Australia’s wanderlust-enthusiasts are today arguably as heartbroken as the Parisians over a catastrophic fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral, gutting and destroying the landmark’s spire, and stunning France and the world.

Flames that began in the early evening burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the entire roof.

However, while tragic, the disaster has provided a perfect excuse for one-time euro-travellers to trot out old photos from that one time they went to Paris.

Photos of young men and women standing in front of the 12th century monuments have pinballed across social media this morning with an array of similar captions.

Some examples were:

“Can’t believe this was only 6 years ago, when I visited Paris to see this beautiful building #NotreDame”

“Just shattered about the news of #NotreDame – here is a photo of me outside the Cathedral when it wasn’t on fire”

“Heartbroken #NotreDame 💔”

French officials and the Paris fire chief said they thought the iconic towers had been saved from the fire, and authorities said the cathedral’s structure was “saved from total destruction”.

Fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet said hundreds of firefighters had stopped the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry, but requested that all young Australian backpackers keep the iconic landmark in their prayers and Instagram captions.


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