Australians – and many around the world – woke this morning to the sad and shocking news that the iconic Cathedral Notre Dame was being destroyed by fire.

The 12 hour battle for firefighters was haunting at times, with those in the area singing hymns as they watched their beloved church destroyed.

More than just a church, the unfolding tragedy was not just sad for Parisians, but for those around the world – religious and not – who have had the pleasure of visiting, and indeed many who haven’t.

While it’s unclear just how much damage there has been, it’s also unclear whether and how the cathedral will be rebuilt or repaired.

If you’re keen to see (or relive) how glorious the site was, you can do so on Google Maps thanks to street view going inside the Cathedral to give viewers some idea of the scale and beauty within.

As someone who’s visited – and quite recently – our own Chris and Rachel were especially upset at today’s news, but were fortunate enough to visit the cathedral inside and out. It truly is – or was – a must see item for any visit to Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron noted that despite the roof and the iconic spire being lost to the fire, much of the face of the building has been saved by the firefighting efforts which were undoubtedly hampered by the wooden construction of the building from the era.

President Macron has already announced his intention for the Cathedral Notre Dame to be rebuilt, and called for a public donation fund to be established to help the efforts. Rebuilding will be a huge job – and very expensive – but we can only hope that the rebuild holds to the beauty that was previously there.

For now, you can visit using Google Maps – drag the person onto the site, and virtually tour Notre Dame as it once stood.

Via: ABC.