A catastrophic fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, gutting and destroying the landmark's spire and stunning France and the world, has been brought under control.

Flames that began in the early evening burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the roof.

Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet and a French official said the iconic towers had been saved from the blaze, and authorities said the cathedral's structure was "saved from total destruction".

Australian Institute of Architects' Clare Cousins discusses the architectural significance of the Gothic cathedral and and whether or not it can be restored.

Read more here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-16/notre-dame-cathedral-paris-engulf...

For more from ABC News, click here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/

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