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"Le désastre": French newspapers release front pages showing images of Notre Dame Cathedral fire

Massive fire destroys Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame cathedral suffers extensive damage in massive blaze 03:16

A massive fire erupted Monday at the legendary Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, causing the building's spire and roof to collapse. The magnitude of destruction at the iconic site dominated domestic and international news, with many of the country's newspapers using social media to preview front pages that feature images of the fire.

Many newspapers evoked strong emotion with their front pages, such as the headline of the Roman Catholic newspaper, "La Croix," proclaiming, "Le coeur en cendres," which translates to "heart in ashes" in English.

Daily newspaper "20 Minutes" featured another heart-wrenching image of the cathedral ablaze with text, which translates to English as "Notre Dame Devastated." Another daily paper, "Le Parisien," will print the headline, "Our Lady of Tears" in French on their front page Tuesday.

Daily paper "Libération," also known as "Libé," utilized a play on the French word "Drame," which translates to drama. Drame is almost the same word as "dame," which translates to "lady." Thus, the paper's headline, "Notre Drame," can be read as both "Our Drama" and "Our Dame."

The oldest national daily newspaper in the country, "Le Figaro," chose the text, "Notre Dame of Paris — The Disaster" in French for its front page. Camille Lecuit, a journalist with the publication, tweeted the image of the paper with a quote from the novel, "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame," by famed French writer Victor Hugo.

The book was originally published with title "Notre-Dame de Paris" in 1831, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica. The original title translates to "Notre Dame of Paris," revealing the newspaper's front page headline as a possible reference to the novel, which was set around the cathedral.

The historic cathedral, which welcomes nearly 13 million visitors a year, received an outpouring of praise Monday from world leaders and religious figures as the blaze caused the iconic spire at the top of the building and part of the roof to collapse.

In a statement, the Vatican said, "We express closeness to the French Catholics and the people of Paris and we assure our prayers for the firefighters and those who are doing everything possible to face this dramatic situation." President Trump sang the praises of the cathedral: "It's part of our culture, it's part of our lives. That is a truly great cathedral and I've been there, I've seen it, and there is... no cathedral in the world like it. It is a terrible scene."

French President Emmanuel Macron called the fire a "terrible tragedy" and confirmed that the cathedral's stone facade and two main towers avoided collapsing amid the destruction. Authorities haven't yet determined the cause of the fire and no injuries have been reported.

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