Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has not only inspired the religious and spiritual, but also architects who were inspired to build similar style cathedrals.
A massive fire Monday consumed the iconic gothic masterpiece in France. But the creation inspired others including those who built the Saint Peter-in-Chains Cathedral in 1826 on Reid Street near the Otonabee River in Peterborough.
“The interior is fashioned in the manner of a gothic-style cathedral very similar to Notre-Dame, obviously at a much smaller scale,” said Bishop Daniel Miehm.
He noted Notre Dame’s interior was designed by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc after the French Revolution. Miehm said Saint Peter’s stained glass windows and other Ontario cathedrals are similar to those found in Notre Dame.
WATCH: Notre Dame fire: Paris fire brigade footage shows extent of cathedral blaze
Bill Lett of Lett Architects Inc. in Peterborough says gothic architecture was spatially focused.
“Gothic architecture was really about height and light and air and space,” he said. “When you’re inside Saint Peter — with the tall windows and tall spire — it really has a lot of the traits. The stained glass was a huge part of neo-Gothicism.”
Peterborough architect Amelie Besnart, also of Lett Artchitects, used to live just two minutes from Notre Dame. She says she was left breathless by the scale of the devastation to the church initially built in 1160 and complete by 1260.
“I just saw the la fleche (spire) falling down, and I said ‘I don’t really want to watch what’s being destroyed yet,” she said.
“In Paris we called it the Old Lady … so for a lot of Parisians, it really felt like the mother of the city.”
The Peterborough and area Catholic community say they remain faithful Notre Dame will be rebuilt.
“Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the archbishop, to the priests and to the faithful of Paris at this time,” said Miehm.
“This cathedral has such importance for them. Certainly, it will rise again, I am convinced, in some fashion.”
VIDEO: Fire destroys historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris