INTERACTIVE PHOTOS: NewsChannel 7 assignment editor reflects on recent visit to Notre Dame Cathedral

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PARIS (WSAW) About six months ago, in September 2018, my wife and I took the trip of a lifetime to Paris. We wanted to experience the people, the food, the nightlife, everything that one of the most famous cities in the world had to offer. We called it our Paris immersion trip.

We spent four days in Montmartre, an area known for its artistic influence and we spent another four days in the Latin Quarter, home to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. We were shocked and saddened Monday to see fire destroy much of one of the most historic buildings in Paris, a place that means so much to so many.

Being inside the cathedral was an experience that transcended time. You could feel the history and imagine the work it took, over hundreds of years, to construct this monument to the Catholic faith. We got our first look Tuesday at the interior and just how much damage the cathedral endured.

Click and drag on the white divider bar to reveal the before and after photos.

From afar the cathedral stands out in the Parisian landscape. I spent a few hours photographing the interior and exterior from every angle I could think of. Thousands looked on helplessly Monday as countless firefighters worked to put out the flames.

It's hard to do justice in words or even photos to just how massive and intricate the building is. This is one of my favorite photos from the entire trip, looking up at the towering facade from one of the entryways. Firefighters worked Tuesday to survey the exterior damage.