Just a few days ago a massive fire took over the pearl of gothic architecture, Notre-Dame de Paris. The images of the cathedral on fire spread in just a few moments, making the whole world shutter and whisper the words of solidarity with France. Notre-Dame has lived through wars and revolutions, but we couldn’t keep it safe in the 21st century. It’s sad, but we keep losing the gorgeous places we love, even though we have everything it takes to protect them.
Here at Bright Side we want to remember the beautiful architectural and natural sites that we’ve lost over the last 5 years, in hopes that we all can do something to stop it.
1. Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris, France
The fire at Notre-Dame de Paris shocked the whole world and became almost a personal tragedy for every French citizen. A masterpiece of French gothic architecture suffered from a massive fire on April, 15, 2019. According to police investigators, the fire started at the center of the cathedral’s roof. The causes of the tragedy are still being investigated. One of the theories suggests that the fire may be connected with the construction work that was taking place at the cathedral at the moment of the disaster.
Over the 8 centuries of its history, Notre-Dame served as a religious, cultural, and educational center for France and the whole world and inspired the most prominent artists. It survived several wars, political and religious conflicts, and it’s terribly sad we couldn’t take care of it in the 21st century.
2. Legzira Beach, Sidi Ifni, Morocco
A pair of beautiful archways on Legzira Beach have been a landmark and one of the symbols of Morocco, until one of them collapsed in September of 2016. A pile of rubble on the coast was the only thing that was left of the natural wonder that attracted thousands of tourists to the beach. Some people blamed the local authorities for the arch collapse.
A few months before the tragedy people noticed cracks and small rocks falling from the arch, so it was predicted that it was going to fall sooner or later. Local residents believe that the authorities could have shored the arch to protect it.
3. Temple of Bel, Palmyra, Syria
The main temple of Palmyra was destroyed in 2015 during the war in Syria. It was one of the most important religious buildings from the 1st century AD and ancient world in general. What’s left of it now is a pair of columns standing amidst ruins.
The city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, included monumental ruins of the ancient city, arts and architecture dating back to 1st and 2nd centuries, and the integration of Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions. It also had more than 1,000 columns, a Roman aqueduct, and a necropolis with more than 500 tombs. Unfortunately, many treasures of this ancient city suffered during the conflict in Syria.
4. Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Joshua Tree national park is a wonderful place that boasts of unique desert ecosystems with surreal geological features and a great variety of the most unusual plants. In January 2019 the park stayed open to the public during the 35-day government shutdown. The ranger supervision was considerably reduced during these days, and the park suffered from terrible vandalism.
People cut down the tress, started fires, damaged the trails, and left graffiti on these amazing spots. One of the park’s former superintendents said, that the park might take 200 to 300 years to recover from the damage it got over just a couple of weeks.
5. The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark
The sculpture was made by Edvard Eriksen in 1909, and we have actually “lost” this monument many times during its comparatively short history. The gorgeous mermaid was decapitated twice, she lost her arm, and has been covered with paint and graffiti innumerable times.
People did these awful acts of vandalism because they were bored, drunk, or mentally ill, or just to make their political protests more impressive. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that this monument will ever stop being a target for vandals, but we hope that we can find some ways to protect it from people’s cruelty.
6. Lake Mackenzie, Tasmania, Australia
In January and February of 2016 Tasmania suffered from severe bush fires which affected one of the most picturesque lakes of the region, Lake Mackenzie. The bushfires also destroyed unique plants, some of which, like the ancient pencil pines, have no chances to regenerate.
All in all, the fire scorched 20,000 hectares of Tasmanian wilderness. Even though now, years after the disaster, plants are starting to show signs of recovery, it will take a long time before we can see this place green and alive again.
7. Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire, England
It’s not a secret that tourism ruins landmarks, but it still sounds unbelievable when people destroy 320 million years of history in just a few seconds. In June of 2018, kids toppled one of the balancing rocks in Brimham Rocks, and the stone broke into pieces.
These weirdly shaped balancing rocks have been formed by wind and ice over millions of years, but for some reason people found it appropriate to ruin this beauty and piece of history. Apart from physically ruining the natural treasure, they also carve their names on these stones that appeared even before the first dinosaurs walked the earth.
What do you think of the damage we do to our heritage? Do you think there is a way to stop it and make people cherish our treasures?
Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com, AFP / EAST NEWS