It has stood for a multitude of different things over nearly a millennium. Ignoring everything else that has changed around it over that time-politics, culture, war, peace-even if you just examined the change in the concept of Church itself that has happened in the past 900 years it’s been there, what it’s stood for, what it’s opposed, at what point, who, why etc, that’s a big deal.What does the building derive its significance from? And what does it symbollically represent? Sure, it's aesthetically a beautiful building, but, symbollically, it's difficult to see how it's actually a bad thing that it's burning to the ground.
And look at when it was built and built upon, and how, and why, and with what tools and knowledge etc. It’s absolutely arguable that for all our advances in construction and technology, there will never again be a building built which matches it’s beauty and iconic stature in all that remains of our species history.
The erosion or destruction of anything that has seen humanity in all its scope, evil, dreadful, beautiful and glorious all at once, for a very long period of time, is a profound loss. It is a reminder that some (most) things are bigger than us and our mortality. We share in a massive and complex narrative for a mere fraction of time. Notre Dame and buildings like it speak to a truth of existence that no one life ever can.
And now my newly born nephew will never get to visit it like I have. It’s gone. Survived countless revolutions, wars, World War Fucking 2, now just snuffsd out on a Monday. Something as seemingly immortal as that. It’s a very existential moment.