The world reacted with shock, horror and prayers as a massive fire ripped through the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday.
United in grief and in solidarity with the people of France, the catastrophic inferno made headlines both at home and abroad.
As the blaze raged, tourists and Parisians looked on aghast as one of its spires collapsed and the flames threatened one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures.
After burning for about 8 hours, the fire was largely extinguished by 3am on Tuesday.
Here’s how the world reacted to the disaster.
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the Cathedral in Paris, describing it as "the epicentre of our life" and the cathedral of "all the French", whether religious or not.
He expressed relief that "the worst had been avoided" in a blaze that had at one point threatened the entire edifice, and left France in shock over the damage to a building described as the soul of the nation.
notre dame gallery
"Notre-Dame survived all the wars, all the bombardments. We never thought it could burn. I feel incredibly sad and empty," Stephane Seigneurie, a consultant who joined other shocked onlookers in a solemn rendition of "Ave Maria" as they watched the fire from a nearby bridge.
"We have been dealt a knockout blow," a stricken-looking Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit told reporters.
La Croix, a daily Catholic paper in France, carried the headline "Heart in ashes".
#NotreDame – Notre une du journal.
"Le coeur en cendres"
Notre direct : https://t.co/XqGPHK9Uck pic.twitter.com/Z5TQCp0Jik
— La Croix (@LaCroix) April 15, 2019
An editorial piece on the front page by editor Guillaume Goubert read: "A country such as ours, profoundly secular, de-Christianised and which suddenly felt its heart shake to see a church aflame.
"The cathedral in Paris clearly has a specific place in the collective consciousness, in France, in Europe and in the world.
"It has been the most visited monument in Europe for centuries, through wars and revolutions.
"Without anyone being aware of it, this vessel of stone and wood speaks to our rooting in a history where the Christian faith held a decisive place."
Le Figaro declared it a "Disaster" in its front-page headline, writing that "Faced with this scene of loss, accounts of solidarity and sadness have flocked from across the world".
La Une belle et tragique du @Le_Figaro. pic.twitter.com/PhHEH2ySGR
— J-Christophe Buisson (@jchribuisson) April 15, 2019
Liberation leads with a picture of the fire and the headline: "Our tragedy".
Notre drame – la une de Libération du mardi 16 avril 2019 pic.twitter.com/dRCIexgGZ4
— Libération (@libe) April 15, 2019
Historians expressed incredulity at the collapse of a building that has been a symbol of France for almost a millennium and withstood war and revolution.
"If Paris is the Eiffel Tower then France is Notre Dame. It’s the entire culture, entire history of France incarnated in this monument," Bernard Lecompte, a writer and specialist in religious history told BFM TV.
A comment from the Louvre Museum’s Twitter account said: "The fire which has struck Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a tragedy for World Heritage.
"The Louvre expresses its deepest admiration and solidarity with those who are currently battling the flames."
Horrific images of the devastating fire covered the front pages on Tuesday morning, a day after British politicians and religious leaders expressed their sadness at the blaze.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: "My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral."
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in Japan, said he was thinking of his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian "and all our friends in France tonight following the devastating fire at Notre Dame.
"Heartbreaking for the millions who love this great cathedral and great city across the world. Wishing you all the best in tackling the blaze and its consequences," he added.
Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and chair of the Home Affairs select committee is in Paris, and tweeted a picture close to the devastating scene.
"Have just come away from the bank of the Seine after the spire fell as I can’t bear to watch any more," she said.
"Fearful for anyone close to the flames, and aghast that centuries of history & beauty could disappear into smoke so fast."
Westminster Abbey in central London said on its official Twitter account that it was "devastated".
"Devastated for our friends at £NotreDame and for the people of France," it tweeted. "You are in our thoughts and prayers tonight."
The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was praying for "everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps".
He tweeted: "Tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic £NotreDame fire – and for everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps for this beautiful, sacred place where millions have met with Jesus Christ."
Leaders of the European Union shared thoughts on the news, with European Council president Donald Tusk tweeting: "We are all with Paris today."
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker described the fire as a "horror".
In a press release written in French, Mr Juncker said: "I am minute by minute the fire of which Notre-Dame de Paris is the prey.
"Our Lady of Paris belongs to the whole of mankind. What a sad spectacle. What a horror.
"I share the emotion of the French nation which is also ours."
European Parliament chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said he was "so sad" to see "a masterpiece of European gothic is at risk".
"I hope that the Paris fire brigade will get the fire under control as soon as possible," tweeted Mr Verhofstadt. "My thoughts are with the people of France as a masterpiece of European gothic is at risk of being destroyed."
Spain’s prime minister offered France the help of his country in the recovery.
The fire is a "catastrophe for France, for Spain and for Europe," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted, adding that the flames are destroying "850 years of history, architecture, painting and sculpture."
La Casa del Rey posted a message on its Twitter account: "The French people will rebuild it, raise it up again. And we will be there, the whole world is and will be with France. The cathedral of Notre Dame will rise from its ashes. "
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Notre-Dame cathedral a "symbol of France and our European culture".
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) tweeted, "the burning Notre Dame also hits us in the heart".
The CSU European politician Manfred Weber spoke tweeted his "deep sadness" at the "horrible images" from Paris. "With all my heart with the French and the French," he tweeted.
The Cologne cathedral provost Gerd Bachner was shocked by the fire. "It’s really shattering to see these pictures, it’s terrible to see it," said Bachner. "Our thoughts are with the Catholics and all the French and we grieve with them."
Notre Dame has been a place of pilgrimage and prayer for Catholics around the world. Open every day for Mass, it remained the beating heart of French Catholicism.
The Vatican on Monday expressed its "incredulity" and "sadness", expressing " our closeness with French Catholics and with the Parisian population."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said he was praying "to ask the intercession of Notre Dame, our Lady, for the Cathedral at the heart of Paris, and of civilization, now in flames! God preserve this splendid house of prayer, and protect those battling the blaze."
I just went next door to our own beloved Cathedral, Saint Patrick’s, to ask the intercession of Notre Dame, our Lady, for the Cathedral at the heart of Paris, and of civilization, now in flames! God preserve this splendid house of prayer, and protect those battling the blaze.
— Cardinal Dolan (@CardinalDolan) April 15, 2019
The Catholic Church in the Holy Land expressed solidarity with the church in France.
"We pray that there will be no injuries, for the fire not to be intentional and for least possible damage to the Church," a statement released in Jerusalem said.
"We express our solidarity with (the) Church in France," the statement added.
It noted that the huge blaze that has engulfed the landmark took place as Catholics around the world are observing the Holy Week that precedes Easter.
US President Donald Trump in a tweet said it was "horrible" to watch the fire but caused controversy by offering advice on how to put it out.
"Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!" he said.
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
But France’s civil security service, which oversees crisis management in the country, tweeted back at Trump that the use of water-bombing aircraft was not being considered.
"If used, (this) could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral," it said.
Tomorrow’s @nytimes tonight: Inferno savages beloved Notre-Dame Cathedral; Democratic dust-up as Sanders and Clinton loyalist rekindle feud. #nytimes pic.twitter.com/0FHRpZOOYX
— Tom Jolly (@TomJolly) April 16, 2019
Mr Trump’s vice president Mike Pence said it was "heartbreaking to see a house of God in flames", describing the cathedral as "an iconic symbol of faith to people all over the world".
Former US president Barack Obama shared his condolences and a message to rebuild "as strong as we can".
He tweeted: "Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief.
"It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can."
Michelle Obama, who was in Paris on Monday on a book tour, said "my heart aches with the people of France."
The majesty of Notre Dame—the history, artistry, and spirituality—took our breath away, lifting us to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be. Being here in Paris tonight, my heart aches with the people of France. Yet I know that Notre Dame will soon awe us again. https://t.co/p1mIDMbwe1
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) April 15, 2019
"The majesty of Notre Dame – the history, artistry, and spirituality – took our breath away, lifting us to a higher understanding of who we are and who we can be," she tweeted. She predicted the cathedral would rise again.
Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Notre Dame showed that humans could "unite for a higher purpose".
"My heart goes out to Paris," she tweeted. "Notre Dame is a symbol of our ability as human beings to unite for a higher purpose – to build breathtaking spaces for worship that no one person could have built on their own.
My heart goes out to Paris. Notre Dame is a symbol of our ability as human beings to unite for a higher purpose—to build breathtaking spaces for worship that no one person could have built on their own. I wish France strength and shared purpose as they grieve and rebuild.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 15, 2019
"I wish France strength and shared purpose as they grieve and rebuild."