Beth Stevens spent the last day of her first journey to Paris visiting Notre Dame Cathedral.
Later, she discovered the famed “Woman of Paris” had gone up in flames.
The Homewood resident, who works at Palos Heights Public Library, stated she was within the revered cathedral around 8:30 a.m. Monday.
“It was my final day right here and I noticed I hadn’t been inside, so I went,” Stevens stated.
“It was so lovely,” she stated.
Later, round 6:30 p.m., whereas consuming a crepe on the steps of the Church of St. Severin, she observed a big plume of “greenish smoke arising.”
She snapped a photograph, not figuring out the supply of the blaze, and headed again to her lodge in Paris’ Latin Quarter.
Officers say Notre Dame Cathedral towers saved after hearth ravages Paris landmark »
“By the point I reached my lodge individuals have been saying Notre Dame was burning,” she stated by way of telephone Monday evening.
After hearing on the news that folks have been singing in the streets, she stated she headed again out to take heed to the hymns.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” she stated. “I feel everyone’s in shock right now.”
Stevens, who was touring alone, stated she purchased “low cost tickets” to the City of Mild last fall “as a result of I’d all the time needed to go.”
Until Monday night, she stated, “It had been a stupendous journey. A bit of chilly but sunny.”
Stevens, whose undergraduate diploma is in history, stated, “To observe that much history go up in smoke just breaks my heart. However as a historian, in these previous buildings, I typically go ‘Oh my God, one match and it’s gone.’ There’s so much there they usually’re so previous.”
Situated in Paris’ fourth arrondissement (subdivision), Notre Dame is likely one of the metropolis’s most iconic landmarks.
Stevens stated she final saw the cathedral, with its famous flying buttresses, gargoyles and spires, about half-hour earlier than the hearth broke out, when she walked past for one final look.
After learning of the blaze, she stated she didn’t need to see the destruction.
“But I needed to…