More than a great cathedral has now been lost to us all

Today we merely saw a metaphor played out before us. What we have lost we have been in the process of losing for quite some time. The rest of this post is taken from here. And you should watch at least the first three minutes of Kenneth Clark’s opening in the video below.

There is no way to replace what Paris, what France, what Christendom, and indeed what humanity, has lost today. It is irreplaceable. For example, we literally cannot recreate the windows, which date from the time of Dante. We do not know how to do it. As a friend said to me, “You can rebuild the World Trade Center. You cannot rebuild Notre Dame de Paris.”

Embedded video

Kenneth Clark’s monologue opening his great 1969 TV series Civilisation (all of which is available on YouTube). Standing in front of the Notre Dame cathedral, Clark asks, “What is civilization?” He says he can’t define it in abstract terms, “but I think I can recognize it when I see it.” He then turns to the cathedral, and says, “I’m looking at it right now.” Watch:

This entry was posted in Cultural Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to More than a great cathedral has now been lost to us all

  1. brennan

    Ir’s going to be interesting to find out what the actual reason for the fire was.

    Nonetheless, it is a great tragedy.

  2. RobK

    There was a fire in an old (beautiful) church. It’s sad but it’s not the end of civilisation. These buildings have always had massively high maintenance programmes. Europe does have an army of artisans/trades people who do nothing but maintain very old buildings. Over time, for various reasons, some of these structures fall by the wayside. It is unsettling to lose, or partly lose, such an iconic structure. A landmark that we mistakenly associate with permanence. I note they had no trouble raising half a billion dollars to fix it. That is remarkable and shows it will rise from the ashes as it has done before.

  3. sfw

    Better to leave it as a burned shell, it can represent the remains of Western Civilisation and Culture.

  4. Ellen of Tasmania

    “What is civilization?” He says he can’t define it in abstract terms, “but I think I can recognize it when I see it.” He then turns to the cathedral, and says, “I’m looking at it right now.”

    Civilisations grow out of cultures. Culture is religion externalised. It’s what comes out of the minds and hands of people who believe a certain worldview.

    What Kenneth was looking at was the fruit of Christian civilisation.

  5. Up The Workers!

    I hear that the people of France have had some good news.

    The President of the E.U., Drunker Juncker of the Duchy of Luxembottle has announced that the E.U. will totally fund the rebuilding of the Notre Dame Cathedral from its own funds.

    Given the enormous glut of medieval Cathedrals across Europe, the new Notre Dame will be built to the strict new E.E.C. standards of Cathedral design and will be single story, measuring 5.6m x 5.5m x 2.66m in Colorbond aluminium with a roller door at one end for access and egress.

    The new standard ‘Euro-Cathedral’ costs only $2,199.00 from Bunnings, can be erected in 2 hours and comes with a 30-year guarantee!

    How good is that!

  6. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Add some minarets to make it more inclusive this time.

  7. Anne

    It’s going to be interesting to find out what the actual reason for the fire was.

    Arson, but fortunately they saved the paintings, relics and other idols.

    Now to the Insurance scam and clawing billions of dollars from decent people around the world.

  8. Up The Workers!

    I’m with you, Anne.

    I suspect that God must have picked up a few tips by watching Richo, his pre-paid insurance policy, his box of Bryant & May’s and Offset Alpine Printing works.

    He who lights and runs away, lives to Claim, another day!

  9. sabena

    “There is no way to replace what Paris, what France, what Christendom, and indeed what humanity, has lost today”
    Hyperbole in that comment.The proof that this is not necessarily so comes from buildings like the Frauenkirche in Dresden and the Peterhof palace on the outskirts of St Petersburg,both of which sustained greater damage than Notre Dame.
    The pictures show that the damage was to the roof and spire.Luckily it appears much of the stained glass survived.That being the case,it should be possible to completely restore the cathedral.

  10. Tel

    The new standard ‘Euro-Cathedral’ costs only $2,199.00 from Bunnings, can be erected in 2 hours and comes with a 30-year guarantee!

    The French word is “Ma deinchina”.

  11. Arky

    It’s just a building.
    You elitist pricks have been systematically dismantling the foundations of working people’s lives for decades.
    Go fuck yourselves.
    I don’t care that you have to wait a few years to go see a rebuilt monument in an expensive destination.

  12. destroyer D69

    We have “donated”millions for the constructions pf madrassas in the last few years but our PM states that we will NOT be donating to the Notre Dame restoration.Virtue signalling to a particular “religion” in the lead up to an election??????? Just asking……

  13. Mark M

    It is said there two certain things in life: death & taxes.

    But there are three: Death, Taxes … and change.

  14. Hugh

    There is a small island in Indonesia which was visited in 1522 by the “Victoria”, a surviving ship of Magellan’s expedition on its way back to Spain. In the short time it was there, Latin Masses were said and the local natives looked on in wonder. When it left, the crew of the “Victoria” gave the natives gifts, including some of its army helmets. To this day, natives on the island carry out a ritual which involves a reconstruction of what they recall from those few Catholic liturgies they observed. Such was the dimness of their understanding that a crucial part of the “rite” today is a procession featuring those now very rusty Spanish helmets. Western tourists look on, smirking no doubt as they take snaps.

    We weep for the demise of Notre Dame Cathedral. But on a far higher plane should we lament the collapse over the last century of the living entity which built it : traditional Christianity and its beating heart, the Latin Mass. Suppose Notre Dame is restored, atom for atom, and lasts for a million years. What use will that be if the only people ever to walk through it, buy its scarves and sip lattes in the shadow of its walls are people like Anne Summers, Peter Singer, Hollywood actors, the staff of the ABC and the academics who gave the Ramsay Centre the flick? Those primitive Indonesian natives, with their gut level instinct for beauty, respect for tradition and openness to the supernatural, leave them and smirking post-Christians for dead.

    In the face of the worst that is happening around us, we must not despair. Notre Dame, Chartres, Palestrina’s masses, the Divine Comedy and the Summa Theologica … the genius behind all that is the very same which says: start from where you are and simply do that which you must do today. You are already building the most beautiful cathedral. “He who conquers himself is greater than a man who conquers a city.” (Proverbs 16.32)

    (For any interested: I’ll be conducting my choir singing Matins for Holy Thursday (“Tenebrae”) tonight at St Aloysius, Nth Caulfield, 7.30 pm till late. Gregorian Chant, Victoria Responses, Allegri Miserere … the music that built Notre Dame or was sung in it for centuries. All most welcome. Full program & info. for this Holy Week go here and scroll down.)

  15. Percy Popinjay

    You can rebuild the World Trade Center

    No you cannot, as we have just been made painfully aware of over an excruciating fifteen year period.

  16. Dr Faustus

    In five years Notre-Dame will be reborn, French president Macron pledges

    In five years, the survey of the damage and scope of works will be nearly complete.
    Sourcing the vast amount of seasoned timber will take a little longer…

  17. Anne

    It’s just a building.

    Blasphemy!!!

    Arky, there’s so much more to Notre Dame.

    I’ve got the T-shirt to prove it.

  18. JohnL

    NOTRE DAME – one of the greatest symbols of Christianity was burned down – a few days before the greatest Holly Day on the Christian calendar. “Some people did something”! Musses are sending us a message – we are not listening!
    “Some people did something” on 9/11 and we did nothing!
    We don’t deserve what our Christian ancestors did and built for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. mh

    The burning of Israel Folau is our witness to the fall of Christendom.

  20. max

    For any interested:

    Thanks, Hugh.

  21. Billy Boy

    I sometimes wonder how “Christian” is the Roman Catholic Church with revelations and court cases in recent times.
    Jesus said : “By their fruits you shall know them”

  22. Anne

    In five years Notre-Dame will be reborn, French president Macron pledges.

    He means, by then, France will be openly worshipping Lucifer.

  23. C.L.

    For example, we literally cannot recreate the windows, which date from the time of Dante. We do not know how to do it.

    That’s bullshit.
    We can very readily do it.

    There was a fire in an old (beautiful) church. It’s sad but it’s not the end of civilisation.

    Correct.
    It is the destruction of Christian faith and orthodoxy that is really important; not a mere building.
    If you offered me the restoration of the Mass of Trent or the restoration of Notre Dame, I’d take the former every day of the week.

    Remember that St Peter’s is the new one. Old St Peter’s stood for 1200 years, far longer that Notre Dame has stood. It was demolished in the 1500s to make way for the current basilica.

  24. Hugh

    C.L.,
    If you offered me the restoration of the Mass of Trent or the restoration of Notre Dame, I’d take the former every day of the week.

    Exactly.

    A happy and holy Easter to you and all.

  25. Anne

    A happy and holy Easter to you and all.

    Jesus was crucified at Passover.

    Easter is after a Pagan tradition celebrating the fertility goddess Ishtar.

    Look into it good people.

  26. Up The Workers!

    Any word yet on the condition of Charles Laughton?

    “The bells…the bells!”

  27. calli

    And Passover is this Friday.

    So what, Anne?

    Your stirring of the pot gets very tedious sometimes. Anyone can play the enfant terrible. Just ask Stimpy.

    And my sewing circle agrees with me.

  28. stackja

    Up The Workers!
    #2990003, posted on April 17, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Maureen was saved!

  29. Infidel Tiger

    Shut up Anne.

    You are very low rent.

  30. Roger

    Uh oh…Macron has promised to make the new Notre Dame “even more beautiful”.

  31. mh

    Any word yet on the condition of Charles Laughton?

    “The bells…the bells!”

    He’s got the hump.

  32. Anne

    Calli, did I really need to point out that Passover coincides with Easter in 2019? 😏

    I’m learning that many religious traditions have pagan roots.

    Just look into it.

    If you don’t believe it, fine.

  33. Pyrmonter

    Much of what was destroyed was the (inventive, remarkable and worthy) creation of Violet-le-Duc and the mid 19C restoration of a building that had been variously neglected or abused. That part, at least, should be capable of accurate restoration.

    The loss of the medieval roof is sad, and it is unlikely to be replaced like for like (see the comment about timber above). But who now regularly laments the loss of comparable buildings – the roof of the Guildhall in London, destroyed by the Nazis’ bombs; the cities of Cleve and Luebeck, masterworks of medieval German craftsmanship, destroyed by Harris for little more purpose than revenge; or for that matter, the two great palaces of London – Whitehall and Westminster, lost together with a good deal of secular art and, in the case of Westminster, the source material for the fiscal history of the UK (it was the burning of the ancient tally sticks that started the conflagration).

  34. Anne

    Shut up Anne.

    You are speaking truth.

  35. mh

    Christianity grows in Syrian town once besieged by Islamic State

    KOBANI, Syria (Reuters) – A community of Syrians who converted to Christianity from Islam is growing in Kobani, a town besieged by Islamic State for months, and where the tide turned against the militants four years ago.

    The converts say the experience of war and the onslaught of a group claiming to fight for Islam pushed them toward their new faith. After a number of families converted, the Syrian-Turkish border town’s first evangelical church opened last year.

    Islamic State militants were beaten back by U.S. air strikes and Kurdish fighters at Kobani in early 2015, in a reversal of fortune after taking over swaths of Iraq and Syria. After years of fighting, U.S.-backed forces fully ended the group’s control over populated territory last month.

    Though Islamic State’s ultra-radical interpretation of Sunni Islam has been repudiated by the Islamic mainstream, the legacy of its violence has affected perceptions of faith.

    Many in the mostly Kurdish areas of northern Syria, whose urban centers are often secular, say agnosticism has strengthened and in the case of Kobani, Christianity.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-islamic-state-christians/christianity-grows-in-syrian-town-once-besieged-by-islamic-state-idUSKCN1RS19N

  36. Geriatric Mayfly

    And my sewing circle agrees with me.

    Ladies from yesteryear in high dudgeon. What does a trio of angry feminist Lesbians (they’re always angry) look like so as to keep us up-to-date with the evolution of judgemental busy bodies.

  37. Geriatric Mayfly

    The loss of the medieval roof is sad,

    The ceiling of the nave all looks to be in stone to me. Was any part of the medieval timber roof actually visible and given to ornate craftsmanship, or was it all superstructure to hold up the lead sheeting?

  38. Anne

    Calli, I thank God for people like Stimpy.

    He’s woke and a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stuffy, stilted echo chamber.

    PS, I like those old gals. Thats back when women were women.

  39. Chris M

    traditional Christianity and its beating heart, the Latin Mass

    I liked your post but non-RC Christians see the Mass as an awful blasphemy – besides it isn’t traditional in that isn’t scriptural practice and began some centuries later, as with Latin. So correctly it’s the beating heart of “traditional Roman Catholicism”.

  40. Pyrmonter

    # Geriatric

    The ceiling – or vault – was stone throughout in my recollection. It looks to have been pierced in parts of the crossing, but to have held together elsewhere: which you might expect, as it’s a massive, fairly heavy base, a remarkable thing in itself (the development of more sophisticated systems of vaulting was one of the major innovations of the gothic. It started with simple barrel vaults that couldn’t span particularly wide distances, and developed eventually into the extraordinary fan vaults that still, at least to me, are near-miracles of design from a time before science was applied to building). I’d be wary that everything that currently stands is stable – the stone has now been heated and cooled well beyond ordinary tolerance – but it may still be salvageable. The past can illustrate how things may proceed: the western end of York Minster (third largest gothic cathedral in Europe) was burnt out in the early 19C and stood unrestored for decades. You wouldn’t know that now to visit it. In terms of technique and the romanticisation of the medieval past (latin mass etc) … worth remembering that Cologne stood 2/3 finished from the reformation until the late 19C. The spires that meet the arriving train passenger arriving in Cologne now (and which survived Harris’s depredations) were built to pre-reformation designs in the 1880s. That they were steel framed is said to have helped preserve them against war damage.

  41. Colonel Crispin Berka

    For example, we literally cannot recreate the windows, which date from the time of Dante. We do not know how to do it.

    That’s a bit over-the-top. Step by step…

    #1. The most complicated windows are the Rose Windows and they don’t have to be rebuilt because they are all still intact. From wikipedia: “The north rose window was reported to remain intact.[41] Later images showed that all three of the church’s 13th-century rose windows survived,[42] although there was damage to some of the 19th-century windows.[43]” All the windows which were destroyed are simpler to replace.

    #2 There is a group in France which trains people in all styles of stonework and glasswork. One of their members bragged on twitter that they do know how to recreate all the windows.

    #3 Even if there weren’t existing artisan expertise in this area of glass working, how long do you think it would take the engineering boffins at SNECMA, INRIA, or just across the river at Sorbonne, to reverse-engineer the method from Notre-Dame documentation and other still-standing windows? What, they can design jet engines but don’t know how to cut glass?

    Yes, the Notre-Dame de Paris was special… and still is special to many.
    No, the Notre-Dame de Paris was not magical.

  42. Pyrmonter

    @ Colonel

    A good deal of the impressive glass at Sainte Chapelle is 19C – these techniques aren’t entirely lost; though modern practice seems never to quite equal the best work of the middle ages.

    CNN was reporting that all the medieval glass is intact. Though again, it will be worth waiting to see whether any problems develop as the building cools and dries out.

    Useful coverage – https://www.apollo-magazine.com/efforts-to-salvage-art-from-notre-dame-continue-as-macron-vows-to-rebuild/

  43. Infidel Tiger

    Rolling Stone
    @RollingStone
    “The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation.” We talked to architects and historians about the significance of Notre Dame — and what should happen next (link: https://rol.st/2UG8JMV) rol.st/2UG8JMV

    As predicted. The secular left are salivating.

  44. Cynic of Ayr

    You can’t “rebuild” it:
    You can “build another”;
    You can “build a copy”;
    You can pretend to “repair it”.
    But, when finished, it is NOT an 800 odd year old church. It is a copy of an 800 year old church.
    It would be easy to make 1930 Pennies. They’d look like 1930 Pennies, even feel like 1930 Pennies, but they would not be 1930 Pennies!
    Restoration is one thing, but even then, when does restoration become replacement?
    “This, ladies and gentlemen, is the historic 800 year old Notre Dame, except for roof trusses 23, 57 and 89, and the board on the wall near the 23rd window, which are replacement replicas.”
    I don’t care either way. Rebuild it if you want to waste money, but at the end, it is NOT Notre Dame. It is a replica.
    Notre Dame is gone! The Twin towers are gone! The statues (wherever, I forget) that the Taliban blew up are gone. The Titanic is gone! Many, many, many things are gone! I don’t know how anyone decides which are to be replicated.
    The only way Notre Dame can be saved, is to tidy it up, safe it up, and leave it as it is. It will be another medieval building “saved” as ruins. Replicas are bullshit.

  45. Geriatric Mayfly

    and developed eventually into the extraordinary fan vaults that still,

    Pyrmonter. Although not a huge enterprise like of Notre Dame et al. the fan vaulting in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor is something to behold. If you have a crook neck, there’s a mirror there which reflects a small section of the ceiling above.

  46. ACTOldFart

    Notre Dame de Paris is not in itself civilisation. Wanting to restore it, indeed knowing that you must restore it, is civilisation. I just thank God that it didn’t happen to Sainte Chapelle

    It was great to see that extract from Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation”. I recall watching it on original release when I was a student, and feeling privileged to see such wonders, so well explained. More recently we had the series “Civilisations” with Simon Schama and a couple of other presenters, all terribly correct and inclusive, but I couldn’t help feeling that it was Lord Clark first, daylight second. For example, the Schama mob made so many simple errors of fact which I am sure Clark would have laughed at – politely, of course.

    And if you want a truly gobsmacking autobiography, read Clark’s “Another Part of the Wood”. Among many other things, a picture of a totally different world, now gone forever. And all told with the same degrees of erudition, good humour and awareness that he brought to the TV series.

  47. Roger

    And if you want a truly gobsmacking autobiography, read Clark’s “Another Part of the Wood”.

    Thanks for the tip, old fart.

  48. Dr Fred Lenin

    I am told Quaimodo is safe and well ,he was rehoused at Sacre Coeur in the tower, he misses his bells and continually mutters “the bells is gorn me luverly bells is gorn “, Fr Didier is keeping him medicated for his own good and locks him in the tower at night .
    PS , the bulge in his pocket is a picture of his Dad .

  49. Pyrmonter

    @ GM

    Windsor is on my bucket list. The ones at which I’ve marveled were the chapterhouse at Wells and York Minster. The Thistle Chapel at St Giles’ Edinburgh is also impressive, though I think mostly decorative.

    Further afield, (and I’m not sure how authentic it all is), the vaulting in some of the ‘Backstein Gothik’ (Brick Gothic) of north Germany can be quite fine.

  50. Dr Fred Lenin

    Old fart , uou are right about Sainte Chapelle , a true gem of medievil architecture ,and a classic restoration true to its original look . I have no doubt France has many craftspeople and srtists who can do the restoration of Notre Dame faithfully . I always tell people going to Paris that Sainte Chapelle is a must ,and they always agree when they have been there ..

  51. Infidel Tiger

    But, when finished, it is NOT an 800 odd year old church. It is a copy of an 800 year old church.

    In another 1000 years it will be an 1800 year old Church with parts that are drawn from throughout the ages.

  52. Geriatric Mayfly

    I always tell people going to Paris that Sainte Chapelle is a must ,and they always agree when they have been there ..

    Better still Dr Fred, if there is a concert scheduled for the Chapelle. Preferably late afternoon, Mozart, Vivaldi, Palestrina, with the setting sun streaming through the kaleidoscope of southerly windows. An hour or two in a sensuous Paradise.

  53. struth

    I don’t think we should have our taxes help pay for the rebuild.

    We’ve got Korans to buy for Indonesian school kids.

    Priorities people, priorities.

  54. RobK

    Cynic,
    The only way Notre Dame can be saved, is to tidy it up, safe it up, and leave it as it is. It will be another medieval building “saved” as ruins. Replicas are bullshit.
    I disagree. There are many cases where ruins are left, mostly in more out of the way places than central Paris. These ruins degrade further since their only function is some tourist amenity. A restored building which has a function is better assured a long life and the genuine remains are preserved much better. There is a code for repair of these things where the original and the repair are kept in context. It is not a fake, it is preservation of what remains.

  55. C.L.

    The only way Notre Dame can be saved, is to tidy it up, safe it up, and leave it as it is.

    Um, it isn’t an obelisk on a street corner. It is the working cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris.

  56. calli

    C.L., I think the comment about the window replacement referred to the secret methods to obtain some of the colours in the forest glass. These were closely guarded and have been lost.

  57. notafan

    What nonsense and how ridicilous to say a repaired cathedral is a fake, no it isn’t it functions just as the same as the original.

    Some colours in stained glass cannot be replicated by modern techniques but many churches and cathedrals lost their windows in the bombings of ww one and two and replaced them.

    The French revolutionariess sold the lower stained glass windows out of Saint Chapelle just around the corner to Notre Dame and they have been replaced with replicas.

    The stained glass at Chartres has all been replaced/repaired recently, so France has access to the expertise.

    The cathedrals at St Malo, Reims, Nevers and many other cities and towns have been rebuilt, many reduced to a far worse state than Notre Dame.

    And St John Lateran Basicilica has has been rebuilt many times over the centuries.

    We Catholics will hear Mass again in Notre Dame.

    Oh and Anne statues of saints Old Lady etc are not ‘idols’ and if ordinary people wish to contribute who are you to say that they should not? No-one has their arm twisted.

  58. notafan

    No building makes it 856 years without some ups and downs. Among the low points for Notre Dame was the 17th century. According to National Geographic, the reign of Louis XIV brought dire changes to the cathedral. Original stained-glass windows were replaced with plain glass; a pillar in the main doorway was demolished to widen the opening so carriages could pass through.

    The French Revolution was even more devastating. According to the cathedral’s official history, revolutionaries tore down 28 statues of kings housed in Notre Dame, driven by anti-monarchist fervor. They also destroyed many other statues with the exception of one of the Virgin Mary, and tore down the original spire of the church, erected in the 13th century. Revolutionaries renamed Notre Dame the Temple to the Goddess Reason, according to the Fondation Napoleon, and later converted it into a wine warehouse.

    So yeah nah on not repairing her.

    Revolution, Napoleon and Now Fire: What Paris’ Iconic Notre Dame Cathedral Has Endured

  59. Arky

    Cynic of Ayr
    #2990092, posted on April 17, 2019 at 11:47 am
    You can’t “rebuild” it:
    You can “build another”;
    You can “build a copy”;

    ..
    Correct.
    Restoring the model A has been a series of decisions about what to replace and what to repair.
    Replacement with replicas is much easier, cheaper and faster.
    But they aren’t the original items.
    The whole thing is bogus.
    What do you want? To see what something looked like as originally conceived? Or do you want to see something that has in it the passage of years and all the marks and signs of those who used it?
    And when it comes to a cathedral owned by the filthy, and now mostly long Godless French, who gives a shit?
    And if this was a protestant cathedral, none of these Catholics on here would bother to comment.
    In Christchurch there is the lovely little cathedral in Cathedral Square. It was the centre of a really interesting and busy civic life.
    It has sat there in ruins for almost a decade now. The roof caved in, walls damaged.

  60. calli

    Revolutionaries renamed Notre Dame the Temple to the Goddess Reason

    Chuckle. The very name gives the lie to the intent. Zero self-awareness.

  61. Arky

    By the way, try standing out the front of an Australian or, any modern western Cathedral and saying anything along the lines of what the Wizard of Christchurch used to say, and you would be arrested today.

  62. notafan

    Oh Arky why so many sour grapes?

    There are plenty of Protestants commenting about Notre Dame too.

    And why do you even care one way or another what Catholics think about Catholic buildings?

    the point being made that a church or a cathedral is not a mere monument to be gawked at by tourists but a central part of the life of the Church

    The Anglican church in NZ made the decision not to rebuild their cathedral, entirely up to them, I remember them making the announcement.

    The French government confiscated all churches in France (again) back in 1906, religious bodies including the Protestant church of France can use those that were ‘theirs’ at the government’s sufferance, else they are turned into museums etc if they are lucky or demolished if not.

    As I pointed out the spire of Notre Dame is not original and the reality is all old buildings must constantly repaired or renewed and what happened to Notre Dame is neither the first or last time such a thing will happen.

    Don’t ever go to St Malo peoples if you don’t like fake, over 80% of the walled city was rebuilt after WWii.

    The idea that buildings must be abandoned en masse after whatever the disaster is nonsense

    Imagine leaving London as it was after 1666.

  63. Mark A

    notafan
    #2990157, posted on April 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Revolutionaries renamed Notre Dame the Temple to the Goddess Reason, according to the Fondation Napoleon, and later converted it into a wine warehouse.

    If you ever wondered where Stalin and communists in general got their ideas from re. churches, wonder no more.

  64. max

    A culture that aborts children at the rate we do has no right to even touch the smoking stones of Notre Dame except in repentance.

    Macron doesn’t give a shit about the Church. He’s worried about a decline in tourism.

  65. Mark A

    max
    #2990194, posted on April 17, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    A culture that aborts children at the rate we do has no right to even touch the smoking stones of Notre Dame except in repentance.

    Macron doesn’t give a shit about the Church. He’s worried about a decline in tourism.

    Tell you what, if organised properly, there would be just as many tourist visiting the site as before, if not more?

    Different clientele for sure but in great numbers.

  66. notafan

    You know when the Spanish Civil War broke out every single church in Barcelona was torched, with parishioners fighting heroically to save precious items, though much was also looted, that wave of desecration and destruction was echoed across Spain and over 6000 religious were murdered, didn’t matter if they were 17 year old novices or 90 year old monks.

    Though you might notice the blackened interiors once the opportunity arose parishioner put their houses of worship to rights

    Much like the Christians of Syria who lost churches far older than Notre Dame.

    This is what people do.

  67. Pyrmonter

    @ GM, @ DrFL

    Sainte Chapelle is a building for which hyperbolic descriptions are almost impossible – it is as if inside a multicoloured jewel. But a bunch of it is fake by the standards of the ‘authenticity’ school – the lower windows are replacements of coloured glass removed to allow clear light when, I think, it was used as an archive. Shows what determination can do (and there are other examples … many of the historic churches of central Europe and the UK etc)

  68. notafan

    Saint Chapelle is indeed a good example

    Much of the chapel as it appears today is a re-creation, although nearly two-thirds of the windows are authentic. The chapel suffered its most grievous destruction in the late eighteenth century during the French Revolution, when the steeple and baldachin were removed, the relics dispersed (although some survive as the “relics of Sainte-Chapelle” at Notre Dame de Paris), and various reliquaries, including the grande châsse, were melted down.

    19th-century restorations

    Exterior view of Ste-Chapelle, 1903.
    The Sainte-Chapelle was requisitioned as an archival depository in 1803. Two metres’ worth of glass was removed to facilitate working light and destroyed or put on the market.[13] Its well-documented restoration, completed under the direction of Félix Duban in 1855, was regarded as exemplary by contemporaries[14] and is faithful to the original drawings and descriptions of the chapel that survive.

  69. billie

    Meh .. London was rebuilt, as was Dresden, Berlin and Tokyo (to name but a few) .. all of them with their ancient monuments restored

    Tradies will make it happen and not be concerned about hand wringing and moaning.

  70. dover_beach

    I’m learning that many religious traditions have pagan roots.

    No, Anne, you are badly confused, sorry to say: Easter, Ishtar, Eostre and Eggs

  71. That is complete nonsense Anne.

    Most of the Christian rites of initiation simply follow on from biblical practice at the time of the new testament.

    Cologne Cathedral was rebuilt/repaired after WWII.

    I love that historian bloke:

    Where Does All this Crap Come From?

    So Ishtar had nothing to do with Easter, Eostre had little to do with the Christian festival other than its name in England and Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny aren’t pagan either. So where did all this crap come from? One of the interesting things about having spent several decades tracking down crank pseudo history is how often I find these dumb ideas can all be traced back to single sources. In this case we have memes being shared uncritically both by New Agers and neo-pagans and by vehement New Atheists. Which is deeply ironic, given that the source of these memes seems to be a nineteenth century fundamentalist Christian minister.

    Alexander Hislop (1807-1865) was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland and parish schoolmaster in Caithness. He was a vehement critic of anything to do with Catholicism and became convinced that while good Protestants like him followed the true faith of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church was actually the ancient Babylonian mystery cult of Nimrod, an obscure pagan figure mentioned a few times in the Old Testament. According to Hislop, Satan allowed the Emperor Constantine (him again) to hijack the true Christian faith and lead it into idol-worship and Papist errors and that it was only by recognising this and throwing off any pre-Reformation vestiges that people could return to true Christianity.

    Hislop is probably history’s greatest troll. The academic achievement of autodidact “anyone can be a church” nonsense – no better than the annoying frog ringtone.

  72. dover_beach

    I love that historian bloke

    Ditto. I stumbled across the site in the last month or so. It is brilliant.

  73. Tel

    No, Anne, you are badly confused, sorry to say: Easter, Ishtar, Eostre and Eggs

    From Dover’s link:

    Where Does All this Crap Come From?

    So Ishtar had nothing to do with Easter, Eostre had little to do with the Christian festival other than its name in England and Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny aren’t pagan either. So where did all this crap come from? One of the interesting things about having spent several decades tracking down crank pseudo history is how often I find these dumb ideas can all be traced back to single sources. In this case we have memes being shared uncritically both by New Agers and neo-pagans and by vehement New Atheists. Which is deeply ironic, given that the source of these memes seems to be a nineteenth century fundamentalist Christian minister.

    Hmmm, spent several decades? It’s amazing how much you can not find, when you don’t look very hard.

    https://deciduousdryad.blogspot.com/2013/06/

    Pysanky are an ancient tradition, originally pre-Christian. Slavic cultures worshipped a sun god called Dažbog. In the spring, people would color eggs and use them for protection and blessing. The eggs represented both birds, which were sacred to Dažbog, and rebirth, which was very important to all cultures.
    When Christianity came to the Slavic tribes around the end of the tenth century, the egg dyeing went from honoring Dažbog to honoring Christ.

    The direct link to Ishtar is questionable because of distance, but many European religious traditions did originate in the Middle East, give or take many distortions in the retelling. Fertility is very fundamental to human survival, and the seasons are equally fundamental. I’m sure a whole bunch of local traditions sprang up around that. There are so many fertility goddesses it gets silly.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fertility_deities

    That’s probably not even an exhaustive list, and a lot of them had multiple names. Spelling is this newfangled fad that the ancients weren’t particularly interested in.

    There’s a bunch of stone structures that measure either midsummer or midwinter, for example the Newgrange tomb is perfectly aligned with the Winter Solstice and that’s thousands of years older than Christianity. Clearly ancient Europeans marked the seasons carefully. Not as many physical structures mark the equinox … but some do … for example Mnajdra on the island of Malta, which is impressive when you consider how old it is and we can still recognize this alignment. Therefore we must conclude that religious attachment to the solstice and equinox days of the year is very old indeed.

  74. pbw

    Tel,

    Do tell. This is the profile of the Deciduous Dryad.

    Branwyn ferch Gwythyr is a Welsh merchant’s daughter traveling the Known World. At first she traveled with her father, and then, when a handsome young Mongol warrior spotted her and carried her off, with her husband. She is learning about her husband’s people while trying to maintain her own cultural identity among the barbarian nomads. In the SCA, Branwyn lives in the Sylvan Kingdom of AEthelmearc, where she is getting better at calligraphy and illumination, sewing, fiber arts, and cheese-making. She loves to draw people into the SCA–ask her sometime!

    SCA is the Socity for Creative Anachronism.

  75. “t’s amazing how much you can not find, when you don’t look very hard.”

    It’s not amazing that you can find some kooky New Ager from the Society for Creative Anachronism repeating these claims of pagan origins in an assertion that cites no sources. See if you can find any actual evidence that supports her claim. Good luck.

  76. Cynic of Ayr

    RobK
    Yeah, upon reflection, leaving it as it is, is not a real option.
    It would deteriorate further, requiring demolishing or repair. And idiots would have weddings there, with a few guests suffering brain damage from falling stone.
    However, I still stand by my statement that only a replica can be built.
    Now it seems, Monsieur Teacher’sPet, isn’t even going to do that. He’s opted for a competition to design a new tower, which can be guaranteed to be nothing like the old tower, if not simply for changes in architectural tastes.
    Not only that, Monsieur Teacher’sPet definitely wants his name attached to the new tower, somewhere, somehow!
    I guess any rebuild of the roof etc. will be of a similar mindset.
    Whatever! The world continues to rotate around the Sun, uncaring and unmoved.

  77. Louis

    Yeah I’m betting some of the finalist designs for the new spire will ‘Add some minarets to make it more inclusive this time’.

  78. Dr Faustus

    Meh .. London was rebuilt, as was Dresden, Berlin and Tokyo (to name but a few) .. all of them with their ancient monuments restored

    Factcheck: Nah.
    The Reichstag was rebuilt, Cologne repaired, and a few stabilised ruins left standing as ‘gardens of remembrance’, but most badly damaged ancient buildings in London and Berlin (to name but a few) were demolished to make way for the 1950’s brutalist post-war rebuilding. Large areas of the London docklands south of the Thames are still in their 1941 blitz condition.

    Notre Dame will take years to stabilise and assess – more thoughtful estimates than Macron’s suggest 15 years as a minimum for a traditional rebuild, ranging up to 50 years+.
    And E1.4 billion won’t touch the sides. The scale and polish she was undergoing prior to the fire was budgeted at E150 million.

    Her future is a much cheaper, quicker, modern skin graft. Doubtless honouring modern French civic society rather than Gothic glory.

  79. notafan

    Πάσχα in turn is derived from the Hebrew פֶּסַח (Pesach) meaning … Passover.

    And a good point here is that French J ews use the same word for Passover as Christians use for Easter.

    The whole ishtar Easter thing is embarrassingly lame and stupid

  80. notafan

    Πάσχα in turn is derived from the H ebrew פֶּסַח (Pesach) meaning … Passover.

    And a good point here is that French J ews use the same word for Passover as Christians use for Easter.

    The whole ishtar Easter thing is embarrassingly lame and stupid

  81. notafan

    Dr F

    you are correct about the timeframe

    Reims Cathedral’s rebuild after being left barely a shell has taken 100 years to date.

    Considering Notre Dame took 182 years to build in the first place it really doesn’t matter how long it takes

  82. Christianity must have been syncretic at least to a very small extent given the Magi of Persia recognised Jesus and that the early Christians were nearly all simply following on from the old testament – which in fact weakens Hislop’s bigoted, hateful and dishonest argument.

  83. notafan

    The H-brews have been around for several thousand years with very clear links to Christianity but we are expected to believe our religious traditions come from the Sumerians whose civilization ended 2000 years ago.

    Okay

  84. notafan

    Sorry in 2000 BC, 2000 years before the advent of Christianity

  85. Confused Old Misfit

    From a technical standpoint the restoration could be accomplished in about 3 years (a complete guess ;)).
    The limiting factor will be political will.
    The political will of both the Catholic Church and the French government.
    I am defining “political will” as the desire and ability to commit sufficient funds in the shortest time period.

  86. notafan

    I am defining “political will” as the desire and ability to commit sufficient funds in the shortest time period.

    one billion euros were pledged within the first two days, so that seems to be okay, Macron is talking about five years

    Paris firefighters also said artwork that remained in the cathedral appeared surprisingly well preserved

  87. dover_beach

    Therefore we must conclude that religious attachment to the solstice and equinox days of the year is very old indeed.

    Sure, but so what? Christians don’t mark the passing of the season during Easter, we mark Christ’s reception in Jerusalem, his rejection and betrayal, his passion and death, his resurrection, his time among those that loved him prior to the Ascension, through to the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday 50 days later. The entire assertion re Ishtar trades on never actually addressing any of this in all its particularity and simply asserting that certain aspects vaguely resemble this or that pagan belief or rite and therefore that Easter has its ‘origin’ in some pagan fertility cult.

    The H-brews have been around for several thousand years with very clear links to Christianity but we are expected to believe our religious traditions come from the Sumerians whose civilization ended 2000 BC, 2000 years before the advent of Christianity.

    Okay

    Indeed.

  88. Tel

    https://pysanky.info/History/Ancient.html

    Ceramic eggs found decorated from Bronze Age Ukranian sites … with quite similar decorations to what they are currently painting on Easter eggs today.

  89. A common practice does not necessarily connote derivative origins Tel.

  90. Tel

    The H-brews have been around for several thousand years with very clear links to Christianity but we are expected to believe our religious traditions come from the Sumerians whose civilization ended 2000 years ago.

    Then explain why the Code of Hammurabi which is approx 3500 years old has so much in common with the fundamentals of many other legal systems including Greek, Roman and Biblical law?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_of_Hammurabi

  91. I can respond by saying go read Boethius or de Cervantes.

    People are pretty much the same through time, given a basic level of civilisation.

    Well where did Abraham come from? Both Tel and notafan might be right.

  92. dover_beach

    Ceramic eggs found decorated from Bronze Age Ukranian sites … with quite similar decorations to what they are currently painting on Easter eggs today.

    Sure, but if these are the root from which Easter grew we should see and hear of eggs in the first few centuries of Christianity, not a millennium hence.

    Then explain why the Code of Hammurabi which is approx 3500 years old has so much in common with the fundamentals of many other legal systems including Greek, Roman and Biblical law?

    Because people are people. This is exactly what you would expect from a natural law perspective. Still, you’ve completely missed notafan’s point which is that the Old Testament provided a typology for the New Testament which Christians re-ordered and reimagined in the light of Christ, i.e. Christ became the New Adam, Mary the New Eve, the Church the New Israel, and so on. The idea that Christianity drew inspiration from the long dead Sumerians, etc. is just too silly to believe given the above.

  93. Notafan

    I was coming back to make the point about Easter not being a ‘marking of the seasons’

    I went to the Holy Thursday service last night and it was a forceable reminder of how completely intertwined Christianity is with J udasim.

    Christ, a J ew celebrating Passover with his J ewish companions.

    The Ishtar argument seems to be no more than

    Me it’s our wedding anniversary tomorrow! We are going to celebrate with champagne!

    You, all arms akimbo, tomorrow is the date on which we celebrate the first sinking of the sacred fresh water well.

    Your drinking champagne is direct evidence that you have merely stolen our sacred fresh water cult celebration, the fact that you have never heard of it when you got married is irrelevant.

    How dare you!!!!!

  94. Notafan

    Dot Abraham was a descendant of Noah.

    God is not a female fertility goddess, which I think as tel mentioned are very common throughout the world, as one of many gods.

    Every household had their own god, in ancient Greece, for example.

  95. Twostix

    Bugmen will not be able to help themselves: they will build a cathedral to bugmanism on notre dames land as a giant triumphalist FU.

    Another way that they are like muslims.

  96. My point was there was a line of monotheists going back to “Chaldean Ur”.

    I’m arguing that the bible actually contradicts Hislop.

  97. Notafan

    You are right about the extreme bigot Hislop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.