday in the online service X. Videos in online services showed thick clouds of smoke. The fire brings back memories of the fire at the Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris five years ago.

  • You might also be interested in: Notre-Dame: This is what it looks like five years after the devastating fire

“The workers who were on the construction site reported the fire,” a fire department spokesman told broadcaster BFM. Extinguishing operations are underway. Around 70 firefighters and 40 fire engines are in action.

The cathedral has been evacuated, the prefecture said. Police cordoned off the area and asked the public not to hinder the fire-fighting efforts.

The 19th century crossing tower is currently being renovated and is surrounded by scaffolding. According to information from the prefecture, it is still unclear whether the wooden roof structure was affected by the fire. Rouen Cathedral is one of the masterpieces of Gothic architecture and was often painted by Claude Monet.

The 151-meter-high spire is made of cast iron. Until the completion of Cologne Cathedral in 1880, Rouen Cathedral was the tallest building in the world.

During the fire at Notre-Dame in Paris in 2019, the crossing tower, which also dates back to the 19th century, caught fire and collapsed into the church. The renovation work is almost complete and the church is scheduled to reopen in December.

This article was last updated on July 11, 2024 at 2:19 p.m.

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