The massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has saddened people all over the world, including some students and faculty members at Wright State University.
According to professors, hundreds of Wright State students were able to see what the cathedral once was, thanks to an annual trip to France run since 2003.
“Looking at it from outside, just to see the architecture, it’s just gorgeous,” said Michael Sakulich, a senior who has attended the trip.
“It’s so hard to describe in words,” said Kearstyn Bowen, a sophomore who also visited Paris. “It’s so beautiful.”
“Looking at our students entering the cathedral, and they all have the same fascinated look,” said Pascale Abadie, an assistant professor of French at Wright State.
Professors Abadie and Kirsten Halling organize the trip each year.
Notre Dame brings back many memories for Abadie, who grew up in Paris. Many of her family members still live there.
“Everybody is just horrified,” Abadie said of the fire. “We just don’t know because they’ve seen all the smokes. All of the Parisians are outside waiting, watching. And then it was devastating to see that rooftop [when it] fell.”
Halling said she has also been concerned about what’s inside the building.
“There’s all kinds of beautiful artwork on the inside,” Halling said. “I worry about the windows, the enormous and prized rose windows.”
Abadie said she is confident a new chapter for Notre Dame will rise from the rubble.
“It means everything to the French,” she said. “And to the world. Because so many people go to France and to Paris particulary.”
This year’s Wright State trip to Paris is set for May, Halling said.