'Third holiest mosque' burns on the same night as Notre Dame

'Third holiest mosque' burns on the same night as Notre Dame

While most of the world's attention was fixed on the tragedy that struck the Notre Dame on Monday evening this week, a similar blaze was tearing through the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The holy site, which is considered to be the third-holiest mosque in the world, is situated more than 2000 miles away from Paris.

"The fire broke out in the guard's room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room, and the fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully," reported the Palestine News Agency. It is believed that a group of children who were playing at the location may have inadvertently started the blaze.

Here, you can see smoke billowing around the site of the fire:

The mosque is important in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as it features the gold-capped 'Dome of the Rock': a holy shrine built on the site of biblical Jewish temples.

Thankfully, the fire was contained relatively quickly, and nobody is reported to have been seriously injured. It is also believed that there is no interior damage to the 2000-year-old structure - unlike the Notre Dame.

Paris' iconic cathedral has suffered immense damage, and will require billions of euros to repair.

Here's the moment the Notre Dame's iconic spire collapsed:

"We'll rebuild Notre-Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years, we can do it," said President Emmanuel Macron. "It's up to us to convert this disaster into an opportunity to come together ... It's up to us to find the thread of our national project."

Others believe that Macron is being incredibly optimistic in his estimations, however, and state that it could take upwards of 10 or even 15 years for the structure to be restored to its former glory.

Already, a whopping €800m ($902m; £692m) has been pledged by a number of companies and wealthy individuals to help rebuild the 850-year-old gothic site.

According to the Palestine News Agency, President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed "deep regret" over the fire at the Notre Dame.

'The Presidency confirmed its solidarity and sympathy with our friends in France over this incident," the publication said.

The Al-Aqsa mosque's superficial damage should be relatively easy to repair.