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Nantes Cathedral on fire

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I have seen the pictures but had not read that arson was suspected at this point. The size of the fire does look suspicious.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
I have already removed some political and religious comments on this thread and as nobody yet knows how or why these fires started please do not speculate or post any more comments of similar content as they are not helpful.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Well I have heard from French news that arson was suspected, fire started in three different places.... Enquiry pending.
The organ - which survived the Revolution and the 2 wars - completely destroyed.
Very sad.
And I am very sorry to say, I have never even been there 😔 Oh except as a young child but I don’t remember anything 😀
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I attended an evening mass there on my 2011 pilgrimage-- as soon as I can find where I hid my credencial, I'll post the sello.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
My daughter was doing Erasmus in Nantes this year (had to return to Spain in April because Covid). I feel France like my own country. So sorry.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Nantes is a major stop on the contemporary Ways of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela. Also a historical stop for medieval pilgrims who often travelled part of the way by boat (sea and rivers). Nantes is not only near the sea but is/was a major port on the river Loire. And a major cathedral like Nantes Cathedral was of course also a destination of pilgrimage itself. Nantes has probably more to do with pilgrimage than many of the trails that are labelled "Camino" these days.

Nantes.jpg
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Numerous news articles about Nantes mention the fact that the roof of the cathedral is reinforced by concrete, following a disastrous fire in 1972, most likely caused by a workman's blow torch during repair work. It must have been a warning signal for other large Gothic cathedrals, alas not enough to prevent the terrible Notre Dame fire in Paris last year. As far as I remember, the large cathedrals in Santiago, Leon and Burgos no longer have wooden timber frames as support for the roof, it's concrete and steel now. Here are 2 photos from the earlier fire in Nantes in 1972.

Nantes 1972.jpg
 
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P Rat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe when we can again...(2021?)
Nantes is a major stop on the contemporary Ways of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela. Also a historical stop for medieval pilgrims who often travelled part of the way by boat (sea and rivers). Nantes is not only near the sea but is/was a major port on the river Loire. And a major cathedral like Nantes Cathedral was of course also a destination of pilgrimage itself. Nantes has probably more to do with pilgrimage than many of the trails that are labelled "Camino" these days.

View attachment 79074
Always enjoy your replies Katharina, you are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you for your (if need be compassionate) contributions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
Nantes is a major stop on the contemporary Ways of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela. Also a historical stop for medieval pilgrims who often travelled part of the way by boat (sea and rivers). Nantes is not only near the sea but is/was a major port on the river Loire. And a major cathedral like Nantes Cathedral was of course also a destination of pilgrimage itself. Nantes has probably more to do with pilgrimage than many of the trails that are labelled "Camino" these days.

View attachment 79074
The old capital
of the dukes of Brittany before it became Frenchbretagne
Nantes is a major stop on the contemporary Ways of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela. Also a historical stop for medieval pilgrims who often travelled part of the way by boat (sea and rivers). Nantes is not only near the sea but is/was a major port on the river Loire. And a major cathedral like Nantes Cathedral was of course also a destination of pilgrimage itself. Nantes has probably more to do with pilgrimage than many of the trails that are labelled "Camino" these days.

View attachment 79074
The old capital
of the Dukes of Brittany before it became French in XVI century
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Latest News for us.


FRENCH INVESTIGATORS HAVE questioned a man who worked as a volunteer at the gothic cathedral of Nantes which was badly damaged by fire hours after he locked it up for the night.
Prosecutors launched an arson investigation after the Saturday morning blaze which they said appeared to have broken out in three different parts of the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Nantes, western France.
Sunday’s questioning sought to “clarify elements of the schedule” of the man on Friday evening, Nantes prosecutor Pierre Sennes said.
He was being held as part of “normal procedure” and it would be “premature” to suggest the man was a suspect in the case, he added.
The blaze, which came just 15 months after a devastating fire tore through the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, destroyed the Nantes congregation’s famed organ, which dated from 1621 and had survived the French revolution and World War II bombardment.
Also lost were priceless artefacts and paintings, including a work by 19th century artist Hippolyte Flandrin and stained glass windows which contained remnants of 16th century glass.
About 100 firefighters managed to save the main structure of the cathedral, which was constructed over more than 450 years starting in 1434.
Sennes said experts from a police unit specialised in fire investigations were at the scene today, awaiting authorisation from firefighters to examine the platform on which the grand organ had stood.

‘Unimaginable loss’
Sennes said yesterday a preliminary examination had found no signs of forced entry at the cathedral.
Investigators did find three separate fire outbreaks, at “a substantial distance” from one another and at opposite ends of the church, he said, which led to the opening of an arson probe.
One of the fires started near the organ which was on the first level of the cathedral and accessible by 66 steps.
Catholic official Father Francois Renaud, who oversees the cathedral, said the organ console had “completely disappeared”, and described it as “an unimaginable loss”.
“The console of the choir organ has gone up in smoke along with the adjoining wooden choir stalls. Original stained glass windows behind the great organ have all shattered,” he said.
The cathedral’s rector, Hubert Champenois, said yesterday that “everything was in order last night,” and “a very close inspection was made before it closed, like every other evening.”
The volunteer was being questioned about “the conditions of the closing of the cathedral” on Friday evening, Sennes said.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Ohhhh.
It seems a little silly to feel sad about a building right now in the middle of a pandemic, but this got me. On top of all the other damage — the organ...
This year is a little too intense for my taste.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Ohhhh.
It seems a little silly to feel sad about a building right now in the middle of a pandemic, but this got me. On top of all the other damage — the organ...
This year is a little too intense for my taste.
Yes we do need a break from 2020 and we still have 5 months to go! A long walk would sure do our hearts and minds good. But alas!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
The man who was being questioned has just now been released, apparently he was not implicated.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The man who was being questioned has just now been released, apparently he was not implicated.
It really did seem to be just routine questioning, as he was the guy who's job it is to lock the Cathedral doors every evening.

It seemed clear from the French-language newspaper reporting that there was little chance he was implicated, as he is a long-standing member of the diocesan and cathedral parish community.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Before the terrible fire of Notre Dame de Paris, I could never understand how, throughout the centuries, these stone cathedrals could burn and collapse when such an incident was mentioned in a brochure or information board.

As to Nantes, it has apparently not been possible yet to assess the major site of the three fires where the organ was, as it is on a higher floor and it is still too dangerous and unstable for the specialist investigators to go there. A photo from one of the two other locations that were burnt shows the large electricity box that is completely destroyed and had been placed directly under a precious painting, now totally gone. The box had been hidden behind a large screen or board with information about the nearby tomb (see bottom right) which explains some of the debris I guess.

 
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susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
I have already removed some political and religious comments on this thread and as nobody yet knows how or why these fires started please do not speculate or post any more comments of similar content as they are not helpful.
Thankyou Wayfarer for Good and Sensible Advice.....I do hope that people will read your words and act on them accordingly. Susanawee.
 

Les Stewart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Francigena, KumanoKodo,Benedetto, Iseji, Assisi, Kunisaki, Shikoku 88 (1~24), Kohechi,Dajia Mazu
2020-07-25T17:57-0400
Reuters

Nantes Cathedral Fire Investigators Rearrest Volunteer


NANTES, France (Reuters) - French police investigating the fire that engulfed the 15th-century Nantes Cathedral last week have rearrested a Rwandan refugee who had been questioned and released earlier in the criminal probe, local prosecutor Pierre Sennes said.
The 39-year-old man, who worked as a volunteer warden at the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, was questioned again on Saturday by prosecutors who are now formally seeking his detention after new forensic evidence came to light.


Early results from police laboratory work show further evidence of arson, Sennes said on Saturday.
The July 18 blaze engulfed the inside of the Gothic structure, destroying a grand organ, stained-glass windows and a painting. Fires started in three different places within the building, with no sign of a break-in, authorities said.
 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
From the BBC...

" A church volunteer has been rearrested in connection with a fire that devastated the cathedral in the French city of Nantes.

A prosecutor quoted by Le Monde said the suspect - a Rwandan refugee who worked as a warden at the cathedral - had admitted causing the fire.

His lawyer told another newspaper that the man "bitterly regrets" his actions. "



 

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