Local reaction to Notre Dame Cathedral fire

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - As the famed Cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire in Paris Monday, people in France are grieving.

"As I'm watching the reports come out of France and the words everyone keeps repeating, whether they are a believer in Catholic ritual or not, is that, 'Our hearts are burning. Our hearts are bleeding. Our hearts are crying,'" said Katie Jarvis, an assistant professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.

Jarvis, a French historian, said the cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Paris, adding the 12th-century church is one of the most famous symbols of Gothic architecture. It also is known for the rose stained-glass windows.

"It's been a center for music," Jarvis described. "Its organ and the organists that have played it have been a center for innovation throughout multiple centuries. It's one of the most prestigious posts for an organist in the world."

Jarvis said the Cathedral of Notre Dame is the 0-kilometer mark from which all distances measure throughout France.

"It's really a heart of the country," she offered.

Jarvis added the cathedral is important politically because it's the location where Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804.