Yesterday a fire broke out in one of the most famous structures in the world, the Notre-Dame de Paris.
The cathedral was undergoing restoration and renovation efforts when a fire developed, causing significant damage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site:
The cathedral’s wood-and-lead spire and roof collapsed, and considerable damage was caused to the interior, upper walls, and windows, as well as to numerous works of art. The stone vaulted ceiling beneath the roof prevented most of the fire from spreading to the interior of the cathedral, saving the building from worse damage. Cathedral staff are working to assess damage to its interior features and religious artifacts.
-Wikipedia contributors. (2019, April 16). Notre-Dame de Paris fire. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:19, April 16, 2019, from this page.
When I heard the news I immediately thought of Assassin’s Creed Unity and the many hours I spent exploring the church up close or admiring it from afar. This “ancient queen of our cathedrals” was the centerpiece of the map and could always be seen, rain or shine, as you looked out from the terrace atop Arno’s home.
After playing Unity I felt – and still feel – connected to the architecture of Paris. Seeing the flames lap at the historic building in the news gave a real sense of loss, one that Parisians feel even more keenly.
I’m thankful there was no loss of life and saddened by destruction the fire caused, but I’m also grateful.
I’m grateful to Ubisoft and the teams there who created a game that allowed me to appreciate this cultural landmark in a way that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.