Rock Products

JUN 2019

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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22 • ROCKproducts • June 2019 Secrets of Notre Dame Rock Products' Community columnist Thomas Roach was recently in Paris, France, and dispatched this report on the tragedy of the Notre Dame cathedral fire and the history of the stone that built it. – Ed. I t's a rainy gray spring in Paris, France. Tourists with blue and pink souvenir shop umbrellas step over puddles in the cobblestone streets. Pigeons cower under bridges and in the arched stone doorways. And Notre Dame smolders above the Seine. Paris is the Jerusalem of Western culture. Raided by Vikings. Conquered by Julius Caesar. Fortified by kings. Ravaged by Huguenots. Bloodied by revolutionaries. Adorned by Napo- leon. Occupied by Nazis. Paris was home to Picasso, the American expatriate writers and Jim Morrison. Today Notre Dame, Disneyland Paris, Sacre Coeur Basilica and the Louvre are four of the top five most visited sites in Europe. The Seine splits at the heart of the city forming two islands. They were good defensive positions in the Middle Ages, and a castle and several magnificent cathedrals were erected there. Walking along the south branch of the river this spring, approaching the Pont des Coeurs bridge, I could smell the charcoal and ashes of Our Lady of Paris. Stopping between dark green bookstalls and looking across the river, I felt a sense of relief seeing the walls and magnificent flying buttresses still standing. For a moment the structure seemed to have defied the fire; then my eyes focused on the windows with no glass and up through the matrixed openings to the clouds and sky where once was a roof. Special Report: The Secret Beneath Notre Dame Few People Realize That Paris, France, Is A Mining Town. By Thomas J. Roach

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