Connect with us

Landmarks and monuments rebuilt from ruins



From bombed cathedrals to historic opera houses that went up in flames, here are examples of landmark buildings that were destroyed and then rebuilt, as is planned for Paris’s fire-gutted Notre Dame Cathedral.

– Notre-Dame of Reims –

 AFP / Kun TIAN A selection of historical sites that have been completely or partially destroyed by fires

In September 1914 the gothic cathedral in the French city Reims was struck by intense World War I German bombardment, sparking a massive blaze.


With towers rising 81 metres (266 feet) high, the Notre-Dame (Our Lady) of Reims — where French kings were once crowned — had already been devastated by fire in 1481.

In 1919 the French state undertook reconstruction, supported by private patrons, notably the Rockefeller family.

It re-opened in 1938 with the previous oak framework replaced by a lighter, fire-proof frame and new stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall and Imi Knoebel.

– Dresden cathedral –

dpa/AFP / Sebastian Kahnert The Lutheran Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) in Dresden was rebuilt and reopened in 2005

In February 1945 the 18th-century Frauenkirche in the German city of Dresden collapsed under Allied bombing at the height of World War II.


For nearly a half-century the heap of ruins remained untouched. It was only in 1994 that a project began to rebuild Germany’s largest church.

The “Call from Dresden” launched in 1990 collected 180 million euros for the work, with the 600,000 donors ranging from individuals to German and foreign businesses.

The baroque masterpiece was reconstructed faithfully and included 8,400 stones from the original building. It re-opened in 2005.


– Moscow’s Christ the Saviour –

This cathedral in the heart of Moscow was built in 1839 as a monument to the victory of Russian forces over Napoleon.


Stalin had it dynamited in 1934 to make way for a Palace of the Soviets but the project was dropped and a giant open-air swimming pool built instead.

The Moscow Pool shut in 1993 and work began two years later on a replica of the original Russian Orthodox cathedral based on the original plans.

The new Cathedral of Christ the Saviour opened in 2000.


– Barcelona’s Liceu opera –

 AFP / JOSEP LAGO The Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona was restored almost exactly after it was destroyed by fire in 1994

Spain’s most celebrated opera house, the 150-year-old Liceu in Barcelona was destroyed by fire in 1994 during work on a new stage set.

Only the foyer and the horseshoe arch over the auditorium were left standing.

Five years of work and around 110 million euros were needed to rebuild the theatre. It reopened in 1999, its Italianate interior — with brilliant colours, sweeping balconies and gilded plaster-work — recreated almost exactly to the original.


– Venice’s Phoenix –

The celebrated La Fenice, the Phoenix, was so named because it was rebuilt on the site a theatre which burned down in 1773.

 AFP / VINCENZO PINTO Venice’s gilded La Fenice theatre, and one on which it was built, have burned down several times

It opened in 1792 as one of the world’s most beautiful opera houses but burned to the ground again in 1836, was quickly rebuilt and reopened the following year.

Following yet another fire in 1996, only the outer walls survived.


With support from the Italian government, UNESCO and donors from across the world, La Fenice rose once again after a 60-million-euro reconstruction programme, reopening in 2003.

– Old Warsaw –

More than 85 percent of Warsaw’s old town was destroyed on orders of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in August 1944 as occupying German forces retreated before the advancing Soviet Red Army.

It was rebuilt from the ruins by Warsaw residents, with work lasting until the mid-1960s and funded by donations from around the world and the Polish diaspora.

The restoration was meticulous, rebuilding exactly churches, palaces and market-places, using archived documents and old paintings as models.


AFP / MANOOCHER DEGHATI The National Library in Sarajevo was destroyed in August 1992, but after reconstruction, a new library was inaugurated in 2014

Warsaw residents also rebuilt the 16th century Royal Castle, not spared in the blitz, between 1970 and 1984.

– Sarajevo library –

Bosnia’s 19th century National Library was destroyed in the war-time siege of the city of Sarajevo in August 1992.

The building, converted into a library in 1949, housed some two million books, old scripts and photographs. Only 300,000 books were spared from the flames.


Reconstruction work, part financed by the European Union, began in 1996 and the new library was inaugurated in 2014.

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump raises tensions in Virginia as local authorities fear Richmond gun rally could be the next Charlottesville



President Donald Trump appeared to pour gasoline on a political fire in Virginia only days before a far-right protest that many are worried could result in violence.

Gun activists have been threatening civil war if the commonwealth's legislature enacts new gun safety legislation.

Right-wing militias sought to organize an armed action at the capitol, but Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency to prevent firearms on the grounds.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump tells Iran that political leaders must use precise language: ‘He should be very careful with his words’



President Donald Trump went after Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday.

For the first time in eight years, Khamenei led Friday prayers in Tehran, when he mocked "American clowns" in the Trump administration.

Trump took offense.

"The so-called 'Supreme Leader' of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe," Trump said, using scare quotes around Khamenei's title.

"Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering," Trump said, apparently referring to the crippling sanctions he imposed.

Continue Reading


Millions expected to join global Women’s March on Jan. 18 to ‘act as a catalyst for political and social change’



"Together, we will inspire change and launch women and their allies into a new decade of activism."

Millions of advocates for women's human rights are expected to take to the streets in dozens of cities worldwide on Saturday, Jan. 18 for the fourth annual Global Women's March.

"The subversion of women's human rights is extremely detrimental to the significant progress women have made over hundreds of years in their quest for social justice and equality."—Uma Mishra-Newbery, Women's March Global

Continue Reading
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.