Heartbroken social media users shared poignant images of Notre Dame’s most famous resident weeping as the inferno engulfed the famous Paris landmark.
They posted pictures of a tearful Quasimodo from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame with his arms embracing the iconic building as they watched 850 years of history go up in flames.
One showed the famous bell-ringer holding the burning cathedral in his hands alongside the words: ‘Today he cries. It was the part of a childhood of a lot of people around the world.’
Another showed a pink heart on the front facade of the 850-year-old structure, and one pictured a gargoyle, one of the building’s famous features, weeping.
Social media users posted pictures of a tearful Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame with his arms around the iconic building
The Disney film is based on the 1831 novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo, and features Quasimodo and his struggles to be accepted into society.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a novel by Victor Hugo, and published in French as Notre-Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris) in 1831.
It tells the story of gypsy girl Esmerelda, who is love by three men, Archdeacon Frollo, his adoptive son Quasimodo, the bell-ringer of Notre Dame, and Captain Phoebus.
The story is set in Paris in 1482 during the reign of Louis XI.
Esmerelda is falsely accused of trying to murder Phoebus, and is sentenced to death, but is rescued by Quasimodo, the protagonist of the novel.
The iconic character of QuasimodoHe was born with a hunchback and feared by the people of Paris.
The role has been played by many actors and stage adaptions, including Disney’s 1996 film.
Hugo describes Notre Dame as ‘a central mother church . . . It has the head of one, the limbs of another, the haunches of another, something of all’.
The novel went on to become a key text in French literature and is credited with helping to bring about the cathedral’s reconstruction in the middle of the 19th century.
It tells the story of gypsy girl Esmerelda, who is loved by three men, Archdeacon Frollo, his adoptive son Quasimodo, the bell-ringer of Notre Dame, and Captain Phoebus.
The iconic character of Quasimodo was born with a hunchback and feared by the people of Paris.
The role has been played by many actors and stage adaptations, including Disney’s 1996 film.
The blaze also prompted tourists to upload their holiday photos taken in front of the building.
One wrote: ‘So sad. This was such a beautiful historical cathedral.
‘We were fortunate and so lucky to spend time in this church. Sending love hugs and prayers for Paris.’
As memes flooded the internet firefighters announced at 8.45am that the blaze had been ‘fully extinguished.’
It came hours after they confirmed they had saved the main structure from being completely destroyed.
Last night French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame after the devastating inferno gutted the Catholic cathedral.
Speaking just hours after the roof of the 850-year-old building caved in, Macron said a national fundraising campaign to restore the historic building would be launched and called on the world’s ‘greatest talents’ to help.
The French leader credited the ‘courage’ and ‘great professionalism’ of firefighters with sparing Notre Dame’s spectacular Gothic facade and two landmark towers from being destroyed, saying ‘the worst has been avoided’.
But much of the UNESCO World Heritage landmark building was devastated. The 300ft-tall Gothic spire collapsed into the embers early in the blaze to pained cries of ‘Oh my God’ from locals transfixed by the unfolding scene.
Instagram was flooded with memes from users expressing their sorrow, some showing pictures of Quasimodo from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, embracing the cathedral. One posted an image of the character holding the burning building in his hands, and wrote: ‘Today he cries. It was the part of a childhood of a lot of people around the world’
The blaze broke out just before 7pm local time in a roof area undergoing around £6m of renovations.
The fire service said last night they believed it was an accident, but investigations were continuing.
More than 400 firefighters battled the flames, which quickly spread along the roof structure, causing burning timbers to collapse onto the ceiling of the vault below.
The blaze also prompted tourists to upload their holiday photos taken in front of the building. One wrote: ‘So sad. This was such a beautiful historical cathedral. ‘We were fortunate and so lucky to spend time in this church’
Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, with shocked onlookers watching
Horrified onlookers watch as the 850-year-old Gothic building goes up in flames, shocking the international community
Parisians gather on the River Seine this evening to look at the flames spreading throughout the cathedral. The blaze started in the late afternoon
Some of that collapsed into the aisle however the cathedral’s Twitter account declared the damage inside was less than feared, in a message ending ‘Allelujah’.
At around 3am local time, Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet said: ‘We can consider that the main structure of Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved as well as the two towers.’
And a brigade spokesman added: ‘We will continue to watch over any residual pockets of fire and cool down the areas that are still red-hot, like the wooden beam framework.’
One fireman was severely injured tackling the blaze, but no fatalities were reported.
Teams of firefighters from across the city were called in to try and put out the fire after it spread quickly through the cathedral on Monday evening
The building – and the entire Ile de la Cite island it occupies in the centre of the French capital – were successfully evacuated as the seriousness of the fire became clear.
As well as the historic stricture, the cathedral was home to dozens of priceless artefacts, including the reputed Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus during his crucifixion.
A human chain of emergency service workers carried this and many other items to safety.