Notre Dame Cathedral巴黎圣母院------Not the largest cathedral in the world, the Notre-Dame might be the most famous of all cathedrals. The Gothic masterpiece is located on the Île de la Cité, a small island in the heart of the city.
It was not until 1345 that the cathedral was completed, partly because the design was enlarged during construction. The result is an overwhelming building, 128 meters long (420 ft) with two 69 meter tall towers (226 ft). The spire over the crossing reaches 90 meters (295 ft) and was added in the nineteenth century by Viollet-le-Duc. The Notre-Dame Cathedral has several large rose windows, the northern thirteenth-century window is the most impressive. The massive window has a diameter of 13.1 meter.
On April 15,a major fire has engulfed the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, one of France's most famous landmarks.
'Worst has been avoided':
Notre Dame Cathedral's structure is saved
PARIS – The structure of the Notre Dame Cathedral has been saved from a massive fire that had threatened to gut the 800-year-old beloved landmark, fire officials said late Monday.
a massive fire 一场大火 threaten to do... 威胁做......
gut: 毁坏......的内部（v.); 内脏；直觉，勇气 landmark: 地标（标志性的建筑）
“The worst has been avoided, although the battle is not yet totally won,” said French President Emmanuel Macron, who had rushed to the scene. Macron pledged to rebuild the church and said a national fund raising campaign would be launched Tuesday.
rush to the scene 匆忙赶往现场 pledge to do... 承诺做...... Fund raising campaign 筹款活动
The blaze collapsed the cathedral’s spire and spread to one of its rectangular towers. But Paris Fire Chief Jean-Claude Gallet said the church’s main structure had been saved after firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to the northern belfry. Gallet said the emergency response had evolved into a monitoring and clean-up operation.
collapse 使......倒塌 spire 塔尖 rectangular 矩形的 evolve into...演变成......
The damage, however, was extensive. "Two-thirds of the roofing has been ravaged,” and firefighters would work through the night to cool down the building, Gallet said.
extensive广泛的 ravage 破坏
It was a dramatic shift from earlier in the day when officials predicted the structure would burn to the ground.
a dramatic shift 戏剧性的变化
“Everything is burning. Nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot had told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, immortalized by Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
tourist attraction 旅游景点 immortalize 使......成为永恒（mortal凡人的；会死亡的；immortal 不朽的）
Throngs of spectators watched in stunned horror from nearby buildings, bridges and street. Video footage showed fire and smoke spewing from the architectural marvel, home to priceless works of art. The flames appeared to be shooting out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral.
throngs of spectators 成群结队的观众 video footage视频镜头
...is home to...存放着...... nave 教堂的正厅
The fire burned for hours, virtually unabated despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters. The flames raced on as darkness fell.
"I don’t have the words for this," said Anastasia Collas, 29, an advertising worker who watched and took video of the conflagration from the Hotel de Ville across the river from Notre Dame. "I live nearby. I want to cry. I don’t know if we’re going to lose it entirely, but this is devastating. I’m going to stay here until it ends.”
Salvage efforts had been underway to recover precious artifacts, and city prosecutors announced they were opening an investigation. Arson was ruled out as well as possible terror-related motives, officials said. Officials said the blaze could be linked to renovation work. The cathedral was in the midst of a $6.8 million renovation project.
salvage efforts 救火行动 arson （人为）纵火 rule out 排出 renovation project 整修工程
"A special mission has been launched to try to save all works of art that can be saved," Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy to the mayor of Paris, said on French TV.
At least one firefighter was seriously injured, officials said.
Jake Winberry, of New York, said he was heartened by strangers hugging and openly comforting each other as the blaze raged nearby, a scene that evoked memories of 9/11. "Tragedy brings people closer together," said Winberry, who is studying abroad in Paris.
be heartened:倍感鼓舞 evoke memory of...唤起......的记忆
Crowds huddled across the river outside the church of Saint Julien Les Pauvres to pray and sing hymns. Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit invited priests across France to ring church bells. The blaze comes during Holy Week, an important event for the Catholic Church with Easter six days away.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo decried the "colossal damage" and said several hundred firefighters were on the scene.
colossal damage 巨大的损失
"So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris," President Donald Trump tweeted. "Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!" French historian Camille Pascal told French TV the fire was destroying “invaluable heritage.”
invaluable heritage 无价的遗产（前文还用到priceless）
“It’s been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris," Pascal said. “Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame.”
The renovation project was part of an effort to save the deteriorating building. Weather and pollution have taken their toll on the stone structure.
deteriorating 情况越来越糟糕的；恶化的 take one's toll on...给......造成损失/破坏
“Pollution is the biggest culprit,” Philippe Villeneuve, architect in chief of historic monuments in France, told Time magazine in 2017. “We need to replace the ruined stones. We need to replace the joints with traditional materials. This is going to be extensive.”
Construction of the cathedral took more than 100 years to complete. The result is that, although it is predominantly French Gothic, there are areas that reflect the Renaissance and the Naturalism era of construction.
predominantly 主要地 French Gothic 法国各特式（的）
Renaissance 文艺复兴 Naturalism 自然主义
Still, the cathedral is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. The name Notre Dame means “Our Lady” in French and is frequently used in the names of Catholic Church buildings around the world.
key words (phrases):
Notre Dame Cathedral 巴黎圣母院 a massive fire (=conflagration; flame)
landmark 地标建筑 architecture 建筑 collapse 倒塌
spire 塔尖 heritage 遗产 ravage 破坏；损坏（=damage）