Notre Dame Cathedral not just inspiration for the religious, but for countless films

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(PARIS) — The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire Monday and thanks to the firefighters who fought the blaze through the night, the famed cathedral is still standing today.

The fire broke out at 6:50 p.m. local time Monday and quickly spread along the roof of the cathedral, which was undergoing a $170 million renovation.

Valérie Pécresse, president of the Île-de-France region that encompasses Paris, told “GMA” Tuesday that watching the blaze tear through the church yesterday was “like tearing our hearts apart because the cathedral is the heart of Paris.”

“The whole of France was really upset,” she added.

In fact, it was the whole world that was terrified by the fire, the cathedral being a symbol of hope and inspiration for millions around the globe. That was evident by the thousands seen outside Monday watching, praying for the cathedral and its contents.

And whether you’ve stood outside the great cathedral or walked its halls, you’ve no doubt been inspired by its glory through famed movies and shows along the years. Here are a few of the films that used Notre Dame as its muse.

1 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This film, which has several versions to its credit, not only dates back to 1956, but also bears the name of the cathedral in its title.

This film features the gypsy Esmeralda and the hunchback Quasimodo, and while the 1950’s version wasn’t shot at the actual cathedral, it was filmed in Paris nearby at a set made to look exactly the same.

One of the most popular versions of this timeless classic is the 1996 cartoon with Jason Alexander as the voice of Hugo.

2 – Before Sunset

This 2004 sequel to the cult classic “Before Sunrise,” features the famed cathedral during a pivotal part of the movie as Jesse is trying to figure out how life would have been different if he and Celine had ended up together.

The Ethan Hawke hit would go on to feature a third movie in the series, where they did end up with one another and how life was after this great romance.

3 – Ratatouille

Another animated hit, this time from Pixar, features the cathedral as the film follows the blossoming love between Linguini and Colette.

This adorable tale featured rats, including the hilarious Remy, who were revelations in the kitchen and could cook like no other.

4 – The Walk

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as daredevil Philippe Petit, the man who eventually walked on a wire the gap between the original World Trade Center towers.

Notre Dame is seen in this 2015 film as Petit is explaining how he already walked between the two towers of the cathedral.

5 – Midnight in Paris

You can’t film a love story in Paris without having the cathedral in at least some of the shots.

In the film, Owen Wilson is transported back to the past, as he meets his writing idols, who are now mostly gone.

From the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, the cathedral is just as much a character in this film as the late icons.

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