JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Notre Dame fire, echoes of the 1837 blaze that destroyed Russia’s Winter Palace” – The Conversation/ Paul W. Werth

File Photo of Hermitage Art Museum

“In a city graced with remarkable architecture, the [C]athedral of Notre Dame may be Paris’ most striking edifice. … when it was engulfed by a fire that toppled its spire, it seemed as if more than a building had been scorched; the nation had lost a piece of its soul. … I couldn’t help but think of a similar tragedy … in 19th-century Russia – a story I tell in a forthcoming book about how … 1837 played a pivotal role in Russian history. File Photo of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, adapted from image at loc.govLike the people of France … mourning … damage to Notre Dame, the Russians were rocked by the destruction of an iconic building. … On Dec. 17, 1837, a fire broke out at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. … in the heart of the Russian capital, with 60,000 square meters of floor space and 1,500 rooms …. The palace – a symbol of autocratic monarchy in an age of revolution – was now in ruins. … To reverse the humiliation of the blaze, Nicholas set a nearly impossible goal: rebuild the palace within 15 months. …”

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