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Built over a century starting in 1163, Notre-Dame is considered to be among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture.

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron also took to Twitter to express the structure's significance to France and pledge that it would be restored.

News quickly spread about the bad fire at the historic cathedral, which is believed to have been caused by renovations, in the early morning hours of April 15.

"When you look at [the cathedral] from the front, there is no problem", Friends of Notre-Dame head Michel Picaud told the Times. "But when you go behind the scenes, that's when things start to go downhill".

A massive fire engulfed the roof of the cathedral in the heart of the French capital on Monday afternoon as Parisians watched in horror. Video posted to social media shows the 750-ton spire that stood atop the cathedral collapse as the roof burns.

The Friends of Notre Dame foundation has even been seeking to raise a massive €150 million ($180 million) from French citizens and Francophiles in the USA to help foot the bill for a major facelift.

"Notre Dame is not a building, she's an old lady that we come and say "hello" to and pay homage", he said.

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A firefighter at the scene said all efforts were being directed at saving the northern tower and the artwork at the back of the cathedral.

The spokesperson said that the fire had begun in the cathedral's attic.

Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV: "It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris" and its bells pealed for both "happy and unfortunate events".

Since then, it has undergone numerous restoration works, and ironically, latest restoration works may result in its final destruction.

"Deeply saddened by the news of the fire at Notre Dame".

As a catastrophic inferno tore through a cultural treasure, U.S. President Donald Trump assessed the response from 4,000 miles away and offered unsolicited advice for firefighters trying to save Paris' Notre Dame cathedral.

Notre Dame was constructed in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345.