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One of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the country caught fire in France, arson is suspected.

In Nantes in western France, a fire broke out in the Cathedral of Peter and Paul - one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the country. The Nantes Cathedral was built over 457 years: from 1434 to 1891. Prior to this, three more churches were located in the same place - the early Christian Roman chapel of the III century, the cathedral of the VI century and the cathedral in the Romanesque style of the XI century.

e largest Gothic cathedrals in the country caught fire in France, arson is suspected.

The fire became known at 7:44. About a hundred firefighters took part in the extinguishing. By 10:30, the fire was localized, so that he did not share the fate of Notre Dame Cathedral, which was badly damaged during the fire in 2019. However, it was not without losses: the organ burned down.

“The destruction affected a large organ, which is probably completely destroyed. The platform on which it is located is very unstable and threatens with collapse,” General Laurent Ferlet told the fire department of the Atlantic Loire Department to reporters.

The design of the cathedral itself was not significantly affected. Firefighters confirmed that the fire did not affect the foundations of the structure. The police completely cordoned off the block to prevent crowding. French Prime Minister Jean Castex, Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin and Minister of Culture Roseline Bachelot departed for Nantes. French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken on Twitter with words of support for firefighters.

"After Notre Dame, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul caught fire in the heart of Nantes. Support for our firefighters who risk to save this gothic pearl of the city of the Dukes," the head of state wrote.

The Nantes prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the fire. Prosecutor Pierre Sennes said that three sources of fire were recorded in the cathedral, which could indicate intentional arson. One focus was found near a large organ, the other two on the right and left of the nave, BFMTV reports .

Representative of the French National Fire Service Federation Alexander Zhuassard noted that at first the version of problems with electricity was considered, but after several fires were discovered, it became “obvious that something shocking had happened”, France Bleu radio station reports The Nantes prosecutor's office opened an arson case, the investigation is being conducted by the judicial police.

Experts noted that the current fire should not be compared with the fire in Notre Dame, nor with the fire of 1972, during which the roof of the Nantes Cathedral was seriously damaged, and it had to be closed for a three-year repair. Then the burnt wooden floors were replaced with concrete.

The Nantes Cathedral is six meters below Notre Dame Cathedral, and surpasses it in height of the nave under the arches. This is the largest Gothic church in historic Brittany.

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