It happened right before our eyes, the destruction of one of the most important architectural achievements of western civilization: The burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, that historic church right in the center of Paris.
What burned was not just a tremendous loss to architecture, it was a tremendous loss to western civilization, and it points to an even greater loss: A spiritual loss that came before the architectural loss.
The fact that the national symbol was also a cathedral was itself a reminder that you can’t tell the story of western civilization, you can’t even tell the story of the Reformation or the modern age without talking about the age of the cathedrals.
The architecture of Notre Dame cries out: Christianity is at the center of our civilization.
Perhaps the saddest moment for Parisians came with the fall of the iconic spire at the center of the cathedral—a spire pointing to the heavens, with a cross at the very top pointing to God and the reigning Jesus Christ.
Notre Dame Cathedral, before and after the fire, remains now a symbol of Europe’s loss of faith.