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Opinions of Monday, 12 April 2021

Columnist: Bob Duval

The Royal Chapel of Milot fire happened on this day

April 12, 2021 marks one year since a fire broke out in the historical Church called the Royal Chapel of Milot located in Milot, near Cap-Haïtien. The historic fire burned the dome and the inside of the church.

Many people all over the world have reacted to this historical moment. All Haitian leaders reacted, included Haiti President Jovenel Moïse and Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe, who then called for an investigation, but later discovered that the fire was caused by lightning.

Remember, the Royal Chapel of Milot is located on top of a mountain. It is possible that a lightning strike is the cause of the fire, even the leaders in Milot said the same things.

For now, the investigation into the situation is closed, and the Haitian government is working to rebuild the Royal Chapel of Milot, which is called Chapelle Royale de Milot in French.

The Royal Chapel of Milot, also known as the Cathedral of Milot, is a religious establishment located in the Sans Souci Palace in Haiti. On April 12, 2020, at 3 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, a fire destroyed the dome and the interior of the chapel, without causing any deaths.

According to Bishop Alain Prophète and director Patrick Durandis, the dome was destroyed along with the interior as well because the firefighters were late on the scene. After the fire hit the monument church, Bishop Alain Prophète, Director Patrick Durandis, politician Werley Nortreus, the residents of Milot, and other leaders across Haiti responded.

“This church is the pride of Milot. It’s the pride of the North. It’s the pride of Haiti”, said Bishop Alain Prophète. “Saturday and Sunday, there was no electricity in Milot so I find it hard to understand that the dome of the church caught fire. We cannot say that it is a short circuit: it has to be investigated right away. Even the park was closed due to the coronavirus epidemic, it is hard to understand.” Said the director Patrick Durandis.

“The Royal Chapel of Milot is a historical monument in Haiti and it is so important to me and Haitians. Let’s not forget that this place used to be the favorite place of King Henry Christophe. Unfortunately, it is so sad that this place is destroyed by an unknown fire. How exactly the fire started?”, said the political leader Werley Nortreus.

The Royal Chapel of Milot is part of the Sans Souci Palace, and it is located at the entrance of the palace. The Royal Chapel of Milot is also known as the church or cathedral where King Henri Christophe practiced worship and other spiritual rituals.

The Sans Souci Palace is a palace in Haiti in the town of Milot, Nord, located approximately 5 kilometers northeast of the Citadelle Laferrière and 13 kilometers southwest of the Three Bays Protected Area.

The Royal Chapel of Milot was built between 1810 and 1813 by King Henri Christophe, the first King of Haiti. Among others, Christophe was a hero of the war of independence of Haiti, then proclaimed himself king Henri Ier in 1811.

This place, which was built for the Kingdom of Haiti, is a monument of great importance in the History of Haiti. A violent earthquake in 1842 destroyed a considerable part of the palace and devastated the neighboring city of Cap-Haitien; the palace has never been rebuilt.

The palace, before its destruction, was recognized by many as the Caribbean equivalent of the Palace of Versailles in France. UNESCO designated the palace and citadel as a World Heritage Site in 1982. In the 21st century, the palace welcomed visitors from all over the world.

On April 12, 2020, after the fire, all Haitians reacted, and Haitian leaders reacted as well. A year later, on Monday, April 12, 2021, all Haitians in the world remember the historic fire that burned the dome of the monument built by King Henri Christophe.

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