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Helena Lindblad: It is Our Wife who is burning right now

Millions of tourists stroll every year past the big, open place outside the Notre-Dame, an at least equally strong symbolbild of Paris as the Eiffel tower. The

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Helena Lindblad: It is Our Wife who is burning right now

Millions of tourists stroll every year past the big, open place outside the Notre-Dame, an at least equally strong symbolbild of Paris as the Eiffel tower. The queues are mostly always long, and in later years – as a result of the terrorist attacks – has curious visitors often monitored by heavily armed police officers.

My own trick has been to a Sunday now and then dodge just before the morgonmässan eight o'clock, trying to look like a good catholic, and as a way to steal glimpses of the imposing, unique gothic architecture, unparalleled in the world. During the early morning, the atmosphere is magical in the midst of it, with all the obscure corners and small minirum with altars, candles and paintings housed in the huge room.

Read more: Photos show the devastation inside the Notre-Dame cathedral

For all that is passing, and it's probably playing no matter how many times you pass over the island Île de la Cité in the Seine, it is probably get that can help but stretch your neck and look up at the stubby twin towers and the facade with all the imaginative characters.

to see a glimpse of a hunchbacked little up there along the high-altitude balustraderna. Victor Hugo's famous novel ”the Hunchback of Notre Dame” from 1831 is intimately related with the priceless building that was built over almost 200 years (1162-1345), a work which has played a great role in order to give the cathedral its mythical character.

Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo in the film adaptation from 1956. Photo: Rights Managed

the Story that the vanskapte Quasimodo and the beautiful ”zigenerskan” Esmeralda is a skräckromantisk melodrama with klasstema, which also deals with häxerianklagelser and a corrupt medieval judicial system.

In the foundation is the death row, mörklockiga beauty Esmeralda who is loved by both Quasimodo as the pious Claude Frollo. She in turn loves the handsome captain Phoebus, who, however, is already engaged to a girl of a much finer degree of descent.

A classic ”beauty and the beast”-saga which takes the form of a romantic tragedy of epic dimensions. Hugo's story has led to countless reinterpretations, often with a happier ending than in the original.

Charles Laughton and Maureen O'hara in ”the Hunchback of Notre Dame” from 1939. Photo: Rights Managed

filmatiseringar found Hollywoodklassikern ”the Hunchback of Notre Dame” from 1939, where the demoniske Charles Laughton and the happening Maureen O'hara played the lead roles.

In the 50's starred Anthony Quinn and Gina Lollobrigida, the odd couple, in a version that perhaps most clearly reflects Hugo's novel. The british actor Anthony Hopkins played Quasimodo in a tv movie from 1982.

The latest film adaptation was made in New Zealand where Salma Hayek played Esmeralda and Richard Harris did Quasimodo.

For many years, it is perhaps still the good-humored and imaginative disney film from 1996 that are stuck at the retina and that has given young people today a sense for the mystique surrounding Notre-Dame.

Disney's version of ”the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Photo: Rights Managed

in autumn 2018 and spring 2019 played a spectacular stage musical version based on the disney film with music by Alan Menken, and original text by Stephen Schwartz. Dagens nyheter's critic Johanna Paulsson wrote: ”It is at the same time, both the timbre and visually impressive as a roaring videoscenografi paints a medieval Paris with gothic darkness and divinely illuminated rose window”. She praised the top, cinematic effects, and wrote they were ”astounding at the same dizzying way as a mighty cathedral can be. But so is, perhaps, the main character, in fact, at the Notre-Dames of architecture.”

Joa Helgesson as Dom Claude Frollo and Martin Redhe Nord as Quasimodo at the press preview of ”Disney's the Hunchback of Notre Dame - the musical” at the göteborg opera, Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The strong feeling of the Notre-Dame cathedral is, of course, in this unique mix of history and fairy tales. The church stands for both reality and the poem, a stunning historic building that is loaded with colorful storytelling. At the side of Hugo's story is another mythical woman on the place in the church, to the famous and beautiful statue of Jeanne d'arc, which one can only hope to survive the inferno.

much more than a sanctuary for believers or a tourist destination. It is the Wife who is burning right now, it is a place we have in common, regardless of religion, ethnicity and place of residence. A place that, more than anything else symbolizes that Paris is the world's hometown.

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