Stunning photos from inside Notre Dame Cathedral released

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Smoke rises in front of the altar cross at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019, after a fire engulfed the building. – A huge fire swept through the roof of the famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019, sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky. The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year. A spokesman for the cathedral told AFP that the wooden structure supporting the roof was being gutted by the blaze. (Photo by PHILIPPE WOJAZER / POOL / AFP)

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PARIS -- Stunning photos from inside the burned Notre Dame Cathedral have been released.

The photos show smoke, flames and the cathedral’s iconic architecture.

The fire burned for several hours Monday, causing the collapse of the cathedral's iconic spire and the destruction of its roof structure, which dated back to the 13th century.

Consumed by flames, the spire leaned to one side and fell onto the burning roof as horrified onlookers watched.

By late Monday night, the fire had weakened and the cathedral's two towers were safe, said Laurent Nunez, secretary to the interior minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron praised firefighters for saving the cathedral's iconic facade and towers. "Thanks to their bravery, the worst has been avoided."

Yet he lamented the damage already done to "the cathedral of all French people," and pledged to launch an international fundraising campaign to rebuild the cathedral.

"Notre Dame is our history, it's our literature, it's our imagery. It's the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations," he said.

"This history is ours. And it burns. It burns and I know the sadness so many of our fellow French feel."

CNN contributed to this report. 

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